By Andru McCracken

Council held their regular meeting on February 23. Mayor Owen Torgerson presided over the meeting.

Omineca Moose
Council will write the provincial government requesting the opportunity to provide comments on a proposed Moose Ungulate Winter Range, at the request of tenure holder Carrier Lumber.

Councillor Pete Pearson asked whether the village had specific interests in the area.

“No,” said Mayor Owen Torgerson, “But we do do quite a bit of business with Carrier Lumber.”

Four agreements with the Community Forest
Council ratified four agreements with the Valemount Community Forest and Valemount Industrial Park.

“Was there anything in those agreements that popped out at you?” asked Torgerson.

“Lots of legal language in there,” said Pearson.

A brief from staff said that enough had changed with the two companies becoming limited partnerships to warrant new agreements for each organization and the village. They include a shareholder agreement and limited partnership agreement for both companies. The Village is the primary shareholder of both companies.

Task Force on Clean Air
Council approved the terms of reference for the Clean Air Task Force and will advertise for members of the public to serve on the Clean Air Task Force Committee.

The task force is currently composed of two councillors and four members from the public sector including the BC Wildfire Service and the Valemount Community Forest.

Their goal of the task force is to improve air quality, and ‘to create awareness of best practices to avoid, reduce or eliminate activities and/or sources which degrade air quality in the community.’

Water Model Calibration Work Plan
Council allocated $18,000 from the Northern Capital Planning Grant Fund to develop their water model.

“In order to better support decision makers as it relates to growth and the resulting increase demand on the water system, it is required that the Village update the water model that is calibrated to replicate current conditions.”

They also approved $42,275 from the same fund for a Water Supply Master Plan and $15,000 for a Public Works Building Expansion work plan.

Swift Creek Restoration
Council approved three grants from the Northern Capital Planning Grant for Swift Creek Restoration: $62,750 to pay the remaining costs of Swift Creek Restorations not covered by the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund. $38,750 to pay for Swift Creek Restorations in the event the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund application is denied.

Lift Station Testing
Council also tapped the Northern Capital Planning Grant Fund for the Dogwood Lift Station Project: $34,850 for the purpose of hydraulic conductivity testing for the Dogwood Lift Station Project.

Seniors Housing Project Lift Station.
Council agreed to allocate $22,500 from the Trans Mountain Community Benefit Agreement Fund for hydraulic conductivity testing for the Ash Street Lift Station Project, prior to the Valemount Senior Citizens Housing Society funding announcement.

“The affordable housing development funding has yet to be determined. In order to be prepared for this project, the Engineers need to prepare the Request for Tender; however they require additional hydraulic conductivity testing. This information will provide the tenderers with more information in order to prepare a plan and costs related to dewatering – enhancing the quality of proposals and costs Received.” – Staff report.

Banning new installations of bad stoves
The village gave first and second reading to a bylaw (no 838) to regulate wood burning with the intention of lowering the particulate associated with woodsmoke.

The bylaw prohibits the installation of wood burning appliances that are not certified; the installation of outdoor solid-fuel combustion appliances; and the installation of wood burning appliances in accessory buildings.

The bylaw also aims to phase out all non-compliant wood burning appliances and outdoor solid-fuel combustion appliances by 2025, with exceptions for low emission units.

“Air quality monitoring in Valemount indicates that PM2.5 has consistently exceeded Canadian Air Quality Standards even without considering impacts from wildfire smoke,” according to the staff report. Nationally, Valemount has red status, signalling “an immediate need to reduce pollutant levels […] through advanced air management activities.”

Procedure bylaw
Council gave 1st and 2nd reading to Council Procedure Amendment Bylaw No. 840.

Under this new bylaw the deadline to provide the agenda would be moved to 1 PM on the Friday prior to the meeting giving staff more time between meetings to complete follow up tasks and prepare reports for the next meeting.

Council gave their verbal reports. There were no public comments.

Council adjourned without moving in camera.