By Andrea Arnold

Valemount Mayor Owen Torgerson began the meeting by calling a public hearing to address temporary use permit 22-07 for 1280 14th Ave proposing a temporary residential structure (RV) for up to two years. Hearing no comments from the public, the applicant or council, Mayor Torgerson adjourned the public meeting then called the regular meeting to order. Councillor Sheri Gee was absent from the evening’s proceedings.

Rob Gay, Chair of the Southeast BC Regional Connectivity Committee presented their 2022-2025 Strategic Plan. The committee—made up of the Village of Valemount, the Ktunaxa Nation Council, four Regional Districts, ex-officio members Columbia Basin Trust and the Province of BC—has been working together since 2013 to address high speed connectivity and mobility access challenges. They want to see affordable and accessible service available to all residents in the rural areas. The group aims to meet every six weeks to discuss issues and bring in relevant speakers. They also meet with government officials and keep everyone up to speed on what is happening and what the needs are. The Committee is asking for a letter of support from the Village of Valemount. 

Universal Broadband Fund has asked for 92 million dollars. This is split up as follows

Province – 19.5 million has been asked for. So far, about 16 million has been received

Local Gov -3.8 million has been received 

Columbia Basin Broadband Corp – 26 million as been received

Federal Government – 45 million has been asked for and through discussion, the committee is hopeful this is coming soon.

Gay would like to see villages like Valemount offer highspeed services to residents, and that be a draw for people looking to move from cities.

In a motion following the presentation, Council moved to support the Southeast BC Regional Connectivity Committee’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan.

Tent rental fee request

Councillor McLean recused herself as a member of the Valemount Senior Citizens Housing Society Board. Council moved to waive the tent rental fees for the Valemount Senior Citizens Housing Society for the event on September 17, 2022, subject to provision of the required damage deposit to the Village of Valemount prior to the event, and compliance with the requirements of Policy No. 12, Rental of Village Facilities and Property.

VARDA road closure request

Mayor Torgerson recused himself as a member of VARDA’s board of directors. Council agreed to VARDA”s request for the closure of the following from 9:30 AM to 10:45 AM on Sunday, September 18, 2022 to vehicle traffic, Main Street between the North entrance to Vale Coffee and the access road to the bike park and 5th Avenue between Ash and the railway crossing. VARDA made the request to facilitate a cross country mountain bike race shotgun start.

 Canadian Geothermal Energy Association

Council agreed to provide a letter to the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association in support of their efforts to seek funding to deliver educational workshops throughout rural and remote communities in Canada. 

Duck Pluck

Council granted permission to Firm Foundation Christian Outreach to hold the draw for the Yellow Duck Pluck Raffle at the Valemount Children’s Activity Centre at 101 Gorse Street on Aug 28th.

Council of Forest Industries Community dinner

Mayor Torgerson will be attending the Council of Forest Industries Community dinner on September 22, 2022 in Prince George.

Accounts Payable – July 2022 

Council received the report for information. All expenses for July are within the current budget.

2022 Second Quarterly Budget Report

Council received the report for information. All revenues and expenses are within the current budget with no issues of concern.

Project Update Report 

Council received the report for information. The ongoing projects listed in the report are: Dogwood/17th Ave/East area lift stations – Staff will be seeking approval to apply for a loan from the Municipal Finance Authority

Daycare Infrastructure – Construction and budget are on track. More funding was needed to get the project to lockup. That funding was approved by the village.

Swift Creek Restoration – Rocks have been assessed to ensure they meet the specs required for installation into Swift Creek. Rocks will begin to be delivered near the creek ready to be placed in the creek once the water is low enough.

Garbage Truck Purchase – A purchase order has been provided to Rollins Machinery and the village is waiting for delivery of the vehicle, scheduled for the end of 2022. 

Centennial Public Washrooms – Rectec Industries needs to install baby changing tables and adjust programming and then the public washrooms will be finalized.      

Automatic Doors – The Village received a grant to install a new automatic door at the community services building and to upgrade the automatic door at the Community Hall. A Plus Automatic Doors from Prince George has been contracted for the supply and install and will be arriving in September to complete the project.  

Community Hall Generator – A request for quotes was recently issued and will be closing next week.   

Big Foot Benches/Garbage Bins – Three cement pads still need to be poured, Public Works is finishing the assembly of benches and installation of benches and garbage bins will be completed early September.   

Village Entrance Sign – Staff will be reviewing details required for the Request for Quotes and hope to have posted next month.  

Staff Housing – Council is reviewing options at this time. 

Cancellation of meeting 

Council received the report for information. The bylaw states that following an election, the first meeting must be held within the first 10 days of November. 

2022 Climate Report 

Council approved the 2021 Climate Action Survey Program Report for public posting. 

Wood Stove Reduction Program 

Council directed staff to apply to the Ministry of Environment to continue the Community Wood Smoke Reduction Program through 2023.

Regional Land Use Planning

Council moved to renew the Village of Valemount RDFFG Regional Land Use Planning Services Agreement for a four-year term from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2026. 

Subdivision Application

Councillor McLean again recused herself as a member of the executive for the Valemount Senior Citizens Housing Society Council agreed that the society be authorized to act as agent on the application for the subdivision of Parcel D (R22478) of the south 1/2 of the north east 1/4 of District Lot 7355 Cariboo District except: part subdivided by plan BCP1223.

Permissive Tax Exemptions 

Council agreed to address the five proposed tax exceptions as a block. Council agreed to a 25% tax exemption for the following organizations for the 2023 tax year: Valemount Curling Club, Valemount & District Royal Canadian Legion Branch #266, Valemount Affordable Rental Society, Valemount Lions Club and Valemount Learning Society

Dogwood Lift Station Funds

Council directed staff to begin the process of borrowing funds from the Municipal Finance Authority for the purpose of funding the Dogwood lift station replacement.

Sole Sourcing of Swift Creek project 

Council approved sole sourcing BC Stone Corp in the amount of $200,000 for the purpose of supplying and placing material for the Swift Creek Restoration Project.

Temporary Use Permits

Council granted initial approval for TUP 22-02 for 65 Ash Street proposing a temporary residential structure for up to two years.

Councillor Blanchette removed herself from the following motion as the applicant is a family member. Council gave final approval for TUP 22-05 for 1280 14th Ave proposing a temporary residential structure for up to two years.

Community Hall Generator 

Council moved to accept the bid from Westcana Electric in the amount of $160,000 (+ gst) for the supply and installation of a generator at the Community Hall.

Council Procedure amendment

Council gave the Village of Valemount Council Procedure Bylaw No. 834, 2020, Amendment Bylaw No. 862, 2022 first and second reading. The new bylaw will allow more than one council or committee member, including the chairperson, to attend an open meeting electronically. It will allow all members of council or a committee to participate electronically if proper notice is given stating how and where the meeting is to be conducted and the public is provided a way to watch or hear the proceedings.

In camera

Council moved to an in camera meeting for consideration of two items per Section 90 (1) (e) the acquisition disposition or expropriation of land of improvements, if the council considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality and (k) negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are at their preliminary stages and theat, in the view of the council, could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality if they were held in public.

The public portion of the meeting was adjourned.