By ANDREA ARNOLD
McBride Council met for their regular meeting on Tuesday, November 12, 2019. In attendance were Mayor Gene Runtz, Councillors Smith, Green, Hruby and Frederick. CAO Sheila McCutcheon was present through speaker phone.
Splash Park Proposal
Jana MacMaster, presented a slideshow outlining the work that the Splash Park Steering Committee has prepared. Other members of the committee were also in attendance: Sarah Olofsson, Phil Boullianne and Kathy Molendyk. The presentation touched on the possibility of a small splash park being installed in a corner of Steve Kolida Park. The group has been in contact with a developer, and have a preliminary cost outline and is starting the process of presenting to different groups in the community for support. The first step was to present to Council, and gain their approval to move into the next phases. Council directed Administration to provide support to the committee by finding potential grant opportunities.
Ancient Forest input
Council received a letter from Anna McIndoe for information and directs the Administration to respond with a thank you letter. The original timelines for the Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut Management Planning process have been delayed. The community of McBride will be invited to participate in an open house, and supply input on draft materials in the future.
Old Growth Review
Council approved expenses for Councillor Smith, Councillor Green and Mayor Runtz to attend the BC Old Growth Strategic Review in Prince George on Nov 1, 2019.
The 2018 Northern Health Community Consultation Report is in Council’s Central Reading for viewing. Council passed a motion to receive the letter from Cathy Ulrich, President and CEO of Northern Health. Council acknowledged the point in the letter stating that a new family practice physician has been recruited and will be starting in McBride in January. This individual will bring enhanced skills in emergency medicine. Also discussed was the hope to meet with Keltie Barlow early in the new year.
Council received a report on Child Care BC New Spaces Funding. The purpose of the report is to update Council on what grants are available for the possible project.
UBCM & Farmers
Council received a letter from the Honourable Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture regarding the UBCM Meeting. Council and members from the Farmers Institute are invited to work together to provide ideas related to ALR Land concerns. Further, Administrative staff is directed to schedule a meeting to accomplish this collaboration.
Earlier in the meeting, Jeff Corbett with the Ozalenka Alpine Clubs presented a proposal of a trail on the south side of the Beaver (Holmes) River. His presentation included photos of the area approx. 32km on the forestry road, on a bench about 3,000 ft above the river. There are several lakes along the bench. Corbett’s cost estimate is $1,000/km for the 10 km trail. During his presentation, he also mentioned that due to complications around caribou habitat, some of their plans have changed regarding their use of grant funding. The new plan for these funds is a new Ozalenka Cabin, set to be built next summer. Council passed the motion directing Administration to provide the Ozalenka Alpine Club with a letter of support for their “Beaver Lakes” Trail Project.
Administration is requesting Council members confirm if they will attend the Farm and Ranch Wildfire Workshop on Tuesday November 26, 2019 at the Elks Hall. Mayor Runtz, along with Councillors Frederick and Smith will attend.
Council passed a motion to support a referral from the Village of McBride, for foreign entrepreneur Scott Wathen to enter the BC Provincial Nominee Program. Wathen has visited the community and feels the valley would be a good location for their business headquarters. He and his wife currently live in Bozeman, Montana and were drawn to the area for its similarities, but also, the smaller and quieter community.
Caribou herd planning
Council approved expenses for Councillor Smith and Mayor Runtz to attend the Caribou Recovery: Hart Ranges Herd Planning Session on November 22, 2019 in Prince George. CAO McCutcheon will also be in attendance.
Council approved the 2020 Muniware Software Support Agreement and Software License Agreement and authorizes CAO McCutcheon to execute the agreement.
Community Centre Bookings
CAO McCutcheon met with Mr. Higgins in October to discuss a transition plan for the Robson Valley Community Centre bookings. Council received the letter notifying the Village that the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George will be resuming the booking responsibility of the Community Centre as of January 1, 2020. Council also requested that administration send a thank you letter to Mr. Higgins.
Administration is requesting that Council choose a date to host the McBride Community Forest Corporation’s newly appointed-board as they meet with the Village stakeholder for the first time. The date requested is Tuesday December 3, 2019 at 7:00pm.
Council passed a motion that in accordance with Section 90 (l) (k) negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are at their preliminary stages and that, in the view of Council, could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality if they were held in public, Council move into a closed In-Camera meeting.