Valemount Council: parcel tax panel, airport lighting, support for pipeline

by Goat Staff

Mayor Jeannette Townsend, councillors Hollie Blanchette, Peter Reimer, Sandy Salt and Owen Torgerson met for the regular Council meeting February 27th. / VALEMOUNT COMMUNITY TV SCREENSHOT

Mayor Jeannette Townsend, councillors Hollie Blanchette, Peter Reimer, Sandy Salt and Owen Torgerson met for the regular Council meeting February 27, 2018. Chief Administrative Officer Adam Davey and Corporate Services Clerk Carleena Shepherd were the staff present.

Fees Waived for Playgroup at Community Hall

Council granted permission to Amber Flatt to hold a playgroup for parents and tots at the Community Hall under the umbrella of Canoe Valley Community Association and with support from Valemount Learning Centre. This event is to take place Wednesdays from 1 – 2 pm from February 28 to April 25, 2018. The Village will require the applicant to cover cleaning fees.

Greyhound’s decision to cut services to the north

Council moved to send a letter to the provincial government asking what might be a recourse for rural communities when Greyhound cuts back or ends service to rural communities. The province already supports bus routes in the interior but not in the north. Councillor Torgerson pointed out that on the one hand the province is lowering rates within the lower mainland, but the north is facing increasing hardship. Many businesses also rely on staff to come to Valemount on the bus. The mayor said she had spoken to the Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation and she wasn’t in favour of this decision to close down passenger routes. Townsend wanted to see that freight service be open to Greyhound only if they run passenger service.

Support for the Pipeline

Council moved to send a letter in support of five major BC and Canadian business organizations asking Premier Horgan to stop opposition to the pipeline. The letter would highlight the economic benefits to BC.

Tourism Valemount Committee appointment

Council approved that Mr. Jaehee Lee of the Yellowhead Motel and Ms. Nima K of Super 8 Valemount be appointed to the Tourism Valemount Committee for a period of one year.

Robson Valley Region Advisory Nomination

Council agreed to nominate Tanya Russell to the Robson Valley Region Advisory Committee. The Regional District has to ratify the appointment.

Parcel Tax Roll Review Panel

Council appointed the mayor and  councillors Blanchette and Salt to a new Parcel Tax Roll Panel to review a parcel tax on properties serviced from the sanitary sewer extension installed west of Highway 5 on Cranberry Lake Road. This parcel tax will be new in 2018. The panel will also review Water Treatment Plant Parcel Tax and the Highway 5 West Local Service Area #1 Water Parcel Tax to several new parcels of land within the Village created through subdivision. Councillor Reimer did not want to be on the panel as he had acted on behalf of the buyers in his profession as notary.

Basketball girls off to Provincials

Council approved a $200 grant-in-aid to the Valemount Seniors Basketball girls who secured second place in their zone and qualified to attend the Provincial Championships in Abbotsford from March 7 to 10.

Valemount Airport Lighting

Councillor Blanchette brought up a matter raised by Dr. Keyter from the Valemount Health Clinic that air ambulance was unable to use the airport at night. Staff confirmed the Village has applied for two grants to upgrade airport lighting and this matter should be resolved if the grants come through.

Council Reports

Councillor Blanchette attended meetings of the Housing Committee and CBT Adjudication Committee. She referred to a new Elder Care Collaborative that has been created.

Councillor Reimer skyped into a special Valemount Community Forest meeting.

Councillor Salt had no reports.

Councillor Torgerson attended meetings for VARDA and a special one for Valemount Community Forest.

Mayor Townsend said that students of Grades 2/3/4 came to council to learn about local government. She referred to a call from UBC regarding Short Term Vacation rentals and said there are no official complaints. She also met the new Robson Valley Region Coordinator and attended the Columbia River Treaty meeting. The mayor said she had received a lot of calls opposing the pipeline asking council to do something against it.

Public Comments

There was one public comment made by Eugene Jamin related to airport use and the relation between transportation on the highway and the murdered and missing women.

In-Camera Items

Council closed the public portion of the council meeting to discuss three in-camera items related to labour or employee relations, proposed provision of a municipal service and information related to negotiations between the municipality and another level of government.