By Andrea Arnold

Mayor Gene Runtz called the McBride Council meeting to order at 7:00 pm on August 22, 2023. Also attending in chambers were Councillors Peitro Caputo, Glen Frear, Joe Kolida, four village staff, two representatives from Radloff and Associates and eight members of the public. 

Public hearing

The regular meeting was recessed at 7:01 pm to conduct the Public Hearing for the Proposed Zoning amendment Bylaw No. 818, 2023. 

If the bylaw is passed, The Village of McBride Zoning Bylaw No. 703, 2021 will be amended to include IH-1 zone under section 5.1. The use of land buildings and structures is restricted to  residential-institutional housing and includes the following accessory uses are permitted, assembly hall, commercial kitchen, home craft, home occupation, professional services, recreational facilities, retail, service commercial, and accessory dwellings for the short-term housing of medical residency staff and students

Planning Consultant Makayla Berger from McElhanney presented to Council. Berger said that the new zone aligns with the community’s needs for housing by opening up more construction options and usable land and that it also falls within the desire for McBride to be “Age Friendly.”

Interim Corporate Officer Sandy Salt read a letter from CN regarding the proposed zone. They expressed appreciation that their concerns were being considered. They said that they have concerns of developments for sensitive use being within close proximity to the railway. Specifically, they addressed five areas. They requested that a noise consultant be brought in to ensure noise levels are not too much. They wanted to monitor vibration conditions. They asked that their right of way be considered as they may use that space in future years. They stated that they will not be responsible for any complaints that come from people within the development if it goes ahead and lastly they asked that storm runoff not affect the railway in any way.

McBride resident Al Bernie spoke saying he was in support of the new bylaw. He wants to see the proposed Legacy (seniors housing) project get going and that it will be a great asset to the village. He believes roadblocks were put in the way during previous terms and would like to see this council allow it to proceed, and that this new bylaw is a way for that to happen.

No further comments were brought forward. The public hearing was closed and the regular meeting resumed.

Water conservation importance

David Franzman and Rob Radloff from Radloff and Associates presented to Council regarding impacts of drought on the Dominion Creek Community Drinking Water System. 

Franzman suggested that in addition to amending the bylaw the Village look for an alternate backup water source, the Village of McBride Water Emergency Response Plan be edited to include procedures required in the event of low flows in Dominion Creek and to educate the public. 

Council directed staff to undertake the required amendment to the Village of McBride Water Emergency Response Plan to add procedures required in the event of low flows in Dominion Creek.

Council direct staff to communicate the Village of McBride Watering Restrictions as outlined in Water Bylaw No. 737, 2013, including communication through the following methods: postal mailout, posting on Village Facebook, posting on Village website. Council also directed staff to schedule a Town Hall meeting on September 28, 2023 for the purposes of providing information to the community on the current drought situation.

Further, Council asked that key stakeholders are invited to attend and provide an update from their respective organizations. See full story on page 3.

CAO sworn in 

Interim Corporate Officer Sandy Salt administered the Oath of Office to Leslie Groulx for the Interim Chief Administrative Officer position for the Village of McBride.

 Website update

Administration asked that Council support the selection of Kimbo Design Inc. as the successful consultant to conduct the Optimize Website Project. The project will allow visitors to the site to receive more up-to-date and accurate information. Council directs staff to enter into a contract with Kimbo Design Inc. in the amount of $36,500 (exclusive of taxes), with $18,500 from NDIT grant and $10,000 from 2023 Municipal Regional District (MRDT) budget, Council approves $8,250 from Municipal and Regional District Tax reserves towards this project.

Support letter

Councilor Kolida made a motion to write a letter to the City of Quesnel in support of their Highway 97 north-south interconnector project.

In camera

Council moved to an In- Camera council meeting for consideration of matters of the Community Charter related to Section 90 (1) (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.

The public portion of the meeting was recessed at 7:58pm.