By Andru McCracken

Council held their regularly scheduled meeting on March 23 in council chambers.

Council wrote a letter in support of continuing the BC Farmer’s Market Coupon program for Valemount.

“I’ve been watching this program for the last couple years, it’s very well received,” said Councillor Sheri Gee. “It’s unfortunate that a lot of low income people need support to get fresh food. I hope they keep increasing the amount each year.”

“Hopefully we can garner support in Victoria,” said Mayor Owen Torgerson.

From the Reading File
Council decided to support an effort led by the town of Spallumcheen to create a 3 digit phone line for people who are in crisis, so they don’t need to remember the longer phone number.

Accounts payable
Council approved accounts payable.

“There is an entry there for Spiral Contracting, the company that I work for,” said Torgerson.
The Accounts Payable list was unavailable as of presstime.

VCF and VIP expenses.
Council passed a motion that expenses pertaining to the Valemount Community Forest and the Valemount Industrial Park be brought to the chief administrative officer before being incurred.

New facility
Council will sole source a self cleaning washroom for Centennial Park.

“Usually [we] don’t even consider sole sourcing,” said Torgerson.

Council authorized staff to procure an automated self cleaning washroom from a company in Delta BC.

“There isn’t another company that doesn this,” said Blanchette.

Land disposition for 1451 5th Avenue.
Council agreed to dispose of land below market value to facilitate a BC Housing project on 5th Avenue.

Wood burning bylaw
Council approved a new bylaw regarding wood burning, with amendments allowing restaurants to continue burning despite air quality advisories.

Blanchette said the goal is to ensure that community members are healthy.

Procedure Bylaw
The Village of Valemount council procedure bylaw received 3rd readingâ€it contained some housekeeping items.

5 Year Financial Plan
“The finance department has increased granting opportunities from $20,000 to $30,000 in case of those little things that comes towards us that we can leverage funding for.,” said Torgerson. “It’s good to have it in the budget.”

Torgerson said having this budget would allow the village the freedom to partner with other organizations to get grants when they are available.

Appointment of directors to village owned companies
Council approved changes to Policy 81, how they appoint directors to the village owned companies. The change means they will appoint a councillor as a voting member to these boards and a staff member as an ex-officio (non-voting) board member.

Council was about to direct staff to publish an advertisement to solicit board members for the Valemount Community Forest and Valemount Industrial Park, but Mayor Torgerson asked that council meet with their legal team and the existing board of these organizations first.

After some discussion, council agreed to the meeting.

“During the pandemic, communication has been less than amicable, I think it is imperative we have that link and communication back to order,” said Torgerson.

Notice of Motion
Councilor Pete Pearson brought a notice of motion to council asking staff to find out more information on having a full time bylaw officer, including potential funding sources, budget ramifications and any potential options for council.
Chief Administrative Officer Wayne Robinson said he was already on the file.

Council Reports
Council gave their verbal reports.

Public Comments
The wood burning bylaw received some questions from concerned citizens. Rashmi Narayan said that when it is very cold, she is unable to heat her home with alternative heat, because of inadequate insulation.

She asked if the new bylaw was enforceable.

Tom Jamin said that the wood burning bylaw was too restrictive and penalized people who are burning seasoned wood with little smoke.

In reply to the comments, Torgerson said some amendments have already been made, and that council has the ability to make amendments down the road.