By Andru McCracken

Valemount council held their regular council meeting on August 11.

Council voted in favour of supporting a funding application to the Columbia Basin Trust by LGL Limited and the Simpcw First Nation related to wetland habitat enhancement and rehabilitation in the Canoe River Valley.

Mayor Owen Torgerson recognized Donnie MacLean’s work on the Columbia River Treaty Negotiation.

“Awesome work,” said Torgerson.

MacLean asked council to write a letter of support for Kaslo’s work on a strategy for Rural Economic Development through Health Care.

“… we call upon the Government of British Columbia to build a strategy to expand rural community health care services with consideration for maximizing local economic impacts, creating professional job opportunities, access to affordable housing, improving social well-being and reducing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.”

Annual report
Council received the Annual Report for 2019. It’s a 79 page document that highlights the work undertaken by the village during that year, their strategic objectives and progress on them.

Of interest, of every dollar collected through municipal taxes, the village receives only 39 cents. The rest of the money goes to schools, hospitals, the largest portion goes to the Regional District for services like the local arena.

Tourism Committee news
The Tourism Committee is asking the CAO to get information about the accommodation required by Trans Mountain, like how many workers are in Valemount right now, where they are staying and where they will be staying in 30 days. They also want to see a plan by Trans Mountain to see worker flows over the next 60 days.

Accounts Payable
Council received the July 2020 accounts payable report and the Building INspector’s report for June and July.

Statement of Financial Information
Council approved the SOFI Report which details the remuneration of employees over $75,000 as well as what the Mayor and council are paid. In all the council is paid $51,784 with an additional $27,150 for expenses.

Council chose to spend $10,000 to complete a broadband study with the Regional District of Fraser Fort George. There was some conversation about alternate funding sources. Economic Development Officer Silvio Gislimberti said that the project could have a positive outcome for residents and it’s a good show of faith that Valemount put in their own money. Council decided to go with it.

Public Washrooms
Council chose to post a request for proposals to build a double washroom building in the north east corner of Centennial Park.

Council ordered a Husquavarna Zero Turn Mower for $16,679.04 from Alpine Country Rentals after receiving quotes. The item was in this year’s budget.

Memorandum of Understanding for seniors
Council directed the CAO to enter into an MOU with the Valemount Senior Citizens Housing Society on behalf of the Village of Valemount outlining their access to land for a new facility.

OCP & Zoning rewrite
Council received an update on the Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw Rewrite.

2021 Permissive Tax Exemptions
Council considered granting permissive tax exemptions to non profits. Counc. MacLean asked if council could provide the exemptions on a multi-year basis to allow organizations to prepare for tax time.

Council tabled the conversation while staff looked into the possibility of multi-year exemptions.

1451 5th Avenue
Council changed the OCP and the Zoning bylaw to allow construction of a project by Robson Valley Community Services (RVCS). RVCS is proposing a development that includes approximately 14 affordable housing units for women and children in need, as well as staff offices.

Water rules
Council added penalties for contravention of the newly implemented water conservation legislation.

Two residences on 2 acres
Council gave third and fourth reading to make changes to a lot near the tracks on Dogwood to have two homes on it.

Tax sale delayed
Council adopted a bylaw that defers tax sales to the following year.

Real world costs
Council changed the rates for after-hour call-outs to reflect the cost of staff attending.

Turning water on or off during business hours still costs $25 + tax, but after hours it will cost $131. Sewage dumping similarly increased.

Council Reports
Council then gave their verbal reports.

Council proceed In Camera to discuss the acquisition, disposition or expropriation of land or improvement, Section 90(1)(e) of the Community Charter.