By Andrea Arnold

Valemount Mayor Owen Torgerson started the Valemount Council meeting on Tues Sept. 27th, with a public hearing to discuss Temporary Use Permit 22-02 for 65 Ash Street proposing a temporary residential structure for up to two years. No written submissions, verbal presentations from the public or the applicant, or questions from staff were received.
Following the public hearing, Mayor Torgerson called the Council meeting to order.
Out of in camera
Item 15.1 from the in-camera meeting on August 23, 2022, was brought forward in the minutes from the in-camera portion. The item addressed housing options for 1155 6th Ave. Council passed a motion to change the scope of the project to “creating housing for Northern Health staff members” and the budget increased by $140,000 ($100,000 to be offset by Northern Health grant). Mayor Torgerson commented that these specifics may have to change again in the coming weeks based on varying proposals, partnerships and design.
Operation Life Saver – Roger Cyr Community Award
The community of Valemount was presented with the Operation Life Saver – Roger Cyr Community Award. This award, named after Operation Life Saver’s founder, recognizes individuals and communities that are doing outstanding work to prevent railway trespassing incidents and reduce deaths and injuries at rail crossings. Traditionally, this award is given to an individual, however, this year, the organization is presenting a second award for the first time, to a community. The letter stated that Valemount was chosen for its impressive efforts to prevent track tragedies. The letter went on to explain that the decision to present Valemount with this award was based on the support of Councillor Pearson on the BC Operation Life Saver Committee, the installation of the “Look, Listen, Live” decals at key pedestrian crossings in 2021, and Operation Life Saver videos aired on local tv to education the community about track safety.
CBT update
Johnny Strilaeff, President and CEO brought a Columbia Basin Trust Organizational update to council. Strilaeff started with a congratulations to Mayor Torgerson for his re-appointment to the CBT Board.
Last year was the highest year in terms of revenue generated by CBT – approx 96 million generated from their investments. All money that is available for community support comes from their investments. From that 96, approximate 88 million was delivered in support to communities across the basin. 62 million in grants and initiatives, about 7 million for investments in basin businesses, real estate or other assets in the region, about 12 million into capital projects like the broadband expansion project. Strilaeff says the Trust is in a sound financial position to continue supporting the region well into the future.
The Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Program is their longest running program, starting in the early 1990s. It is a partnership between the Trust, local governments and First Nations. Each year, the Trust reviews a cross section of their existing programs to ensure they are still delivering value as was originally intended, that they align with their strategic priorities and they are being efficiently delivered to optimally benefit basin residents.
They used a third party to recently review this program this past year. The review showed that the program continues to provide the support to communities that it was created for. The following parts of the Trust will remain the same: the model – still the same partnership; same flexible form of support for community projects that incorporate public input and local decision making into their process and the funding allocation.
Needed refinements include: a merge the two programs, The Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Program into one – The Resident Directed or, REDI Program; The Basin committed a Five year commitment to the funding for the REDI program; an increase in administration funding to local governments and an increased commitment to have CBT staff present at community meetings.
The CBT Strategic plan ends at the end of 2023, and there are plans to renew the plan. They plan to go out to communities and get input from residents as to what they would like to see the CBT support. This will begin with smaller groups then transition to bigger forums in the spring of 2023. Under the banner “Our trust, Our future.” They will allow for In person, online, written opportunities for feedback.
Natural Resources forum
Council passed the motion to have Mayor Torgerson and Councillor Pearson attend the BC Natural Resources Forum in January.
Accounts Payable report
Council received the August 2022 accounts payable report.
Sign ownership transfer
Council approved the transfer of ownership of the five tourism related billboards “” signs from the Village to Tourism Valemount.
Temporary residential structure
Council approved temporary use permit 22-02 for 65 Ash Street proposing a temporary residential structure for up to two years.
Waterline extension denied
Council denied the request to have Village water service extended outside of Village boundaries, specifically to: 1000 Cranberry Lake Road. The community charter section 13 states that the municipality may provide a service in an area outside the municipality but must first have consent from the Regional District. According to the report provided by staff, past similar applications have been denied setting precedent due to resource restraints, maintenance issues, and bylaw restraints.
Bylaw and Policies
Council gave the Village of Valemount Council Procedure Amendment Bylaw No. 834, 2020 Amendment Bylaw No., 862, 2022 be given third reading. This amended bylaw would remove limits on the number of Council members who can digitally attend Council meetings. Council adopted the Village of Valemount Five-Year Financial Plan Bylaw No. 657, Amendment Bylaw No, 863, 2022 be adopted as presented. The amendment was made to deal with the additional costs ($140,000) for the housing unit at 1155 6th Ave.
Council adopted the Village of Valemount Permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw No. 867, 2022 as presented. The following groups will be granted a 25 per cent tax exemption 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.
Council gave the Village of Valemount fees and Charges Bylaw 699, 2013 Amendment Bylaw No 866, 2022 first, second and third reading. Council Remuneration increase for 2023 has been calculated at 3.4%.
Council approved the Village of Valemount Driveway Permit Application Procedures Policy No. 87, 2022. Council moved to appoint the planner to fulfill the duties set out in Schedule “B”, section 2.07 of the Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw No. 450, 1998 for the processing and approval of Driveway Permit Applications.
Following Councillor reports and no public comments, Mayor Torgerson adjourned the meeting.