GOLD RIVER VILLAGE COUNCIL June 15, 2015

Via Suzanne Trevis

GOLD RIVER VILLAGE COUNCIL
June 15, 2015

Present for the regular meeting were Mayor Brad Unger, Councillors Rod MacLeod, Darcy Curr, Gordon Waterman and Kirsty Begon. Administrator Larry Plourde was also present. There were four members of the public and the press in the gallery.

During Open Session Terry Robertson asked if the village had a bylaw to control cats. He knows that people have to license dogs, but he said he has far too many cats com-ing into his yard and he wants to know if the village has any control over the cat population. Staff advised that it was an issue in other places as well, but that in the past cats had been excluded from any kind of licensing etc. The administrator went on to say that they would look into it and report back to council.

Mr. Robertson also wanted to know what the issues were with the very out of date sign in front of the Nimpkish Plaza and the very out of date map on the wall at the Village Square Plaza. Suzanne Trevis advised that the Chamber of Commerce had indicated earlier this year that they were going to update the map. She also reported that various people, including previous versions of the Chamber, had contacted the Nimpkish Plaza owner over the past fifteen years asking for old signs to be removed. His response had generally been that they weren’t his problem, they were the responsibility of the business owner. Not much use to the community, when the business is long gone. Council decided to have staff check if the land owner is responsible for signage on the property.

Council added a letter from MMFN Administrator, Michael McGee to the agenda then proceeded to adopt the minutes from the Regular Meeting held June 1 and the Special Council Meeting held June 3.

There were three reports on the agenda. The first, from the Administrator was regarding the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program grant application that is being sought for the revitalization of Nimpkish Park. The project now includes:

• new water splash park
• new 500-600 sq ft post and beam open shelter pavilion
• a new picnic area with family focus
• new washroom(s) with handicap access and baby change station
• revamp existing kids play park (tot lot) with new toys/features
• revamp / resurface existing tennis court to multipurpose area for tennis, ball hockey, etc
• new benches / tables / waste receptacles / fountains, etc suitable to a family park.
• repairs to walking circuit
• irrigation / sprinkler system
• new entrance sign to Nimpkish Park

The total project cost is budgeted at $440,000 with half of that to be paid by the village and half to come (hopefully) from the Grant.

Council approved the application and voted to move forward with the project. Mayor Unger added a big thank you to staff for pulling it all together on such short notice, then added that he would be sharing the project information with our MP John Duncan in the hopes that he could provide some positive pressure.

Deputy Treasurer, Maxine McLean submitted the 2015 Annual Report & 2014 Statement of Financial Information. This annual report, which is available for the public to view at the Village Office, includes the villages audited financial statements, a report from the Mayor respecting prior year services and operations, a progress report on the village’s goals and objectives, their progress measures for 2015 and a corporate plan-ning report covering the next three years. Council again thanked staff for all of the work that goes into providing this report. The Administrator gave credit to Ms. McLean, who spends the first five months of the year putting this information together for the village.

The Bylaw Enforcement Officer submitted a report on an Unsightly Premises case at 404 Golden Hinde, that has been ongoing for most of the last year. The village has re-ceived numerous complaints from neighbours and while the Bylaw Officer has been visiting with the property owner and taking pictures of progress, that progress has been slow. Councillor Begon stated that she was not happy saying too many extensions had been given already and it was not fair to the neighbours. The Mayor asked about reports that the debris was attracting rodents and other undesirables to the area, impacting neighbours, but the administrator advised that the Bylaw Officer had been unable to find any evidence supporting this claim. The current deadline for clean up is June 19. Staff will be following up on that day, and while they are reluctant to go in and remove things themselves (for many reasons) they may be able to write a ticket, with a fine attached, under the Municipal Ticketing System.

Under Council Information Items Councillor Begon had a couple of question, asking first why Ucona Field was named Ucona Field. The Administrator responded that the road going past the area was named the Ucona Road and there is also a river in the area named Ucona. He assumed the field had been named after those features, as many of our local names are. Councillor Begon then asked what was involved in changing the name of a park, eventually asking if the spray park could be named after someone. “I’m not suggesting anyone,” she said, “Its just to talk about.” The Administrator advised that other facilities had been renamed after people in the past and said we could pretty much do as we choose.

