by Andrea Arnold
The McBride Council met for their regular meeting on April 30, 2019. The meeting was called to order at 7:14 p.m. by Acting Mayor Alan Frederick. Also in attendance were Councillors Smith, Green and Hruby.
Visitor Centre Update
Ms. Dannielle Alan, Manager of the Whistle Stop Gallery, presented Council with information regarding the McBride Visitor Centre Operations, statistics and informational slideshow. She talked about how the location of the gallery in the train station is strategic because people have to travel through town to get to it, and in turn experience more of the community. In the years between 2014 and 2018 the centre saw an increase in visitor numbers. Although the numbers showed a slight decrease in 2017 and 2018 (likely due to smoke and fires), the average of about 20,000 visitors held true. With 1400 of these being overnight guests, the town is at capacity for food and accommodations. (This stat does not include the available Air BnB options in the area.)
She also spoke of the rich experience the centre offers students each summer. The job provides unique opportunities for students from a small centre to be exposed to different cultures and people as they learn to work together as a team.
Grant in Aid Requests
Council did not approve the motion for Council to approve a grant in aid in the amount of $50 to the McBride Ducks Unlimited Committee for their annual dinner and auction. Councillors Green and Hruby voted not in favor.
Council approved the motion to issue a Grant in Aid in the amount of $250 for the Robson Valley Arts and culture Council’s 2019 Fraser Heritage Festival: Arts in the Parks. The event is set to be held over Labour Day weekend this fall.
Council approved first, second and third reading of Bylaw No., 784.2019 Five Year Financial Plan for the years 2019-2023 and further; consider adoption at the Special Meeting on May 2, 2019. On May 2, 2019, the motion to adopt the plan was passed by Council.
Council also approved the motion to proceed with a 3% Municipal Tax increase, and Council approved first second and third reading of Bylaw No. 783-2019.2019 Tax Rate Bylaw. The vote was not unanimous however, with Council Hruby voting against the proposed increase. On May 2, 2019, the motion to adopt the plan was passed by Council.
New Garbage Truck
Council passed the motion approving that Corporation of the Village of McBride Council authorizes up to $236,750.00 to be borrowed under Section 175 of the Community Charter, from the Municipal Finance Authority, for the purpose of purchasing the Freightliner garbage Truck, and that the loan be repaid within five (5) years, with no rights reserved.
Grant Application and Distribution
Council approved the motion to provide the Village of McBride grant applications to the Northern Development Initiative trust for the Community Halls and Recreation Funding Program for 2019, and agrees it support the overall grant management.
Council voted to authorize Village administration to place the northern Capital and Planning Grant funds into the Municipal Finance Authority Pooled High Interest Saving Accounts with the National Bank of Canada.
Council passed the motion to receive a Report to Council regarding downtown beautification. Suggestions for planters and flags were brought forward and administration continues to work on a plan.
Commemorative Tree Planting
Local Government Management Association 100 Legacy Projects is supporting a Centennial Tree Planting Campaign in celebration of the association’s 100 year anniversary. All local governments in BC are being invited to plant a tree in recognition and celebration of the work of local government professionals. Administration is recommending a $50 tree to be purchased and planted, and LGMA has provided a plaque to accompany the tree. Administration is seeking Council’s direction as to where the tree could be planted in the town-site. Council approved planting a tree in honor of the LGMA 100 year anniversary at a location to be determined by administration.
Council adjourned the public portion of the evening at 8:15pm to move into the In-Camera session.