By Andrea Arnold
Valemount Mayor Owen Torgerson took a moment as he called the final meeting of the 2018-2022 term Council meeting to order on Oct 11 to thank each of the members of Council for their hard work and service over the past four years. He thanked them for each teaching him something that has helped him better serve the community.
Men’s Shed support
Council moved to have administration write a letter of support to the Robson Valley Community Services for their grant application to the New Horizons for Seniors Programs for Robson Valley Men’s Sheds. Councillor Pearson said he is 100 per cent in support of the program, and would like to see an original letter of support sent, instead of the template provided by RVCS. He also asked administration to get clarification before sending the letter regarding how the grant will be applied for the staffing of the running the sheds – current male staff member vs. a new hire to run a volunteer program.
Council moved to have the Village of Valemount support the hanging of the Veteran’s banners, from October 15 – November 15. CAO Eric Depenau suggested that the item be moved to be a procedure ongoing, taking it off future agendas. This would mean public works would hang the banners each year without having to get Council’s approval. Council agreed to the adjustment.
Appointments to the Office of Councillor
Council received a report stating two options for a proposed appointment process. The first being a five day period, Oct 17-28 – to be received before 4:00pm on Oct 28 for anyone to submit a nomination for themselves. The second option allows for submissions over a three week period, Oct 17- Nov 7 – to be received before 4:00pm on Nov 4.
Councillor Pearson commented that he thought the longer nomination period would allow for more time to look at the potential candidates.
CAO Depenau said that although the final decision as to the timeline will be made by Village staff, they are looking for feedback from Council as to how they would like to see the process occur. They have made forms that will be available for residents to complete beginning Oct 17 and have created a mailout for the community with the job description that will have that form attached.
Inaugural Meeting of Council
Council voted to reschedule the inaugural meeting of the newly acclaimed council members for November 1.
Master plan submission
Council approved supporting, in principle, the master plan for 1000 Hillside Drive. A master plan is a high-level proposal for a subdivision of development that may include supporting studies and reports. This report is to request approval for the development of a single family residential dwelling on the property. Access to all utility and village services has been confirmed. The support is subject to the submission of appropriate information for any required development applications.
Council approved the waiving of development variance application fees associated with varying the setback requirements for both 1170 9th Ave and 1471 8th Place. The mobile homes at these addresses were put in place after the property owners received two separate building permits from the Village in May. The proposed interior side lot setbacks stated in their submitted plans for both units was 1.52 metres, which were, in error, approved. Staff is requesting that the variance fees associated with satisfying the impacted Village bylaws are waived.
Community Wildfire Readiness Support Program
Council directed to staff to apply to the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) – Community Wildfire Readiness Support Program for an amount up to $70,000. The funds would be used to provide sprinkler protection on municipal buildings.
Councillor Blanchette checked in with administration regarding a notice of motion she had put forward at a previous meeting regarding the status of bringing in sprinklers for residential buildings. CAO Depenau said that he would look into it and contact Logan Lake regarding the systems they have in place that helped save their village.
Business Facade Improvement Program
Council directed staff to apply to the Northern Development Initiative Trust – Business Facade Improvement Program in the amount up to $10,000, to continue the program through 2023.
Council adopted the Village of Council Procedure Bylaw No. 834, 2020, Amendment Bylaw No. 862, 2022 as presented. The amended bylaw will place no limit on the number of Council members attending any given meeting through a virtual platform.
Council adopted the Village of Valemount Council remuneration Bylaw No, 865, 2022 as presented. The new amounts, reflecting inflation rates, will increase the Mayor’s remuneration from $21,114.00 to $21,831.88 (difference of $717.88) and Councillors’ pay will increase from $10,847.00 to $11,215.80 (increase of $368.80).
Council adopted the Village of Valemount Fees and Charges Bylaw 699, 2013, Amendment Bylaw No 866, 2022 as presented. The following increases have been incorporated into the amended bylaw: water rates – seven per cent, sewer rates – eight per cent and solid waste rates five and half per cent. These increases follow the council approved guidelines of Urban Systems “Improving Asset Management Planning at the Village of Valemount Report,” presented at the Sept 27 meeting. The increases will continue over the next 10 years – general taxation 2.5 per cent, water user fees four per cent and sewer user fees 5 per cent. Each of these will also have an added 3 per cent to cover inflation.
Additionally, the following increases have also been incorporated:
Future solid waste collection container lease amounts to facilitate bear resistant garbage bins.
Visitor Information Centre Activity commission percentage rate increased 15 percent.
Party tent rental per day increased from $100.00 to $200.00.
Party tent assembly and disassembly includes a $150.00 charge.
Community hall kitchen rental janitorial increase from $50.00 to $100.00
Water on and off fee in winter includes an extra $50.00 + tax, and equipment use at cost.
Water and sewer service locate fees increase $25.00 + tax and in the winter, $50.00 + tax. Both seasons include equipment use at cost.
Sewage receiving station fees increased from $30.00 to $40.00 per cubic metre. This is to keep in line with Clearwater rates, and prevent extra strain from vendors using Valemount due to lower fees.
During the Council report portion of the meeting, Councillors Gee, Blanchette and Pearson expressed their appreciation for the other members around the table as the term comes to a close. Councillor MacLean was not present at the meeting.
Council proceeded to an in-camera meeting for the consideration of two items per Section 90 (1) (a) & (k) of the Community Charter to discuss matters related to (A) personal information about an identifiable individual who holds or is being considered for a position as an officer, employee or agent of the municipality or another position appointed by the municipality, and (k) negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are at the preliminary stages that, in the view of the council could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality if they were held in public.