By Andrea Arnold

The members of the McBride Council met for their regular meeting on March 10, 2020. The meeting was called to order at 7:02pm by Mayor Runtz. Also present for the meeting were councilors Frederick, Smith and Hruby, as well as CAO McCutcheon. Councillor Green attended through speaker phone.

Susan Umstot, Primary Care Nurse, presented information regarding the 2020 Participaction Community Better Challenge. Her hope was to educate Council on what the challenge is about before they got to the motion later in the agenda. She explained that it is an initiative to encourage more activity for all members of the community. The community that wins the challenge (June 1-21) by logging the most minutes of activity will win $150,000. There are smaller amounts for the top three groups in each province as well as individual prizes for logging your time into the group total. Umstot hopes to get some special/new fitness activities included in Pioneer Days and is working on other ideas as well.

Before the next motion was made and discussed, Councillor Green was placed on mute, recusing herself as a member of the McBride and District Housing Society. Council then passed a motion approving an application to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) for seed funding towards the pre-design of the proposed 24 -unit housing complex on either 964/976 2nd Ave or 1032/1044 2nd Ave, to meet the BC Housing Request for Proposals in the Spring 2020. Also included in the motion is an authorization for Mayor Runtz and CAO McCutcheon to endorse the application.

Council approved the motion to proceed and obtain a license of occupation in accordance with the letter dated February 18th, 2020 from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and endorses the signature of the license by Mayor Runtz and CAO McCutcheon. The license would allow the Village Statutory Right of Way over Horseshoe Creek for access to the municipal lagoons.

Council passed the motion to consider the Public Works Building options, providing direction to administration during the upcoming Budget meetings. Scouten Engineering has provided Council with a detailed list of the repairs that are needed to fix the current building. There is a serious footing issue resulting in a compromised structure. These options varied in estimated cost from $500,000 to $4 million. Some of these options are repairs, and others include various levels of demolition. The building is still safe to occupy, and if long term decisions have not been made by the end of 2020, Radloff recommends temporary repairs be done to keep it that way. Anchors need to be attached to the footings to preserve its structural integrity. Councillor Hruby suggested getting a second opinion before digging in too deep to any of the options presented. Also, if demolition is the option selected, they would like to see materials salvaged during demo for reuse in the construction of a new structure.

Council approved the request from Kathy Molendyk, Secretary, McBride Elk/Royal Purple for a temporary street closure for Main Street and Holdway Street from 1st to 2nd Ave from 6pm-10pm Friday June 5, 2020 and 7am-10pm June 6 & 7, 2020 for the Pioneer Days events. Further, Council approved the use of a temporary toilet to be set up near the Beer Gardens by the Bill Clark Memorial Park.

Council passed a motion to respond favorably to an invitation for the Mayor to attend the 2020 McBride High school Graduation evening and present a greeting from the Village.

Council approved covering expenses for Mayor Runtz to attend the meeting with Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) Deputy Minister John Allan, on April 1, 2020 in Prince George, BC.

Council moved to support McBride’s Community participation in the 2020 Participaction community Better Challenge that Susan Umstot spoke of at the beginning of the meeting.

Umstot mentioned in her presentation that information will be posted around town as the start date, June 1, 2020 nears.

Council approved receiving the report “Horizon North Logistics Inc. Sewage and Wastewater Hauling and Disposal” for information and future consideration. March 4, 2020 was the end of a set 3-month period preceding a review of the contract for commercial waste disposal signed in early December. Administration has provided Council with a list of comments and complaints. The complaints came by letter, e-mail, walk-in and the McBride Discussion Board on Facebook. Some business and individuals have commented positively that the revenue is needed by the Village. March 15, 2020 marks the beginning of a 6-8 week shutdown for the camps up north allowing time for Council to consider the long term viability of the contract, and figure out if there is a long term solution to reducing the smell that is financially responsible. Many of the long-term solutions come with a price tag and Council is waiting for estimates. The information will be provided to Council at a Regular Meeting in the future. Also, Council needs to know the level of commitment by Horizon before committing to a high priced solution. There has been contact made from people involved with the Trans Mountain camp being established in Valemount regarding a similar deal. The camp set-up period will be 4-5 months and it will be in operation for 2-3 years.

Council approved a 10 Year Tourism Master Plan contract to Expedition Management consulting for $76,680, and grant authorization to execute the contract to Mayor Runtz and CAO McCutcheon.

Mayor Runtz appoints Councillor Hruby to be the Community Liaison to the McBride Old Age Pensioners Organization.

Council passed a motion that in accordance with Section 90 (l) (c) labour relations or other employee relations, and (i) the receipt of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose, Council move into a Closed In-Camera Meeting.

Motion that the Open Meeting be recessed at 7:46p.m. in order to conduct the Closed In-Camera Meeting.

Motion that the Open Meeting be recessed at 7:46p.m. in order to conduct the Closed In-Camera Meeting.