Valemount Council: Council meets with Ministers; votes on CF & taxes

by Goat Staff


Village of Valemount office. / RMG FILE PHOTO

Mayor Jeannette Townsend, councillors Hollie Blanchette, Peter Reimer, Sandy Salt and Owen Torgerson met on September 25, 2018 after cancelling the first meeting in September to attend Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM). Interim Chief Administrative Officer Doug Fleming and Corporate Services Clerk Carleena Shepherd were the staff present.

Development Cost Charges Bylaw

Council directed to define eligible developments based on Section 563 of the Local Government Act and begin drafting a bylaw to waive or reduce development cost charges for these developments. According to the act, eligible developments could include not-for-profit rental housing, for-profit affordable housing and developments with low environmental impact.

VARDA Appointment

Council approved to allow councillors Torgerson’s name to stand for VARDA’s board at its October 3 AGM until council’s inaugural meeting in November after the elections.

More Resources for Wildfire Suppression

Council referred to the district’s letter to UBCM that the province request that Canada’s military personnel be trained in wildfire suppression.

NDIT grants

Council directed staff to apply for the NDIT Grant Writing Support Program and NDIT Love Northern BC Program for 2019. Councillor Torgerson said the Community Forest would like an in-person report from the Grant Writer as they fund 50% of that position.

Community Forest Resolutions for Restructuring

Council passed multiple resolutions to help advance VCF’s restructuring process. VCF’s motions R5620918 and R5630918 from its regular minutes September 5, 2018 was accepted. Two Limited Partnership Agreements as well as two Shareholder Agreements was approved for signature.

Emergency Preparedness

Council approved staff to apply for the UBCM Emergency Social Services program for 2019 to maintain knowledge for emergency preparedness.

Permissive Tax Exemption

Council gave first and second reading to their Permissive Tax bylaw for 2019 which includes a 100% tax exemption to churches and seniors’ housing as well as a reduced tax exemption for Valemount Curling Club (50%), Valemount Lions Club (50%), VARDA (50%) and Valemount Legion (75%).  Although Valemount Affordable Rentals Society (VARS) had made a request to exempt taxes, council decided to follow current policy that requires that organizations provide three years of financial statements and demonstrate a benefit to users.

Council Reports on UBCM

All council members attended UBCM Meetings from September 10-14. Affordable Housing was mentioned in multiple presentations, while the threshold for middle income owners went from $70,000 per household to $100,000. Cannabis was another issue that came up – whether municipalities had enough resources to tackle the impact of legalization of cannabis. Councillors said some of their meetings with ministers did not go favourably for Valemount.

Council Reports on Community Forest AGM

All councillors attended the AGM on September 17 and were pleased with how it was faring financially with no interference from council. It was noted that VCF makes considerable contributions to the community, which should be publicized.

Councillor reports on Eldercare Facility

Blanchette said that at their eldercare meeting on September 24, they were told that the government cannot help Valemount in creating a facility because of its low population.

Letter to UBCM

Blanchette moved that staff send a letter to UBCM to correct Valemount’s spelling on the scroll of municipality names.

In Camera Items

Council closed the public portion of the council meeting to discuss three in-camera items on matters related to labour and other employee relations.

Did you know the Goat could not operate without people buying the newspaper? Subscribe today!