McBride Council: sewage questions, calls for transparency, milestones

By ANDREA ARNOLD


Members of the McBride Council met for their regular meeting Tuesday December 10. The meeting was called to order at 7:03pm by Mayor Runtz.  Also present for the meeting, Council members Lucille Green, Diane Smith, Allan Frederick, and CAO Sheila McCutcheon.

The meeting began with a special presentation.  Mayor Runtz presented CAO McCutcheon with a Certificate in Local Government Service Delivery. This achievement recognizes both her academic qualifications and work experience in the local government field.

During the questions from the public and press portion of the meeting, Rick Thompson expressed some concern regarding the Horizon North usage of the lagoon. He brought forward the following questions:

  1. What is the actual length of the contract with Horizon North for delivery of sewage from the Mackenzie (Parsnip camp) operation?
  2. What precautions have been implemented by the Village to prevent and or resolve any sewage spills and potential hazards associated with the transportation of human waste that may result from these deliveries down Bridge Road?
  3. Has the Village implemented improved winter ice and snow maintenance procedures on Bridge Road to prevent possible issues.
  4. Will the Village commit to ensuring that the increased traffic on Bridge Road will not adversely affect the road surface and that measures and funds are allocated to rectify if any issues occur?
  5. Will the Village of McBride commit to improved communication regarding practices and programs that may have a direct affect on the residents and taxpayers.

Thompson also expressed concern regarding the lack of reports from Councillors and requested better transparency and communication from Council members.  Thirdly, he suggested several other, more visible options to the barrier possibilities for Robson Centre. Ones that would provide the safety element administration is seeking, while satisfying the desire for beautification.

Council and Administration agreed to respond to Mr. Thompson’s questions and concerns in a letter.

Council approved the motion to approve the Accountability Agreement to the Northern Development Initiative Trust’s  Initiatives Fund Program for $89,650 and authorizes CAO McCutcheon to execute the agreement. This is a proposal-based program that provides grant funding for strategic projects that are large in scale, regional in impact, enhance a community or multiple communities’ ability to overcome economic challenges and will result in incremental capacity or strategic economic infrastructure within a local government or First Nation.

The 2020 deadline for submitting resolutions for the North Central Local Government Association is March 13, 2020.   Administration is asking Council to consider resolution topics and assign Councilors to research topics and write each resolution.  In order to meet the deadline, the recommendation is to have resolutions ready for the February 11, 2020 Regular Council Meeting. Council passed a motion to schedule a working meeting on January 9, 2020 to prepare the resolutions.

Council rejected a motion to increase the 2020 Robson Centre Operating Budget to purchase cement barriers for $6,800. The barriers would help protect pedestrians walking along the sidewalk outside the buildings from vehicles maneuvering into parking spots. A motion was made and passed to table the decision until the new year and budget discussions. At this time other possible options for barriers may be presented.

Council passed a motion to receive a report regarding Horizon North Logistics Inc. Sewage and Wastewater Hauling and Disposal. Hauling subcontractor Load ‘Em Up Contracting Ltd began hauling and dumping at the start of December and will continue through to January 2020.   The frequency will be about three trucks a day, seven days a week between noon and 4:00pm. This contract will bring in a revenue of $20,000 for the use of the village lagoon. Prior to the contract it was determined by Radloff Engineering that the lagoon system can handle the extra cubic metres.

Council passed a motion approving the Building Inspection Service Agreement as presented, and further, authorizes Mayor Runtz and CAO McCutcheon to execute the agreement. This agreement outlines the agreement between the village and the Regional District providing the service of a building inspector to the community.

Council passed a motion approving an application to NDIT for the Economic Capacity Development Building Grant for  $50,000 and for Grant Writing Support of $8,000 for the 2020 Operating Budget.

Council passed a motion approving expenses for Mayor Runtz to attend the 2020 BC Natural Resources Forum from January 28-30 in Prince George.

Councillor Green recused herself from the room due to her position within the Ministry of Transportation.  The remaining Council members passed a motion approving a village of McBride grant application to the MInistry of Transportation and Infrastructure BC Air Access 2020/21 Funding Program for the Charlis Leake Airfield Access Road\Culvert Replacement Project and agrees to support the overall grant management.

The public portion of the meeting adjourned at 7:38.

Council moved into the In-Camera portion in accordance with Section 90(l) (c ) labour relations and other employee relations, (i) the receipt of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose, and (k) negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are in the preliminary states and that, in the view of Council, could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality if they were held in public, and  (j) information that is prohibited, or information that if it were presented in a document would be prohibited, from disclosure under section 21 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Council moved into a closed In-Camera meeting.

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