By Andrea Arnold

Deputy Mayor, Rosemary Hruby called the March 23, 2021 McBride Council meeting to order at 7:00pm. Councillors Green, Smith, and Frederick were all in attendance as well as Mayor Runtz.
Proposed snowmobile assisted ski area on Lucille

Jeff McNaughton on behalf of McBride Community Forest Corporation and in partnership with Robson Valley Alpine Association presented the Lucille Snowmobile Assisted Ski Area proposal to Council. McNaughton requested a letter of support from Council in order to have the area granted an exemption from visual quality objectives and silviculture obligations set by the provincial government. If granted, the area set aside for ski trail purposes would not be replanted, allowing ski/snowboard runs in the future.

Centennial school art display
Sheila Foster, from the Robson Valley Arts and Culture Council, and Kairyn Russel Janecke, Principal of McBride Centennial Elementary School, requested a letter of support from Council to create a student art installation along the fence between the elementary school and Main Street. Concerns from Council included the wind factor, as the proposed art would be on 4×8 plywood sheets. The concern was that the fence may not be strong enough to safely support the added strain caused by wind against the plywood. Russel Janecke agreed to return to School District 57 representatives to determine the strength of the fence before proceeding.

North Central Local Government Association AGM
Council passed a motion directing administration to register Councillors Smith and Frederick, Mayor Runtz and CAO Tupy for the virtual 2021 North Central Local Government Association annual general meeting and convention scheduled for May 5 & 6. Deputy Mayor Hruby said she would confirm her attendance before the April 14th deadline for early bird registration.

McBride Tourism Committee members
Council passed a motion to appoint additional community members to the McBride Tourism Committee. Representing the accommodation sector were Georgina Kirby, Bell Mountain Motel and Manwinder Dhillon, McBride Travelodge (Mandeep Singh as secondary). Representing the accommodation sector at large was Jill Phipott, Beavercreek Lodge (Stuart Philpott as secondary).

Development permit go-ahead
Council approved development permit application 2021-01 which will allow the proponents to construct a 26 x 30 foot pre engineered steel building, and four 7×10 foot smooth wall mobile modular storage building on the lot at 227 Main Street McBride.

BC Community Response Network presentation
Councillors Smith and Frederick expressed interest in attending a virtual presentation hosted by the Robson Valley Community Services from BC Community Response Network. Smith already registered and Frederick said he would register himself as well.

Tesla supercharger station
Council authorized administration to respond to Iain Myrans, Senior National Manager from Tesla to discuss the installation of a Tesla Supercharger station in McBride. Myrans was looking for suggestions for a viable location in the Village. Council discussed the possibility of Robson square, near the existing charge station, however, the type and amount of power needed may not be accessible at that location. Further conversation with Tesla representatives will allow this concern to be addressed.

Moose ungulate winter range
Council passed a motion directing administration to send a letter to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development regarding a proposed moose ungulate winter range that impacts the Raush Valley area. Through her involvement with McBride Community Forest, Councillor Green has learned that although the area in question is outside the Dunster Community Forest footprint, it is within the Carrier footprint. Dunster Community Forest has agreements with Carrier for road building and cost sharing. If Carrier cannot access that stretch of roadway then that has a negative effect on DCF access to areas they need. Council agreed to submit a letter voicing concern and support of Dunster Community Forest.

Grant for library garden
Council passed the motion to supply Abi Ward, McBride & District Public Library with a letter of support for their application to Northern Development Initiative Trust Community Places Program. If the application is successful, the grant money will fund improvements to the library garden space. These changes would provide spaces to meet, learn and entertain, while keeping within COVID regulations.

Cemetery fence removal
Council approved the removal of the old cemetery fence, and the installation of row identification posts along with two post and chain gates at the vehicle entrances, at a cost of $800.

Community clean-up
Council asked staff to research what needs to be done to safely execute a 2021 Community Clean-up event within COVID restrictions and McBride’s Safety Plan. If this is possible, Council agreed on the date Saturday May 29, 2021. Organizations that have been a part of the clean up in the past will be contacted to confirm participation if the event proceeds.

In Camera
The regular council meeting was recessed at 8:19 and council proceeded to in-camera for consideration of matters per Section 90 (1) of the Community Charter related to: (a) personal information about an 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; and (k) negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are at their preliminary stages and that, in the view of the council could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality if they were held in public.