By Andrea Arnold

Deputy Mayor Diane Smith called the Tues Sept. 28. McBride Council meeting to order at 7:00pm. Mayor Runtz was not in attendance.
Resident concerns
Robert Collins Jr. addressed Council with concerns regarding fines placed on residents, many who are aging, because of their inability to clear snow or maintain their property to bylaw standards. He volunteers his time to help his neighbors clear snow. He discussed the state of the sidewalk along second avenue and how it should have been replaced several years ago when work was being done on the street. He also expressed concern that the telephone line going into his house is low and has been pulled by passing trucks.
Community Hall, Rec Centre local governance proposal
Dale Stevens spoke on behalf of the Robson Valley Community Consultation Committee. Also present to support him were committee member Sheilagh Foster and Area H RDFFG representative Dannielle Alan. They came with the request to have a letter of support as the committee proposes a change in the governance of the Community hall and the Rec Centre, returning the governance to the people of the valley.
The committee believes there has been a deterioration of management of the community hall and arena over the past several years. The committee says the directions from the Regional District lately have come down as edicts. Stevens said regional districts are supposed to be consensual organizations, making decisions based on what communities want. This has not been the case.
Since Lyle Lewis retired no new manager has been hired for the area. Stevens has confirmation that there were locals that applied for the position, but they were knocked out in the first round of interviews. There is concern that if they don’t find someone for the position, the Regional District might start managing using a different method, and not have someone situated in town.
Stevens says that the budget in the last while has been presented as final, with no room for discussion or consultation. When the curling club lease was up for renewal, the RDFFG made drastic changes to the agreement. For instance, the Old-age pensioners association user agreement for the rec centre was removed. After backlash from the group and the community, the group membership was reinstated at a higher amount.
None of these decisions were made with any consultation with either the Robson Valley Community Consultation Committee or the facility manager, said Stevens.
A new sound system in the hall has been on the list of upgrades for five years. Stevens has been told several times that it would be addressed. However, when the budget was rolled out, the sound system was not included. Only recently, with pressure from the committee, the funds for the system were released by the Regional District, and progress is being made.
Stevens said the decision to not install ice was made by Prince George even though they knew the parts would not be in until spring. Booking and purchasing are also being done in Prince George.
The committee plans to consult with staff, public, user groups and council as they work through the process of proposing that a local non-profit guide decisions on these two properties and bring it back to the community. They say the change will result in better local input on decisions and a reduced cost to residents for hall use.
Council moved to direct staff to write a letter in support of the proposal, before the election and new councillors take their seats.
Minister gifts
Council moved to retroactively purchase two bags of coffee for each of the ministers they met with during the 2022 Union of BC Municipalities Conference.
Flood mapping and mitigation
Council moved to rescind Resolution 1207263.22, and pass the following similar motion directing staff to prepare a joint application and cost estimates, working with the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George and member municipalities. (The previous resolution was for an independent application). If successful, the community would use the money for a project that would include Flood Risk Mapping, Risk Assessments and Mitigation Strategies for the Fraser River, Shelby Creek and Dominion Creek. Council directed staff to prepare the application and bring it back to Council for review at a future meeting prior to submitting it to the UBCM Disaster Risk Reduction – Climate Adaptation Program by next intake in February 2023.
Splash park momentum
Council moved to support the Community Revitalization and Beautification Committee’s recommendation that a Splash Park Steering Committee be formed as soon as possible to capitalize on community momentum for the project. Council also voted to direct staff to develop Terms of Reference for a Splash Park Steering Committee to bring back to Council at a further meeting.
New Deputy Chief Election Officer for 2022 Election
Council moved to remove CAO Tupy as the Deputy Chief Election Officer as he is unable to complete the duties due to circumstances beyond his control. Council moved to appoint Finance Coordinator Sherry Flynn as the Deputy Chief Election Officer for the 2022 Municipal Election year. Councillor Green pointed out that when CAO Tupy was appointed, remuneration of $1000 was included in the appointment. However, as Finance Coordinator Flynn’s pay schedule is different from CAO Tupy and allows for overtime, Councillor Green made the motion to remove the $1000 from the job. Council voted all in favor of the action.
Development Variance Permit
Council directed staff to send out notifications to the landowners adjacent to 510 Dominion as required under the local government act prior to bringing the proposed Development Variance Permit back for final consideration and Council approval. The request is to increase the maximum allowable accessory building area from 70 square metres to 114 square metres to allow the construction of a 400-square-foot addition to an accessory building.
Funds transfer
Council approved the transfer of $1,500,000 from the NBC Northern Capital Planning Grant reserve PHIS Account for Capital expenditures, to the Scotiabank general checking account, and further Council authorized CAO Tupy to digitally sign the transfer transaction on behalf of Council.
In camera
Council moved to proceed to an in-Camera Council meeting for consideration of matters of the Community Charter related to Section 90 (1) (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; (g) litigation or potential litigation affecting the municipality; (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 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; and (o) the consideration of whether the authority under section 91 [other persons attending closed meetings] should be exercised in relation to a council meeting.
The public portion of the meeting adjourned at 7:47pm.