By Andrea Arnold

The April 11, 2023 McBride council meeting was called to order by Mayor Gene Runtz at 7:00pm.

Public comment

Kenton Bressette addressed council with concerns regarding the state of the Bill Clark Ball Diamond, specifically the infield. He commented that the work that has been done on the park looks amazing, but that with the newly renovated facility almost ready for action, the additional use may create issues if the infield is not also improved. He brought up the lack of drainage from the infield, commenting that it’s currently flooded, and the ground is unlevel. This creates several problems. He also said the grass has grown into the infield, creating a ridge between the gravel and the grass. This becomes a safety issue because when grounders are hit, the roll until the ridge then bounces at great speed into the face of an unexpecting shortstop. He and other ball players he has spoken to would like to see the grass peeled back six to eight more feet. 

McBride CFO Sandy Salt said that although infield work was not a part of the grant that has allowed the park face lift, Village staff are looking into funding options to improve the playing surface as well. She commented that red clay was being explored as an option. Both Bressette and Councillor Joe Kolida requested that other options are looked into, as the red clay is notorious for leaving scars and scrapes on players. Bressette said the material currently on the ground is actually really nice, that it doesn’t even hurt too bad when you slide, but that it is not level.

CFO Salt said that the Village is working to figure out what insurance plan needs to be in place to have volunteers maintain the park, and Mayor Runtz said that the Elks and Royal Purple are also trying to figure out a way to allow volunteer maintenance to occur.  Bressette himself volunteered to provide upkeep throughout the season if given the go ahead once initial improvements were made. CFO Salt suggested that the three parties, Village, Elks and Royal Purple, and representation from the ball community meet to discuss options and decide on a plan.

Tourism committee addition

Council approved a resolution by McBride Tourism Committee appointing Georgina Kirby of the Bell Mountain Motel to the Committee to fill the vacant position representing the accommodation sector.

Pioneer Days requests from Elks/Royal Purple

As part of the Elks, Mayor Runtz recused himself for the duration of these items.

Council approved the application for Temporary Street Closures of Main Street and Holdway Street from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue from 6:00 pm Friday June 2nd, to 6:00 pm Sunday June 4th, 2023, contingent on receipt of a Certificate of Insurance. Council also approved the use of village-owned barricades for the closures.

Council approved the application for Beer Garden Endorsement for Pioneer Days June 3rd – 4th, 2023. Council also approved the request to place a portable outhouse at the South West End Bill Clark Memorial Park for use during Pioneer Days, in adherence to Village of McBride Policy AD-15 Portable/Temporary toilets.  

Council directed Administration to perform an assessment of Bill Clark Memorial Park, and form a plan to ensure the infield is ready in time for Pioneer days. Once the assessment is complete, administration will write a letter to the Elks/Royal Purple informing them of the condition of the infield so they can plan accordingly.   

Council approved a $250 Grant-in-Aid to McBride Elks & Royal Purple to support Pioneer Days insurance costs, prizes for the parade, logger’s event or additional equipment for the food booth.  

Grad invitation

Council directed Administration to respond to the 2023 Graduation Class confirming attendance of Mayor Runtz to the 2023 Graduation/Awards Ceremony on Saturday, June 24th, 2023 at 2:30 p.m. in the McBride Secondary Auditorium.  


Council directed Administration to reply to the Village of Valemount invitation to the Council-to-Council meeting on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 –10:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m. confirming the attendance of the following members of Council along with the Interim Chief Administrative Officer Ms. Salt. Mayor Runtz, Councillor Glen Frear, and Councillor Joe Kolida. Councillor Peter Caputo may also attend.

Old Growth Strategic Review Implementation Workshops

Council directed administration to register the following members of Council

for Tuesday, April 25th, 2023, 9:30 a.m.– 4:00 p.m. Virtual Old Growth Strategic Review Implementation Workshop session in Prince George: Mayor Runtz, Councillor Kolida and Councillor Caputo.

Growing Communities Reserve Fund

Council gave final reading and adopted the Growing Communities Fund Reserve Bylaw 814, 2023. 

Development permit

Council approved Development Permit application 2022-02, and authorizes the CAO to issue the permit and register with the Land Title Authority of BC. The application, submitted by Zach Haugen, 3 Peaks Mechanical proposes a renovation to the existing shop as well as a new concrete pad on the rear side of the building to act as a rear apron and for a used engine oil storage tank to be securely placed on.

Marketing Initiatives Program

Council directed staff to prepare an application to Northern Development Initiative Trust’s Marketing Initiative Program for the website project and bring cost estimates back to Council at a future meeting for a resolution of support for the project. The funding available is up to $20,000 to a maximum of 50 percent of the eligible project budget.

Community to Community forum

Council directed staff to prepare an application to UBCM’s Regional Community to Community program and bring cost estimates back to Council at a future meeting to secure a resolution.

Council defeated the motion directing staff to contact the Village of Valemount to discuss organizing a joint forum with Simpcw First Nation, as Valemount is already hosting a similar gathering.

In Camera

Council proceed to an In-Camera Council Meeting for consideration of matters of the Community Charter related to: Section 90 (1): (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; (k) negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are at their preliminary stage 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; as well as section 90 (2): b) the consideration of information received and held in confidence relating to negotiations between the municipality and a provincial government or the federal government or both, or between a provincial government or the federal government or both and a third party.  

The public portion of the meeting was adjourned at 7:53pm.