By Andrea Arnold

Mayor Torgerson called the Valemount Council meeting to order on Tues Jan 24. Councillors Pete Pearson and Councillor Hugo Mulyk attended via Zoom.

Electronic attendance

Council directed staff to draft a policy with respect to electronic meetings to supplement section 10 of Village of Valemount Council Procedure Bylaw No. 834, 2020 as amended. Currently, electronic attendance to In”┬ÉCamera Meetings is permitted only in the event of a health, environmental or safety emergency. A policy would allow council to make adjustments as they learn what is needed, without going through the process of amending a bylaw.

Grant management

Council voted to support the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George applying for, receiving, and managing grant funding on their behalf through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Disaster Risk Reduction – Climate Adaptation program.

Winter Festival

Council approved the proposed Winter Festival activities taking place on Village property, subject to all participating vendors obtaining the necessary liability insurance and naming the Village of Valemount as an additional insured party.

Council also approved the request to have Public Works assist in event preparation, subject to the Winter Festival organizers coordinating with the Superintendent of Public Works to confirm dates, times and availability of the public works staff. Councillor Hollie Blanchette issued a reminder that requests for public works staff will be given second priority to their regular duties.

Kukpi7 dinner attendance

Council moved to have administration send an RSVP indicating that Councillor Pearson, Councillor MacLean, Councillor Mulyk, Mayor Torgerson and CAO Depenau plan to attend the community dinner honouring former Kukpi7 (Chief) Shelly Loring.

Clean Air Task Force

Council directed staff to send a letter to Trans Mountain regarding village bylaws and adverse health effects related to idling vehicles to be distributed to their employees, general contractors and subcontractors. Council also voted to have the $5,000 that the task force received from the Ministry of Environment be allocated to the development of a web page dedicated solely to Clean Air education and initiatives.

Road Dedication – Village owned property on Ash Street  

Councillor MacLean recused herself as the chair of the seniors society. Councillor Mulyk also recused himself due to involvement with the society.

Council directed staff to proceed with the dedication of a road on the property legally described as Parcel D (R22478) of the South 1/2 of the Northeast 1/4 Of District Lot 7355 Cariboo District Except: Part Subdivided by Plan BCP1223. Planner Krista Etty said that area will house the infrastructure for the senior housing development and a future paved walking trail similar to the Big Foot Trail. The original plan for this road caused removal of access to the community garden. The proposed road dedication will run north/south from 13th Ave to link to the remainder of the road closure in question (the road just south of the highschool.). This will result in better alignment with future roadwork for this property. Councillor Pearson pointed out that infrastructure is under the existing road preventing construction. 

Basin Charge Up Program

Council directed staff to apply to Columbia Basin Trust’s Basin Charge Up Program, up to the maximum amount of $75,000, to purchase an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle and associated costs. Council also directed staff to allocate the remaining funds from the local government climate action program up to the maximum amount of $25,000, to purchase an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. If an electric truck is not available to be purchased for Public Works, then there is an option to purchase an electric car for use by the Bylaw Officer and secondarily, for Village business.

Housing Needs assessment

Council voted to adopt the Housing Needs Assessment Report as present by consulting firm Spirited Exchanges on May 24, 2022. At the time of receipt, the report did not note the specific language of adoption. 

Municipal donations

Council approved Policy No. 89. Councillor Blanchette expressed concern that the proposed process for applying for a municipal donation is more difficult, and Councillor Pearson agreed. However, Councillor Pearson also said there are financial items that need to be tracked, and Councillor Mulyk agreed. This policy is being put in place to provide clarification on donation requests. It involves an application to apply for municipal donations that meet the spirit of waiving fees and donation approvals.

Municipal grants & Village Contributions to individuals or groups

Council voted to repeal Policy No. 5. and No. 37. These policies were replaced by the previously mentioned Policy No. 89.

Freedom of Information 

Council moved to adopt the Freedom of Information Bylaw No. 868, 2023. The new bylaw will update designations, eliminate redundancies and remove the fees and charges (as it has been added to the Fees and Charges Bylaw.)

Fees and charges 

Council rescinded the third reading of the Fees and charges Bylaw No. 869, 2023.

Council amended Schedule ‘A’ of Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 869,2023 to remove the fees for Home Occupation – Rural (business license) and Visitor Information Consignment Fee (those selling at the Visitor Information Centre pay a percentage of their profits to the VIC. Council gave the amended bylaw third reading.

Council remuneration

Council gave Council Remuneration Bylaw No 870, 2023 first, second and third reading. Following the original approval for council remuneration in October, two errors, a date and a policy number, were found within the bylaw and have been corrected and brought to council for approval.

Road closure

Council gave Road Closure Bylaw No. 872, 2023 first and second readings. The road in question is a portion of the road just south of the highschool. A new road will provide access to the portion of the road that will remain open.

In-Camera

Council moved to proceed to an in-camera meeting for the consideration of one item per Section 90 (1)(a) of the Community Charter to discuss matters related to 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.