The District of Barriere Council meeting of Feb. 18. started with a report from RCMP Cpl. Darrin Underhill, who went over the activity report for 2012 that included a comparison of the data from the last five years.
Crimes against persons are slightly down from 2008, while drug and traffic enforcement calls have increased.
Underhill also reported that the Barriere detachment is currently at full strength, with one public servant, and four provincially funded officers.
One member will be transferring out this year, with a new member arriving in April.
Council then heard a report from Barriere’s Fire Chief Al Kirkwood, who reported on both the Fire Department and the First Responders. There were 58 fires in 2012 attended by the Fire Department, as compared to only 42 in 2011. For the First Responders, from April 2012 to January 11, 2013, they received 32 call outs.
Kirkwood stated he had some concerns about how the First Responder program is working, as the supplies are not being replaced as originally promised, and they are being called out for ‘lift assists’, which is outside of their job description.
Kirkwood requested that some guidelines be clarified for all parties concerned, noting the original idea behind the First Responders program was that they would be called out only if the ambulance was unavailable.
Council members passed the first three readings of the Water Improvements Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 102. Final reading of this bylaw will be at the next general council meeting.
Council members passed the first reading of the Yellowhead Corridor Tax Revitalization Bylaw. This will now go to a public hearing for input from the citizens. The date for this hearing will be announced at a later date.
Several motions were passed allocating where the budget surplus’ were to go from the 2012 budget; $10,000 will go to the Cemetery Surplus Fund, $67,400 will go to General Surplus, and the Water Budget surplus will remain in the Water Surplus Fund.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and the District of Barriere, will be working on a joint restoration project that will protect and enhance the Barriere River fishery, while stabilizing the embankment where the road passes closest to the river.
This work is planned for mid-March.
CAO Colleen Hannigan reported that the 2014 Heritage Project plans to have several fundraisers to help with the costs for the coming year. The plans tentatively include a penny drive, a family barbecue, and a fall pie sale.
Barriere resident Barry Thorn asked council about the water meters and how they are working. Council replied that due to the meters, they have located and fixed several leaks already, and that letters will go out in March to any locations that appear to have ‘continuous’ flow, which may indicate further leaks in the system.
With the repairs already made, there has been a significant reduction in the amount of water usage for Barriere.
The next general council meeting will be on Monday, March 4, at 7 p.m.