Councillor Begon then asked the Administrator how much moorage was at the dock. He responded that there were different rates depending on the size of the boat and the length of time it was staying, there are monthly and annual rates. She asked if every-one currently at the dock was up to date and was told yes, except for one boat which appears to have been abandoned. Staff are currently looking into the situation. She eventually stated that she had been asked by some local boat owners about moorage costs as they were interested in mooring their boats at our dock. The Administrator advised that they come in and speak with staff.

Mayor Unger reported that he had attended Regional District discussing both waste management and the new hospital. They took a tour of the newly engineered landfill and were shown what it will look like once it is finally closed. They also took a look at the new landfill where the Mayor said he was impressed, but upset when he noticed them still burying wood waste etc “Hello! Waste to Energy,” he said, referring to our long running bid to get a WTE plant on our old mill site.

He also mentioned the open house meeting for the new hospitals that took place here June 9. Approximately 16 people showed up, about the same number that showed in Tahsis. He was disappointed that they insisted on having it from 4:30-6, a time when many people are eating dinner, but said those who did turn up were impressed.

There were eight pieces of correspondence on the agenda. The first, from Jean Beer asked if the village could provide signs for Peppercorn Park and the Cemetery as currently there are none. Staff advised that the Peppercorn Park sign had come down to have supports replaced and there had been a delay in getting it back up. “If its not up already, it should be going up soon,” he said. There was a little bit of discussion about signage for the cemetery, what kind of signs, where they should go – deciding eventually to get 2 that just say ‘cemetery’ and place them at a junction off the main road, and in front of the cemetery itself.

The second letter addressed was from Telus thanking the village for their letter sent in April. That letter stated that both villages (Gold River & Tsaxana) wanted cell coverage and they hoped that rather than abandoning the idea, Telus was still open to working with them to find an alternate site. Their response included “Our organization goes through a rigours review of all our decisions to ensure returns and benefits for both the community and for our Telus shareholders.” it went on to say “While we considered several alternate locations for the cellular site . . . . . these sites did not provide a solution for the wireline transport problem that we are starting to face.” It then wound up with “Telus will identify this area as having the potential for future expansion and prioritize accordingly as our coverage plan is expanded.” The Mayor noted that they will be taking this issue to UBCM in September, and also reported that the Regional District is looking into cell coverage in the region because of the 911 service. He will keep us posted as to their progress.

There were a few letters from Ministers who will be at the Convention in the fall, about getting in meeting requests. Council will be brainstorming over the next few weeks about who they want to speak with.

The only other item of correspondence to get attention was the request from Band Administrator, Michael McGee for a meeting regarding the management of the Antler Lake/Scout Lake properties. A few years ago residents pressured the government into doing a land swap, when local logging companies went in to log this highly used recreation area. Although the idea was to have it become ‘park land’, Parks don’t want it as they can’t afford to look after the parks they already have. The decision initially called for community consultation and they are now looking for a process to make that happen. Councillors MacLeod and Curr agreed to meet with MMFN along with the Administrator to see what could be done.

As there was no further business Council moved to adjourn in-camera pursuant to the Community Charter Section 90(1)(g) litigation or potential litigation affecting the municipality.

Note: Although the Mayor had advised everyone at the meeting held June 3 that they would be discussing what to do with the dog park, which is currently at Nimpkish Park, it was not on the agenda and did not get discussed at tonights meeting.

Also a reminder that council will only be conducting ONE MEETING A MONTH during the summer months. Monday, July 6th and Tuesday, August 4th. Also note the time of the meetings are now 7pm.

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Committee of the Whole Meeting June 3, 2015

Via Suzanne Trevis

Committee of the Whole Meeting
June 3, 2015

All members of council were present as well as Administrator Larry Plourde and staff members Mick Mann, Parks & Recreation Manager/Public Works and Maxine McLean, Deputy Treasurer. Two members of the public also attended.

