By Andrea Arnold
The Village of McBride Council Zoom meeting was called to order at 7:00pm on October 13, 2020 by Deputy Mayor Lucille Green. Councillors Smith, Frederick and Hruby were in attendance, along with Acting CAO Heidi Frank, CFO David Alderdice. Karen Dube and Russ Purvis were also in attendance.
New Tourism Committee
Council agreed to create a Select Committee of Council – Tourism with a focus on McBride and area. This stemmed from the request from Russ Purvis several meetings back regarding support for such a committee. Both Councillors Hruby and Frederick volunteered for the Select Committee and invited Purvis as well as invited Karen Dube to participate in the process.At a future date, the committee hopes to work in conjunction with the Province’s Municipal & Regional District
Tax Program. The committee has set October 29, 2020 as the date for their first meeting.
Dore River erosion
In response to a request for a letter of support regarding the Dore River Erosion Event, Council thought it wise to hold off submitting the letter to any ministers until the election has been completed and new ministers are in place. They will make it known that there are friends and neighbours in dire situations that need to be rectified. Resident Kristine Drader, who requested the letter, will be notified of Council’s intentions.
Council passed a motion declining Jenny Taphorn’s request for either credit or reimbursement for the water hookup and disconnect at their Crazy Cones location due to being unable to use their water for most of their seasonal operation. Council wanted to be clear that they understand the business had a difficult summer, but the Village is not in a position to provide rebates for one business and not everyone.
Concern re: Housing
Council moved to forward a letter of concern received from Dave and Gail Shantz regarding plans being presented by the Housing Society involving 100 Shantz Place, to the Society in time for their AGM on October 22, 2020. The concerns raised include the small size of the land, the need to remove the tree buffer between the usable land and the wrecking yard, transportation for both seniors and students across the highway, and lack of correct zoning.
Letter of support: Belle Mountain
Council passed the motion to provide a letter of support to Eileen MacDonald regarding the Robson Valley BCHBC Belle Mountain project applications to the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program Grant.
Letter of support: New Horizons Grant
Council agreed to provide Jana MacMaster with RVCS with a letter supporting their New Horizons Grant application. Council will also be requesting (from RVCS) information regarding where the seniors drop-in centre will be located in McBride, and what the project will look like. Also suggested was extending an invitation to RVCS to attend a meeting to discuss support for McBride.
Council approved the receipt of Development Variance Permit Application No 2020-01. The variance request came after a resident began constructing a carport and was informed that the distance to the property line did not meet village requirements. All property owners and tenants potentially affected by the varian permit will be notified. Residents will have until Monday October 26 (before the next Council meeting) to express concerns and opinions.
Council agreed to amend the five year capital plan because of the unplanned expenses over the course of this year. Expenses include months of boil water advisories, the Do Not Consume Order, COVID-19 and the sinkhole on 2nd Ave. Those have to be accounted for in Village financials. A new draft will be presented at the next meeting.
Mayor Leave of Absence
Council passed the motion authorizing the leave of absence of Mayor Runtz. The leave allows him to be absent from attending Council Meetings due to illness as outlined in Section 125 (5) (6) (7) of the Community Charter. Deputy Mayor Green made a friendly amendment to the second part of the motion to state further; that before Mayor Runtz resumes his duties that Council receive a letter from his physician stating Mayor Runtz is cleared to return to his duties as Mayor. They also moved and carried a motion to have Administration purchase a gift/fruit basket for him.
Council passed the recommendation that staff submit an application for grant funding for the Lagoon Cell #1 Liner replacement project through the Investing in
Canada Infrastructure Program – Rural and Northern Communities. Council supports the project, with a budget of $1,006,986, 100% funded and commits to any cost overruns.
Council agreed to support an application for grant funding for the Train Station Patio Enhancement Project for submission to the Community Economic Recovery Fund – Destination Development Stream. However, Council requests the updated project proposal and budget be presented at the October 27, 2020 Regular Council meeting for final Council approval. This plan needs to address the concerns from Council such as limited parking, and Council’s suggestion to expand the current outdoor eating space.
Ancient Forest Project
Council approved appointing Russ Purvis to represent McBride on the Ancient Forest Enhancement Project external stakeholder’s committee. The project is spearheaded by the Lhedili T’enneh First Nation. Councilor Hruby was voted in as alternate. Karen Dube, who attended the most recent meeting, expressed that the purpose of the representation is not about how the village will benefit but rather how the village can support and add value to the project.
Council passed the authorization for purchasing of HR Downloads for human resource solutions and advisors, training and policies, for a one-year period at a cost of no more than $2,900 ($300 more than the original motion had called for).
Council passed the motion to create a Select Committee of Council for Beautification and Revitalization. The committee will work with a consultant on a plan for a Northern Development Initiative Trust grant application for Main Street. They will also work with a broader scope, creating plans for the beautification of the whole community.
Further; Councillor Smith was appointed to chair the committee and she announced that Irene Rejman had agreed to also chair. An invitation to Karen Dube to also sit on the committee was extended. Councilor Frederick expressed interest in being involved as well.
Public input on committees
For both Select Committees created during the meeting, information will be sent out to the public requesting community involvement.
Council addressed the need for security cameras at the Public Works yard. Staff is currently researching options and will report back to Council.
Diane Smith made the motion to purchase a Remembrance Day flag to fly by the Village office during the week leading up to Remembrance Day. Council approved the motion.
Councilmoved into an In-Camera meeting for consideration of matters per Section 90(1) of the Community Charter related to: (c ) Labour relations or other employee relations; (e) The acquisition, disposition, or expropriation of land or improvements, if the council considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to arm the interests of the municipality; and (i) The receipt of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege including communications necessary for the purpose.