By Andru McCracken

Valemount’s regular council meeting was a short one. Present were Mayor Owen Torgerson, councillors Hollie Blanchette, Sheri Gee and Pete Pearson.

McBride Council invited Valemount’s council to dinner, and council accepted.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity,” said Blanchette.

“They’re buying,” said Torgerson. “Just kidding.”

VARDA asked for an amendment for the closure of 5th Avenue on March 21, 2020 for Sledfest.

Some downtown streets will be closed to traffic to allow for the outdoor aerial snowmobile extravaganza from 3pm-10 pm.

Council wrote a letter of support in favour of a National Pharmacare Program

Kurien Thomas was appointed to the Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives Program committee.

Council CAO covenant

Council made public a new covenant between council and the CAO that defines roles and expectations.

Here’s a sampling:

As members of the Village of Valemount Council we will seek to participate actively in the decision-making process as it occurs at the Council table; make decisions at the table and not away from the table.

The CAO made similar commitments.

“I, the chief administrative officer will listen carefully to the concerns of Council vis-a-vis my performance and seek to improve any deficiencies on an ongoing basis – ensure that all major issues are tracked in sufficient detail so as to advise Council of any progress, anticipated problems or decision points.”

Council received a Target Tenant Demographic for a Housing Project Report from Rashmi Narayan.

The report is rich in data and stories about local people and their struggles to find housing for themselves, loved ones and employees.

In his summary the Economic Development Officer said that the current demographic for affordable rentals is seniors housing and there is a higher demand for affordable ownership from young and middle-aged couples, with or without children.

“The current need for seniors rental units is fourteen (14) and the current need for nonseniors rental units is four (4),” he said.

The report will be used to apply for a CBT Housing Project Development grant.

Council agreed to transfer $10,000 set aside for housing to the Valemount Senior Citizens Housing Society if they are approved for a CBT Housing Project Development grant.

Council gave first reading to Council Procedure Bylaw 815 and third reading to their new anti-idling bylaw 816.

The Municipal Ticketing Information Amendment bylaw was adopted.

Council gave third reading and adopted amendments 818 and 819 to the villages Zoning bylaw.

818 amends the max height of accessory buildings from 3.5 m to 5 m in all zones, it decreases setbacks for accessory buildings in some zones, permits accessory buildings in side yards and amends regulations for manufactured housing and mobile homes to be consistent BC Building Code regulations

819 rezones a property from mobile home park to residential.

In her report, councilor Gee invited the public to the Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives input session on Sunday, March 8, 1pm concession snacks.

“People are encouraged to come and give their input, it’s a public fund,” said Gee.