By Andrea Arnold
Mayor Gene Runtz called the Oct 24th Council meeting to order at 7:03pm.
Dominion Creek Community Drinking Water System Upgrade
Council approved a budget of up to $10,000 for the purchase and installation of flow meters in Dominion Creek.
Council also approved a budget of up to $2,000 to update the Village of McBride Community Water System Emergency Response Plan to address low source water flows.
The third recommendation regarding the upgrade generated discussion regarding using Local Government Climate Action Program funds to conduct a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment. Interim CAO Sandy Salt mentioned that this money can not be used for infrastructure. Councillor Joe Kolida asked if the assessment is a required thing or if the money could go to more immediate action like locating another water source, finding out if and where a well can be dug. He would like to have more information about what will come out of the assessment before designating money.
Mayor Runtz also would like to know what can be done now. He is wanting to take action to prevent a more dire situation from occurring in the winter. He asked how long this assessment, and the subsequent steps will take to complete.
Interim CAO Salt said that the assessment and other studies needed will not be completed to the point of action in time for this winter. Economic Development Officer, Karen Dube told council that this assessment is part of the Village’s due diligence and it needs to be in place to form the backbone for application for grants. Council decided to proceed with allowing the funds to be used for the assessment.
Councillor Joe Kolida asked for a discussion regarding a requirement issued to the fire department asking them to have the appropriate insurance in place prior to the fireworks display planned on October 31. This is the first time that this has been a requirement in the 32 years that the Fire Association has been doing displays. Councillor Kolida expressed concern that the short notice given to the department of the requirement may result in the event being cancelled. He asked if this year, the requirement could be waived.
The fireworks are not presented by the McBride District Fire Department, but by the Association. It is a separate entity that can not afford to carry the expense of the insurance that is being required said member Christine Monroe The possibility of the Regional District having the needed insurance was addressed, and Interim CAO Salt said that she would check.
Hotdogs and hot chocolate
Council approved the Elks and Royal Purple’s request to use the power to serve hotdogs and hot chocolate at the Steve Kolida Park Pavilion for Halloween on Oct 31 and Bung Bung on Nov 24.
Council gave final reading and adoption to Permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw No, 821, 2023. As per the Community Charter Chapter 26, Part 7, Division 6, Section 220 (1) (h), the following property is exempt from taxation; a building set apart for public worship, and the land on which the building stands, if title to the land is registered in the name of (i) the religious organization using the building, (ii) trustees for the use of that organization, or (iii) a religious organization granting a lease of the building and land to be used solely for public worship. The following organizations qualify. St. Paul’s United Church, Roman Catholic Episcopal and parish, Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada and the McBride Evangelical Free Church.
Council gave third reading to Business Licence Bylaw Amendment No. 820, 2023 and Sign Bylaw Amendment No. 819, 2023. The adjustments to the previously existing bylaws were needed following the adoption of the cannabis retail business license and signage. The changes were proposed by McElhanney planners Kevin Brooks and Makayla Berger following the zoning bylaw change to allow cannabis retail establishments. The changes will ensure that proper protocols are followed in regards to signs and business licenses that may follow
By a vote of 4-1 the motion to give Water Bylaw No. 822, 2023 second and third reading was defeated. Council discussed their concerns regarding many of the points within the bylaw. Councillor Kolida, and Councillor Tina Bennett both said that they have many questions that they need to have answered before they are comfortable with moving ahead. Interim CAO suggested that they give the bylaw second reading and schedule special meetings over the next week to allow the bylaw to be passed by the end of the month, as the Province is expecting the passed bylaw to be in place by then. Councillor Peter Caputo also had some questions he wanted answered, so he suggested they proceed with only the second reading, allowing time for all councillors to submit questions to Village staff for clarification.
This motion was also defeated resulting in no readings given to the presented bylaw.
Council proceeded to an In-camera council meeting for consideration of matters of the Community Charter related to Section 90 (1) (c ) Labour relations or other employee relations.
The regular meeting was recessed at 8:12pm to conduct the in-camera meeting.