By Andrea Arnold
Mayor Gene Runtz called the Tues, Jan 23, 2024 McBride Council meeting to order at 6:00pm.
Letter of Support
Dannielle Alan presented to Council on behalf of the McBride Visitor Centre requesting a letter of support regarding a Destination BC Grant opportunity. The opportunity is a grant up to $40,000 to help develop Iconic Experiences within a community. The hope is that these experiences will create emotional connections that bring visitors back repeatedly. If the money is granted, it will go towards projects that will help the visitor experience many different aspects of the valley.
In partnership with the Beautification Committee and Tourism Committee, the Visitor Centre is proposing banners be created and displayed on the new light posts along Main Street illustrating some of the unique experiences/features the valley has to offer.
Visitors would be able to pick up a booklet and map from the Visitor Centre that would guide them through the village and direct them to the new tourism website. The site will contain video, audio, maps and pictures that will hopefully encourage further exploration. Each of the banners will also display a QR code that, when scanned, will take visitors to the website as well
Some of the ideas that have been presented as far as banner images include the Ancient Forest, the story of the rescue of Belle and Sundance, the Goat River Trail and cable car crossing, the history of skiing – Belle Mountain, Loos, and the Olympic training course.
Council passed the motion to provide Alan with the requested letter of support for the project.
Lighting project to continue
Council voted to support the submission of an application to Northern Development Initiative Trust from theVillage for the McBrideMain Street Lighting Replacement Project – Phase 2, Option A, to a maximum project cost of $246,835. This option includes nine new streetlights, extending along Main Street from the Welcome Arch to Highway 16, two additional street lights extended into SW Frontage, and one tall four-armed streetlight for the Robson Centre parking lot. All of these lights will be the same style as the new lights that were installed along Main Street in July 2023 during Phase 1 of the lighting project.
Council also voted to support the project and commit to any associated ineligible costs and any cost overruns.
Housing Summit attendance
Council discussed the invitation from Councillor Trish Mandewo, UBCM President to register for the 2024 Housing Summit. Councillor Joe Kolida expressed interest in finding out more about the summit. If there are topics that are of value to the McBride community, he will attend via Zoom.
Council gave final reading and adoption to Sign Bylaw Amendment No. 825, 2024. This bylaw will ensure that signs for cannabis retail remain appropriate and fall within set parameters set through legislation from the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act.
Public Notice Bylaw
Council gave first, second and third reading to the Village of McBride Public Notice Bylaw No. 826, 2024. This bylaw, if adopted, will allow the Village to use other methods, aside from advertising in the newspaper, to give public notice. The reasoning behind this action is that it will save approximately $700 for the previously required two weeks notice in the newspaper, and it will save staff time through processing.
Council approved the 2024 Budget Schedule as presented. There are a few dates when some of the Councillors will have to attend via Zoom, and it is possible that the Mayor may not be able to attend at all due to work commitments, weather permitting.
Grant writing funding
Council directed staff to submit an application to Northern Development Initiative Trust for the Grant Writing Support Program in the amount of $8,000.
Council directed staff to submit an application to the BC hydro Community ReGreening program for up to $7,500 towards a project that will see all deciduous, ornamental trees planted in municipal parks in McBride, on Main Street and the cemetery.
Council proceeded to an in-camera meeting for consideration of matters of the Community Charter related to section 90 (1), (c ) Labour relations or other employee relations, and (k) negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal; some that are at their preliminary stage and that in the views of the council, could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality if they were held in public.