By Andrea Arnold
Mayor Gene Runtz called the May 23rd McBride Council meeting to order at 7:03pm.
Council approved Sherri Flynn’s request as a parent of a 2023 graduate for the display of the “Congratulations McBride Graduates” banner from the “Welcome to McBride” arch on Main Street. Council also authorized administration to direct Public Works to hang the banner if required.
80th Anniversary invitation
Council directed administration to respond to the McBride Seventh Day Adventist Church and School confirming the attendance of Mayor Runtz at the Church and School’s Celebration of 80 Years in the Robson Valley on June 30, 2023 starting at 6:00pm with Mayor Runtz’s Welcome at 7:00pm. The Mayor will check his availability and may possibly also attend on July 1, 2023 at 11:00am at the McBride Seventh Day Adventist Church. Other members of Council will also rsvp as soon as schedules can be cross referenced.
Picnic table rental
Council directed administration to respond to Sasha Phillips regarding her request for the rental of the picnic tables from Phil & Jennie Gaglardi Park. Council decided against the request as they did not want to set a precedent, or have the park sit without picnic tables over the long weekend. They asked village staff to include in the reply a list of suggestions for other places that may be able to provide seating.
Council approved a request from the Royal Canadian Legion McBride Branch #75 for in-car bingo over the summer months. The request included the closure of Main Street between first and second avenues one Wednesday a month, June 7th, July 5th, August 2nd and September 6th from 5:00pm-9:00pm and that the village provided road barriers.
Kiyooka Land Trust
Council received an invitation for the Kiyooka Land Trust Celebration on Sunday May 28th. After discussion, Councillor Joe Kolida said that if he can, he will attend. Council voted to have his expenses covered if he does make the drive to Tete Jaune for the event.
Council received the correspondence from Adrienne Kovacs, Founder & CEO of Locum Home Inc. In the letter Kovacs explains that Locum Home is an online marketplace where people in every community across BC can list short-term/temporary accommodations for rent, but the only people that will have access to rent those accommodations are practicing healthcare professionals who are registered in BC. Council also directed administration to request a presentation to Council from Adrienne Kovacs at an upcoming Council Meeting to learn more about the program.
Seal Coating concerns
Councillor Kolida brought forward his concerns regarding the sealcoating planned for Highway 16 through the McBride area. He said that it is his understanding that the contractor intends to work on 10km stretches at a time creating the need for one lane traffic and pilot car in the middle of McBride’s tourist season.
More of a concern though, is the amount of dust that results from seal coating. His worry is for all of the frontage road businesses. Especially a place like Crazy Cones that does not have a wall, it is open to airborne elements. He does not understand why the decision was made to sealcoat instead of pave the corridor through town. It is a high traffic area and sealcoating is a short term fix. Through discussion, it was revealed that the start date for the work was to be May 23rd, but due to weather, they had not started. Also brought forward was concern by all members that the village was not consulted regarding methods or timing, in a decision that will affect all residents.
Due to the time sensitivity of the issue, Council voted to allow Councillor Kolida to personally call the Minister of Transportation as well as MLA Shirley Bond to not only express concerns, their displeasure at not being consulted, and the decision to sealcoat but also request that, especially in the corridor through town, extra dust mitigation be implemented. As the contract has been issued and work set to start, they are not expecting a change in the overall decision to sealcoat.
Council moved to an In-Camera meeting to consider matters of the Community charter related to Section 90 (1) (c) Labour Relations or other employee relations.