By Andrea Arnold

The members of McBride Village Council met via Zoom on Tuesday May 26, 2020. The meeting was called to order by Mayor Runtz at 7:01pm. Councilors Hruby, Smith, Green and Frederick were in attendance along with CAO McCutcheon.

Storage structure
Council received a response to the letter the Village sent to the owners and tenants of 1177 4th Ave. The response requested an extension to the removal deadline be granted. The structure in question was built as a temporary structure with the intent to move all items related to the building into a commercial lot by the end of October. The owners of the commercial location have six months to remove their belongings, leaving the tenant at 1177 4th Ave with minimal options for storage. Council discussed the matter. Their concerns were that the structure height exceeds the bylaw, and they had questions about how safe the construction is. A friendly amendment was made by Council, and the revised deadline date of July 15, 2020 was agreed on unanimously.

Economic recovery
Village Administration is asking Council members for feedback in response to a letter from The Honourable Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing requesting communities to identify ideas or areas of focus, regarding economic recovery. Councillor Frederick said he has been pleased with the way the community has adapted and continued to function through the last few months. Council decided to set a deadline of June 5, 2020, for members to provide feedback stating their ideas to Administration. Administration will then provide a response to the Ministry.

Wastewater hauling
Council denied the motion to approve the agreement between the Village and Summit Camps Sewage and Wastewater Hauling and Disposal at this time. Summit Camp (located outside Vanderhoof) wrote a letter offering the Village 180,000 litres/day should the request be approved. This is an increase from the original 10,000 litres the original letter agreed to, due to a large increase of employees at the camp. Minimum revenues are estimated at $80,000 for the entire term of the contract. Council passed the motion directing Administration to reply to Summit Camp explaining that there is possibility of a future contract once infrastructure is in place and successful.

David Franzmann E.I.T, from Radloff Engineering joined the conversation to provide an overview of the proposal, and possible options to accommodate the extra lagoon usage. The increase in employees at the camp is due to the change from camp building to operation. The amount each day is not guaranteed, so the understanding is that the Village would receive a set amount per day for setting aside the usage for Summit.

Mayor Runtz expressed concern regarding the previous odor issues. He wants to ensure the smell is not an issue before committing to anything long term. One of the options presented is to modify the dump location with equipment to prevent the backflow of smell. Mayor Runtz would like to test the set up before signing any more contracts. Other members of Council agreed. If the approved upgrades do not meet expectations, then the existing contract with Horizon will be reconsidered.

Much discussion was had regarding the different possibilities for solutions that would be pleasing to all parties. Councillor Frederick proposed a motion to spend the money to upgrade the infrastructure at a manhole on the south east frontage and test it. Money was set aside in the capital budget for infrastructure in regards to this project. This motion was passed by Council.

Nominee Program
Council passed a motion to receive the report containing updates regarding the BC Provincial Nominee Program Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot Program. The project was introduced in January 2019 with the intent to bring foreign entrepreneurs into communities outside major population areas. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic regulations in place, all exploratory visits have been suspended. McBride had one visit scheduled for June 10 and another planned for October. The first has been suspended and the second is expected to receive the same order. Once the visits are given the green light to resume, Administration will bring the resumption of visits to McBride before Council for consideration.

Pandemic Recovery
Council passed a motion that administration provide a letter of support for Community Futures Fraser Fort George’s application to Northern Development Initiative Trust’s Regional Business Liaison program to support Robson Valley businesses through the pandemic recovery period. NDIT is making one-time funding available to provide additional community-based resources to support small and medium-sized enterprises in accessing COVID-19 support programs. The funding is available to support up to three regional business liaison positions per northern region (total 12), up to $75,000 for one year. This incentive is to encourage the hiring of locally based talent.

In Camera
Council passed the motion that in accordance with Section 90(l) (c) labour relations or other employee relations, (e) the acquisition, disposition or expropriation of land or improvements, if Council considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality, 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.