By Andrea Arnold

McBride Council met on July 28, 2020 through Zoom. Mayor Runtz called the meeting to order at 7:00pm. In attendance were Councillors Allan Frederick, Lucille Green, Rosemary Hruby and Diane Smith, CAO Sheila McCutcheon and office Admin Sherri Flynn.

Against Forest Service Road Deactivation
Wanda Holmes, a Robson Valley resident, attended the zoom meeting to present information to Council about the deactivation of a number of forest service roads in the Robson Valley. Ms. Holmes started a petition requesting the deactivation of these roads cease. At the time of the meeting, she had 175 signatures of mostly locals that she will be sending to representatives within the Ministry of Forestry, Land, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, MP Bob Zimmer and MLA Shirley Bond, and Carrier Lumber. Ms. Holmes asked for a letter of support to be sent along with the petition to prevent the Upper Goat River FSR, the Castle Creek FSR and other main line roads from being deactivated. Her hope is to allow residents and visitors continued access to the backcountry in the area.

She will be approaching other user groups in the area requesting letters of support from them as well. Later in the meeting, Council approved providing a letter in support to be included along with the petition regarding stopping the deactivation of forest service roads in the Robson Valley including the upper Goat FSR, Castle Creek FSR, and any other forest service roads being deactivated in the future.

Council Planning To Reopen Meetings
Council passed the motion acknowledging Provincial Ministerial Order 192 (regarding public access to local government meetings) and will strive to make best efforts to meet COVID legislative requirements; and further that Council recognizes that time constraints in receiving the Ministerial Order, limited space at the Village Council Chambers in respect of public health requirements for covid-19 pandemic and limited technology equipment have all contributed to the July 28, 2020 Regular Council meeting being held without the public present. CAO McCutcheon updated Council with information regarding a plan that is being finalized for future meetings to be open to the public. A report will be prepared for Council before the August 25, 2020 Regular Council Meeting.

Asset Management Plan Complete
Council passed the Asset Management Assessment and Asset Management Plan completed by Urban Systems as amended with input from Council. The plan is a document to guide the Village’s next steps, resource allocation and future grant applications for Asset Management projects. The plan also will assist in annual capital planning, and is required by the Province under Community Works Gas Tax Funding.

Water Woes – End In Sight
Council passed the motion to receive the report regarding the Dominion Creek 2020 Freshet Impacts on the Village Community Water System for information and future consideration. Beginning August 4, 2020 the process to flush the system began, and is expected to take 7-10 days. There are several steps required to clean the whole system, beginning with the reservoir and working down the line. The Village submitted a Disaster Financial Assistance request to Emergency Management – Province of British Columbia (EMBC) for the worst-case scenario amount of $80,000 (this would include the cost of divers to clean the full tank). There is a possibility of some financial support from the Municipal Insurance Association of BC to lessen the financial impact on the community, possibly even cover the full cost if divers are not required. Administration will keep residents updated and provide flushing directions at the appropriate times throughout the project.

Building Permit Summary
Council passed the motion to receive the Building Stats Report on June 30, 2020. This report outlines the different building permits issued so far this year. A single family dwelling, accessory buildings, and a new commercial building make up the bulk of the $358,750 building value added to the community so far this year.

Hydro Meeting
Council approved accepting an invitation to meet with BC Hydro’s senior leadership via virtual platform the week of September 14, 2020, prior to the Annual Union of BC Municipalities Convention, to discuss issues like Tier 2 pricing.

Car BINGO Rides Again
Council approved the request to temporarily close Main Street from 1st to 2nd Ave on Wednesday August 19, 2020 and Wednesday September 16, 2020 from 4:00pm- 10:00pm in response to a request made by Rick Thompson on behalf of the Royal Canadian Legion, for two more “In-Car” Bingo nights. Before the motion was carried, Councillor Frederick recused himself as a member of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Voting Council Members Stay The Same
Council passed the motion confirming that Councillor Rosemary Hruby remains as the voting delegate, and Councillor Frederick and Mayor Runtz remain the alternates at the 2020 Municipal Insurance Association of BC Annual General Meeting.

Village Infrastructure Contract Review
Council approved receiving the Appraisal Report of Specified Village of McBride properties as of June 19, 2020. This process evaluates the current 26 structures of Village infrastructure for insurance purposes. Included in the agenda was the motion to further approve entering into a 5-year contract 2021-2025 with Suncorp Valuations to perform an annual revision of the Summary of Insurable costs for the Village infrastructure for insurance purposes on an annual basis. The original motion was amended to remove the 5-year contract portion, before the final motion was passed.

Facade Facelift Approval

Council approved funding, from the Village of McBride Business Facade Improvement Program for the subject applications as follows:

  • Rick Thompson for a project at 927 2nd Ave for the amount requested – $5000
  • Nathan Dubeck for a project at 411 Main St. for amount requested – $2,240

Rick Thompson for a project at 421 Main St. for a reduced amount (due to oversubscription of the program by $603) – $2,760.
Council passed the motion to move into In Camera in accordance with Section 90 (l) (c) labour relations or other employee relations, (e) the acquisition, disposition of 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.

The regular meeting was recessed at 7:54pm.

In Camera Meeting Item Moved to Open Meeting
Council moved to make a portion of the motion to censure Mayor Runtz public.

Council passed the motion approving providing general information to the public regarding the censure by Council of Mayor Eugene Runtz, along with the release of the censure statement: “Due to repeated contraventions of Section 117, ‘The Duty to Respect Confidentiality’ and Section 153, ‘Prohibition Against Interfering with Municipal Officers and Employees’ of the Community Charter and to the significant detriment and expense to the Village of McBride, Council passed a resolution of censure of Mayor Eugene Runtz.”