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.