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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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Treasure Chest Hours Update

Via Carrie McPherson

Treasure Chest Hours Update:

The Treasure Chest will be open Monday to Friday from 1:30 to 5:00 and Saturday 12:00-5:00 when I am able to be there.

The owner of The Treasure Chest…My Mom…Chris Kuhn will be away for some time…her daughter (my sister Jodi) is in Vancouver General Hospital being treated for Leukemia. Jodi will be receiving treatment for several months and needs Mom to be there with her. This has come on suddenly and we are in the midst of figuring everything out…so please bare with us during this difficult time.

If you need anything from the store and are unable to come during the hours we will be open…please feel free to contact me…I am happy to make arrangements.

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Gardening in Gold River Soil

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Gardening in Gold River Soil

How important is soil ph? It really depends on how much time and money you choose to spend on your garden. On the ph scale from 1 to 14, everything below 7 is acidic and everything above 7 is alkaline. Each living thing in the garden has its own unique ph. Of the many amazing cycles and rhythms within your own backyard, this is just one more intricacy of nature of which a gardener should be aware. Excessive rain, organic decomposition from pine and other evergreen trees, an abundance of buttercup, dandelions, and horsetail are all signs of acidic soil. So, there really is no need to test Gold River soil. It is acidic. This is however, not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just good to know what you are dealing with and, in the end, will save you a lot of work. Many plants that make Vancouver Island so beautiful thrive in acidic soil. Spring is especially beautiful here with blooming rhododendrons, azaleas, heather, magnolias, and many other flowering trees. So, for the decorative beds and border gardens, life is easier for you (and the plants!) if you stick to the acid loving models.

Now, the vegetable garden is a different story. This is where you might want to test your soil for ph before making any amendments. Amending garden soil for ph provides maximum utilization of nutrients and fertilizers to help your vegetables perform at their best. A very general rule is that vegetables like soil ph between 6.0 and 7.5 with root veggies preferring a little bit on the alkaline side and those that are edible above the ground prefer it a little bit acidic. So, the root veggies can be planted in soil amended with a bit of lime or maybe a dusting of wood ash. Both additives provide an increase to the ph of your soil. Wood ash is easily available in Gold River since many people have wood stoves. Just be careful with it, as too much can create soil that won’t allow nutrients to be taken up by plants. Wood ash also wards off root maggots and provides potassium. As with lime, the best time to add wood ash is in the fall. However, they may be added in the spring, but just won’t have as much time to work. The right amount is four to five pounds, or shovelfuls, per 100 square feet, mixed into the top two to three inches of soil.

Now, after you’ve amended your soil for ph, you can now consider fertilizer: N P K. These three symbols are on every package of fertilizer indicating the ratio of nitrogen (for green health), phosphorous (for healthy roots and flowers) and potassium (for a healthy plant immune system). All fertilizers work best when soil is in the right zone of ph. I would like to digress for one comment: as I have indicated in previous articles, in Gold River it is good to lime your lawn before you start pouring the fertilizer on. Without the lime, you might be wasting your money. Back to the vegetable garden, the root growth for your veggies can be enhanced by adding extra phosphorous in the form of bone meal or super phosphate (0-20-0). Sprinkle it directly onto the rows just before planting the seeds, and rake it into the top inch of the soil so it can be used by the young seedlings when they come up. As you may notice, I am not very fussy about exact amounts, but a “handful” is about right for every four to six square feet. Phosphorous won’t burn the seeds, but the plants will only use as much as they need. So, extra handfuls might just go to waste.

One last point about the soil in your vegetable garden is about the texture. When squeezing a handful of dirt, it should almost stay in a clump. Additives such as manure, compost, and sea soil give the soil more weight; and peat moss, sand, vermiculite, or perlite can be used to lighten it. These additives do add acidity to the soil, however, it is minimal.

There is much more detail on this topic, that can be a bit tedious and boring for some of us. However, more research may help others. When gardening, so many things are out of our control: weather, bugs, diseases, etc.. Nowadays, we are fortunate to have the internet at our finger tips to help us solve many gardening problems. A good vegetable garden is the result of some careful work and education combined with plain and simple good luck. Even though every season is a bit of a gamble, it helps to keep us interested to play the game. So, I wish you good luck for the season of 2015!

Bridgite Messer

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Season Five at the Gold River TimberMart Garden Centre

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Season Five at the Gold River TimberMart Garden Centre

By Bridgite Messer

Trees, shrubs, and grasses are already here with bedding plants arriving starting the first week of May to mid June.

Along with the plants, we try to have everything needed for landscaping: tools, landscape fabrics, mulches (rocks and barks) edging, soils, bricks, and of course interesting accents – pots, garden ornaments, fountains, and even some patio furniture! For garden maintenance, we also have a full line of fertilizers and pesticides. Just to note, two products that are hard to find that we have are Dr. Doom (for ants and other insects) and Bobbex (a deer repellent spray that when used properly, is very effective)

2015 Garden Centre Hours:  Firstly, the garden centre is always accessible just by asking at the main Timber Mart store. During the shoulder seasons we keep the usual gardening needs there. There will be staff at the garden centre on a regular basis starting April 13, working from 10am to 5pm.

Then, starting on Mother’s Day, we will be open 7 days a week: 10am to 5pm daily, with Sunday hours being Noon to 3pm until June 1. Sunday hours may extend into June if needed.

Thank you again to the Gold River residents who have been supporting the garden centre. It is my passion for gardening that keeps me motivated and I enjoy helping and, likewise learning, from all of you. This is my 5th season, and I try to keep your interest by always trying new things. It is especially great to see the growing interest amongst Gold River’s young families.

Many people only dream of being able to live in a serene mountain village close to the sea. We are living that dream. It is so wonderful that our Village Council makes it important to keep our boulevards and parks so beautiful. This really helps to keep our aging town young and we can each help by taking the responsibility to keep our yards nice. I see improvements every year and applaud those who are able to make even the smallest changes. Given that Gold River is celebrating its 50th year, please consider the impression that your yard will have on the many expected visitors. We can help our village by each of us trying to make our little spot within the town look better. We should all be very proud to live here!

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