Mayor Unger advised that the meeting was to discuss the revitalization of Nimpkish Park and while the public was welcome to attend they were not part of the meeting unless invited to speak. The Administrator gave some background on the grant itself explaining that the June 19th deadline was not leaving much time to pull things together.

There was quite a bit of discussion with each councillor giving some input as to what they would like to see at the park. In addition to the spray park, items included:

•new toys at the playground
•a shelter of some kind, an open pavilion or gazebo type structure
•bathrooms
•a picnic area
•revitalization of the tennis court area, with a possible multi court surface
•fixing and resurfacing the track
•proper signage

There was discussion about whether the ball diamond gets enough use to warrant taking up as much of the field area as it does. Council determined there was enough room for youth to play and that there were at least three other options for teams needing more room.

There was also a lot of discussion surrounding the dog park situation. No one seems to be happy with it being at Nimpkish Park and council seems to be open to the idea of locating a fenced dog park elsewhere in the community.

At this point Mayor Unger asked if there was any input from the public. Mrs Trevis asked if the Nimpkish Park Revitalization Committee was still a part of the process as many of the things discussed had already been looked at by the committee. Due to time constraints the current council had chosen to limit the project to the spray park, they were unaware that some of this other work had already been done by a committee that was put together by the previous council. The Administrator asked if they could forward what they had to staff and assured everyone that the work that our community volunteers do has value. Due to the tight schedule surrounding the grant deadline, he advised Councillor Begon to contact committee members and bring them up to speed.

Staff will be working hard to get dollar figures together for the grant proposal, fortunately some of the work done on the skatepark proposal three years ago is being ‘borrowed’ for this application.

Mayor Unger then advised that discussion on the dog park would be on the next regular meeting agenda.

The Committee of the Whole Meeting was then adjourned.

The next regular council meeting will take place Monday, June 15 at 7pm.

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Gold River Village Council May 19th 2015

Via Suzanne Trevis

Gold River Village Council

May 19, 2015

Present for the regular meeting were Mayor Brad Unger, Councillors Rod MacLeod, Darcy Curr, Gordon Waterman and Kirsty Begon. Administrator Larry Plourde was also present. There were two members of the public and the press in the gallery.

During Open Session Mayor Unger gave an update on the Saunders Creek Bridge saying the village had sent a strongly worded letter with their concerns regarding the timeline. The project as scheduled is way too long and they are looking for any opportunity to expedite the matter. The letter went forward as a joint effort from all communities in Nootka Sound that are being affected by the work.

The press asked if any other work was being planned on Highway #28 this summer. The Mayor advised that during their visit [about the bridgework] highways personnel had stated no work was being planned at this point, but they would ‘take note’ on their way back about the rougher sections of road.

Minutes of the Regular Meeting held May 4th were adopted, as were the minutes from a Special Meeting held May 7. The May 7 Special Meeting was called to adopt the Villages’ Financial Plan and Tax Rate Bylaws for 2015.

There were six reports on the agenda starting with a quarterly report from Fire Chief Ric Begon. The Gold River Volunteer Fire Department currently operates with 17 members, though a few new recruits have been coming out to practice. They are always willing to welcome new members. During this quarter they attended 1 motor vehicle accident, 1 chimney fire and 2 reports of propane leaks. They have also conducted a number of fire inspections on businesses around town, with the remainder scheduled for the coming quarter.

The next two reports involved Sewer & Water Rates and Solid Waste Tipping Fees, all of which are going up. Some of these services have not seen an increase since 2007, though. In the case of solid waste increases are dictated by the Regional District and the municipality has no choice but to pass that on to the taxpayers. One of the things the Regional District wants to start charging for is brush and tree limbs. Their is a huge concern over this as it is generally felt that if they do this people will just dump their yard debris in the forest, causing a much greater wildfire risk to the community. Although there was some discussion, no decision was made as to how to resolve this issue.

Operations Clerk, Jan Rose, submitted a report on ‘Pitch In’ which took place in Gold River April 25th. Fourteen volunteers came out this year and managed to fill a three yard bin with litter that was collected from our parks, open spaces trails and boulevards. This year most of the litter collected was picked up along the highway between Clayworks and Western Drive. Participants received a snack, a beverage and a free swim pass for their efforts. Thank You for helping keep Gold River garbage / litter free.

