By Andrea Arnold
McBride Mayor Gene Runtz called the August 23, 2022 council meeting to order at 7:00pm.
Erik Groenenberg from R. Radloff & Associates Inc. presented the Village of McBride Asset Management and Maintenance Management Plans for Council’s information. The plan outlined the expected costs for maintaining utility services and buildings that fall under the village’s responsibility over the next 35 years, using today’s estimates. He also presented an excel sheet they created to help Public Works staff track repairs and maintenance.
Community Forest update
Patrick Penner, General Manager of McBride Community Forest Corporation, presented an update on MCFC’s operational plans for the remainder of 2022. He presented 10 maps showing planned logging blocks and/or road building projects. These maps showed work to be done up Lucille, the Minnow, LaSalle area and Little Falls Pit. MCFC’s goal is to extend their operating season from eight months to 10. He also commented that MCFC is working on ways to be more transparent, and to better communicate with the public. He also said that they have been working on building relationships with the local First Nations groups, and they feel that they have been successful in this so far.
Tourism Committee reformatted
With a vote of 4-1 (Councillor Hruby opposed), Council voted to rescind previous resolutions appointing members to the McBride Tourism Committee. At a previous meeting Council voted to decrease the number of people on the committee. Council has now directed staff to send a letter on behalf of the Mayor and Council to the previous committee members thanking them for their time on the committee and welcoming them to reapply for appointment.
Council requested that staff respond to any notices rejecting requests for meeting with ministers at the Union of BC Municipalities Convention and Awards event in Whistler BC with a follow-up request to meet with ministry staff to discuss concerns and questions.
Connecting the region
Council directed staff to write a letter to Honorable Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, in support of Northern Development Initiative trust’s request to have the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure co-fund an integrated booking platform for passenger transportation in Northern BC. The Trust is looking to jointly fund an application for “The Connected Network” that would integrate all inter-city passenger transportation services in the region. This would be done through existing European technology. The network consists of an app as well as a website, call centre support and public information campaign. NDIT is hoping the network will help residents locate to and continue to live in small, isolated communities.
Northern Health meeting
Council defeated the motion to schedule a meeting with Northern Health during the upcoming Union of BC Municipalities Convention and Awards event in Whistler BC. Some of the council recently met with Northern Health and felt the meeting was very informative, and that another meeting was not necessary at this time. Council directed staff to send a letter to Cathy Ulrich, President and Chief Executive Officer thanking her for the opportunity and explaining that they were pleased with the information that was provided, and that another meeting is not needed during UBCM.
Council of Forests Community dinner
Council directed staff to reply to an RSVP request for the Council of Forest Industries Community dinner in Prince George on September 22, 2022 for Mayor Runtz, Councillor Green and Councillor Smith.
Council voted to rescind resolution 21165 to repeal Financial Policy FN-01 and to adopt Financial Policy FI-04. This action will update the previous policy with procedures for electronic transfers for moving money from investment and pooled savings accounts held in different banks than our general spending account by means of EFT. Under normal spending circumstances, two signatures are required, one from Administration and one from Council. Since Council os not set up with online banking accounts, this gives staff the authority to sign on their behalf with a resolution. This also addressed housekeeping of procedures related to the finance department following the addition of a new permanent position of Finance Coordinator in 2021.
Council approved the submission of an application for funding to the 2022 UBCM Asset Management Planning Program for the McBride Sanitary Sewer Assessment Report Project, and council agreed to support overall grant management, if their application is accepted.
Regional Land Use Planning
Council confirmed the Village of McBride’s participation in the Regional Land Use Planning Services – Participation Agreement from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2026 at the rate of 0.2 per cent. This agreement allows full voting privileges for the Village of McBride director on all land use matters that come before the Regional District Board; upon request, land use planning advice and assistance from the RD’s professional planning staff and, upon request, land use planning consultation contract services at cost, by the RD.
Council proceeded to an in-camera council meeting for consideration of matters of the Community Charter related to Section 90 (1) (a) personal information about an identifiable individual who holds or is being considered for a position as an officer, employee or asgen of the municipality of another position appointed by the municipality, (c) labour relations or other employee relations, (i) the receipt of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose, (k) negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are in their preliminary stage and that, in the view of the council, could reasonably be expected to hard the interests of the municipality if they were held in public, and (o) the consideration of whether the authority under section 9 [other persons attending closed meetings] should be exercised in relation to a council meeting.
The regular council meeting was recessed at 8:33pm.