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 Robertson also wanted to know what the issues were with the very out of date sign in front of the Nimpkish Plaza and the very out of date map on the wall at the Village Square Plaza.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.