By Andrea Arnold
The December 14, 2021 McBride council meeting was called to order by Mayor Runtz at 7:03pm.
Silvio Gislimberti, EDO Village of Valemount, presented on the Municipal and Regional District Tax and Governance Structure and Options.
Old Growth Concern Action
Council discussed the content of a letter to be sent to local First Nations Communities regarding the Old Growth Forest deferral. Council asked that the letter convey the shared concerns and the importance of working together. They also want to have a meeting to discuss these items. The wording of the motion will be brought back to Council for finalization.
Letter of Support
Council approved the adoption of the Village of McBride Main Street and Downtown Area Revitalization Plan as presented. Council would like to see more direction provided as they proceed with specific parts of the plan.
Fire Department Coordination Service’s Establishment Bylaw
Council directed administration to provide notification to the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George Board of directors their consent on behalf of the electors of the Village of McBride to the adoption of the RDFFG Fire Department Coordination Service Establishment Bylaw No. 1990, Amendment Bylaw No. 3235, 2021.
The amended bylaw states that the maximum amount which may be requisitioned annually for the purpose of providing a fire department coordination service shall be $156,250. This will result in an increase of approximately $0.25 on a home valued at $100,000.
Council gave the Council Procedure Amendment Bylaw 804, 2021 Final Reading and Adoption.
Council approved the updated snow and ice policy PW-01.2 after some discussion around wording and some of the snow removal plan and schedule.
The policy states that there will be no parking on main street from 4-8am during snow events during the winter season.
In order of priority: Main Street, secondary route, Robson Centre, frontage roads, fire hydrant – one metre clearance, residential areas, transfer station, commercial lanes, lanes, other public spaces.
Visitor Centre Renewal
Council approved the extension of the Visitor Information centre Operations agreement between the Village of McBride and the McBride & District Chamber of Commerce until December 31, 2022. Council approved a letter confirming the McBride & District Chamber of Commerce as the Sponsor Organization and sole provider of community visitor centre services in the Village of McBride.
Main Street Revitalization Capital Program
Council directed staff to prepare a grant application to Northern Development Initiative Trust from the Main Street Revitalization Capital Program for replacement of the Village’s ornamental lighting on main street with input from the Community Revitalization and Beautification Committee and Council.
Building service agreement
Council approved the 2022 Building Inspection Service Agreement as presented, and authorized Mayor Runtz and CAO Tupy to execute the agreement. CAO Tupy will look into the possibility of including WETT inspection services to the contract.
Grant support given
Council moved to support the Village of McBride grant application to the Northern Development Initiative Trust for the Grant Writing Support program for 2022, and agreed to support the overall grant management.
Possible new flagpoles
Council directed staff to investigate options with costs for the flagpoles in front of the Village office that reduce the dependence on outside agencies to change out the flag after Remembrance Day.
Council approved the 2022 Regular Council Meeting schedule.
Council appointed Councillor Hruby as the voting representative of the Trans Canada Yellowhead Highway Association for the Village of McBride.
First Nation Flags
Prompted by a request from the Mayor, Council discussed the possibility of hanging the flags of the First Nation communities represented in the area. However, it was decided that at this time, they will not be hanging any as to prevent any appearance of favouritism, as they do not have flags for all seven. Also, in the future, if they have all seven flags, a discussion as to how to display them will need to occur.
RDFFG recent vote discussion
Council discussed a recent vote by the Regional District of Fraser Fort George board members around a natural gas extraction plant slated for the Pineview area of Prince George. A letter of concern had come from a former McBride resident who is affected by this proposal. She expressed that Councillor Frederick, who sits on the board, had voted in favor of the development. Frederick explained that the vote had been split, 7-7. Seven in favor of seeing the project move ahead, and seven voted to send it to the Agricultural Land Commission. Frederick was in favour of the latter. There are still several steps the project would have to clear, including rezoning and public hearing and input, if the ALC approves it.
Council moved to an in-camera session 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 harm the interests of the municipality; (i) the receipt of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege including communications necessary for that purpose, 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.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:02pm.