Village of McBride office
(Village of McBride)

By Andrea Arnold

The March 26, 2024 McBride council meeting was called to order by Mayor Gene Runtz at 6:02 p.m.

Airport project presentation

Stieg Hoeg, Accredited Airport Executive and former Prince George Airport General Manager made a presentation regarding the Airport Project. He has done extensive work and presented his thoughts on ways the Charlie Leake Airport in McBride could be improved without sinking a lot of money into improvements. See the full article in this week’s edition for more details.

Highway concerns

Council discussed a reminder from the Trans Canada Yellowhead Highway Association that the date to submit highway-related concerns to the association is April 26th. Council discussed the safety of the intersection at Main Street and the highway. They suggested dropping the speed limit to 60 or even 50, and extending it to Mountainview Road on the east side and the Westlund Road area on the west side. Also, they want to ask about the possibility of a turning lane on at the intersection at Koeneman road. Lastly, Council would like to see more webcams including weather stations, along the highway between McBride and Prince George as well as improved cell service.

Dunster Schoolhouse kitchen upgrade

Council directed staff to provide a letter of support to Shara Gustafson for her grant submission to Northern Development Initiative Trust. If the application is successful, the grant money will help create a more functional community kitchen in the Dunster Schoolhouse.

UBCM membership

Council approved the Village of McBride’s renewal of the Union of BC Municipalities annual membership.

Meeting Schedule change

Council approved the cancellation of the May 14th 2024 regular council meeting as they will all be out of town attending the 2024 North Central Local Government Association annual General Meeting and Convention in Smithers.

Chamber of Commerce update

Mayor Gene Runtz attended the last Chamber of Commerce meeting at the curling lounge and asked to present a verbal update. The Chamber is now at 13 members, and they are still looking for more members.

The two big items of discussion at the meeting were the closure of Scotiabank and the possibility of the credit union coming, and the second was the closure of the Renshaw snowmobile trail.

They also discussed the condition of the signs that are located at the pullouts on either end of town as well as the piles of gravel and other debris that is scattered around the pullouts. They want to work with the Tourism Committee to make improvements in this regard. Anything that is pavement is Emil Anderson’s responsibility.

Committee of the whole

Council moved to a Committee of the Whole meeting as per Part 7 of Council Procedure Bylaw No. 771, 2017. At 7:03pm the regular council meeting was recessed to allow for this transition.

The motion to receive the Draft 2024- 2028 Five Year Financial Plan for information and discussion was made.

Karen Stahl of cfo2go Consulting services Inc presented to council some of the budget development process. She reviewed best practices for budget development that are used by other local governments as well as guidelines issued by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. She told council she had updated the budget reporting tools to include additional schedules which will assist with more in-depth analysis of cost and revenues and their contributions to potential surpluses and deficits in order to ensure a balanced budget. 

She brought forward the Consolidated Budget Summary, the Water Treatment & Disposal Schedule, and the Water Transmission & Distribution Schedule as examples.

These items are not complete in the budget as numbers are expected to change with additional information coming in from external sources.

She walked through the process of creating a budget, where the numbers come from and how they work to balance it each year. Some of the numbers she used in the examples are not actual numbers within the Village of McBride budget. She created them to be able to explain the whole process with visual aids.

The committee of a whole was adjourned and the meeting returned to the regular meeting at 7:29pm.


Council voted to proceed 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 and (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.