By Andrea Arnold

Deputy Mayor Lucille Green called the McBride Council meeting to order at 7:05pm on Tuesday December 15, 2020. In attendance was Councillors Hruby, Frederick, and Smith.

COVID Visitor Concern
McBride resident Ole Shuflebein addressed council to express concern regarding non essential travel/visitor to the valley. Alberta has the highest per capita COVID case ratio in Canada. His request was that council add their voice in expression of concern for the safety of the community and province.

Tourism Master Plan
Council passed the motion to adopt the Village of McBride Tourism Master Plan as presented.

Community Calendar
Councillor Hruby recused herself as a member of the Chamber of Commerce before Council passed the motion to join into a partnership with the McBride District Chamber of Commerce to continue the Community Calendar for one year. In the partnership, each group would contribute 50%.

Village Statement on Out of Town Visitors
Council requested that Administration reply to Ms. Maureen Brownlee’s letter expressing concern about Alberta sledders in the community by sending her the previously released statement from the village regarding travel.

In a discussion following and also in response to Shufelbeins statements, a decision was made to reissue a public statement stating the need for respect and courteous/cautious behaviour from anyone who does visit the valley at this time. Interprovincial travel restrictions have to be dealt with at a provincial level. Local government does not have the authority to make those decisions.

Snow and Ice Removal Revamped
Council moved to rescind Snow and Ice policy PW-01 and adopt Snow and Ice Policy PW-01.2 as presented. The new policy accounts for emergency response routes, and school route. The discussion that followed indicated that there is room for adjustment if an unforeseen situation arises.

Tax Levy
Council passed the motion to give the Village of McBride Municipal and Regional District Tax Levy Bylaw No. 797,2021 first and second readings. This will be used in an application to DesinationBC to implement the 2% Municipal and Regional District Tax in McBride in 2021.

Grant Writer Support
Council moved to direct Administration to prepare an application to the Northern Development Initiative Trust’s Grant Writing Support program for 2021. In this, Council is also agreeing to support the overall grant management.

Train Restoration Project
Council passed the motion to prepare an application for submission to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – COVID-19 Infrastructure Resiliency Stream for the following project: Train Station Rehabilitation Project.

There are other grant/support possibilities out there for the other projects, and at this point the train station is a manageable rehabilitation/restoration whereas if it gets put on the backburner, the cost of the work will increase over time. The priority items that have been identified are as follows:

  • Restoration of exterior envelope operational and heritage integrity (roof surface replacement, window and door upgrades)
  • Upgrade main floor washroom to highest accessibility standards and install ventilation
  • Rehabilitation program for the entire 2nd floor to bring it to building code as a usable space
  • Room for more items as the project unfolds.

Meeting Schedule
Council passed the motion to accept the 2021 Council meeting schedule as presented or amended. If meetings are needed between the once a month meetings in the summer, a Special Meeting will be called to handle the issues at hand.

Building Inspection Agreement
Council passed the motion approving the 2021 Building Inspection Services Agreement as presented; and further authorizes Deputy Mayor Green and Interim CAO Sandy Salt to execute the agreement.

Economic Development Coordinator Grant
Council approved directing Administration to apply to NDIT for the Economic Capacity Development Building Grant for $50,000 to support the Economic Development Coordinator position for the 2021 Operating budget.

Cash for Culvert Repair
Council passed the motion to direct staff to prepare an application for submission to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – COVID – 19 Infrastructure Resiliency Stream, Adaptation, Resilience and Disaster Mitigation Program for the 1st, and 2nd Avenue culvert upgrade flood mitigation project.

Council passed the motion to move in to an In-Camera meeting for consideration of matters per section 90 (1) of the Community Charter related to: (a) personal information about and identifiable individual who holds or is being considered for a position as an officer, employee or agent of the municipality or another position appointed by the municipality; (c) labour relations or other employee relations, and (k) negations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service(s) that are at their preliminary stages, and that, in the view of the Council could reasonably be expected to harm the interest of the municipality if they were held in public, the regular meeting was adjourned at 8:29pm.