There was also a report from the Administrator regarding a resolution passed at the April 20th meeting in which council offered an interest free loan to the Golf Club. In accordance with the Community Charter the village is required to advertise this resolution and it has run in the past two issues of the Campbell River Mirror. It states:

  • “Council for the Village of Gold River proposes to lend twenty thousand ($20,000) dollars to the Gold River Golf Society to assist with the replacement of the Golf Club’s irrigation pond, pond liner, controllers and sprinkler heads. The loan agreement shall be repaid by the Society to the Village with no interest, to the Village over five (5) years beginning October 1, 2015.”

According to the terms of the agreement the Golf Course is required to repay $4,000 per year. They may of course make other payments to pay it off sooner if they wish. They are also required to provide the Village with copies of their annual financial statements.

Council also received the 2015 Corporate Planning Report which has now been reviewed and revised by the new council. In part it states “After consideration of the current work activities and the various factors which are likely to influence village operation, Council has identified a series of potential priorities they wish to give further consideration to. The ultimate decision will rest with the finalization of the Five Year Financial Plan, wherein activities that Council wishes to take place will be allocated funding.”

Priority items considered high include: The Wharf, Water Metre and Water Bylaw review, Sewer Treatment Plant, Energy Saving Initiatives, First Nations, Community Forest Agreement, Cell Phone Coverage, Splash Park, Public Safety Building Upgrade, Aquatic Centre roof repairs, Operational Reviews of Recreation Programming and Utilities Operations, a Contaminated Sites Inventory and Succession Planning.

Under Council Information Items the Mayor reminded everyone that Councillor MacLeod, himself and the Emergency Coordinator, Brenda Patrick, would be attending an Emergency Management Seminar in Courtenay next week. He asked for and received approval for their expenses.

Mayor Unger also gave a quick update on what the Village is doing for the 50th Birthday. Staff are almost ready to send out the official invitations to members of government and other important bodies. They will also be hosting a reunion for previous council members on the Friday evening. Staff are still pricing banners and flags and expect to have them ordered soon. There are four carvers confirmed for the Chainsaw Carving Competition, which is also being sponsored by the village. Carvings, which are required to be some form of seating, will be moved after the event to Nimpkish Park, where they will remain.

It was mentioned at this point that CBC Radio recently did a 2 hour segment interviewing past residents etc of Prince Rupert, who are also celebrating an anniversary this year. Can we get something like this to highlight our event? The Mayor advised that there was a planning meeting coming up and he would look into it.

Council then approved the first three readings of the following bylaws:

  • Trade Waste and Garbage Amendment Bylaw No. 612.6, 2015
  • Water Rates and Regulations Amendment Bylaw No. 613.3, 2015
  • Sewer Rates Amendment Bylaw No. 614.5, 2015

There were 7 pieces of correspondence on the agenda. Only one received attention. Tercel Telecom Ltd proposed an upgrade to community fibre optic technologies. Council questioned whether this was an addition to what we have now, or in competition with what we have now, and how it was being paid for. Councillor MacLeod offered to call the following day and find out how things worked.

During Question Period Mr. Hart asked whether effluent was ever discharged into the river. The administrator explained that during the winter months treated effluent does go into the river. From May to September treated effluent is diverted behind the public works yard to a rapid dispersal chamber where phosphorus is removed. He emphasized that at no time would raw sewage ever be discharged into the river. Mr Hart explained that his concern was with people downriver (at the municipal campsite) drawing water from the river to consume, and he wondered if the village should have signage at the campsite advising people that the river water was not potable water. Mr Plourde explained that they couldn’t really be expected to post signs like that all over, but that staff would look into what the health ministry’s position is on the matter.

Under New Business Councillor Waterman asked what the process was for changing things so that council only meets once during the summer months of July and August, and convenes at 7pm rather than 7:30. The Administrator explained that it involved changing a bylaw. He would have staff look into the process if council wished to move ahead with that, but that with time constrictions on bylaw changes it may not be effective until next year.

With no further business the meeting was adjourned.

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