District of Barriere mayor and council, at their Dec. 6, council meeting, heard from a delegation representing the Barriere Recreation Society (BRS) regarding the current status of the local curling rink. Susan Bondar and Harry Eberts spoke, noting the chiller for the compressor system (the system that creates the ice) has broken down, it is not fixable and must be replaced. This will cost between $28,000 to $30,000. They noted however, that the compressor itself is still in good condition. The society are currently approaching the district and other organizations for funding assistance in the hopes of getting the unit replaced as soon as possible. Unless the unit is replaced, it means there is no ice in the rink, which in turn means there is no curling happening until the funds are raised and the repairs are made..
Later in the meeting, council members discussed the BRS request and asked staff to look into the possibility of using Gas Tax Revenue for this; Gas Tax Revenue has fairly strict requirements on how it can be used. For instance, it can’t be used for repairs, but it can be used if the repairs involve upgrading to a more environmentally friendly system. If the chiller unit is simply replaced with an identical model, it would be a ‘repair’. If however, it is replaced with a different model that will use a more environmentally friendly version of freon, then it would be an acceptable use. However, if they do upgrade to the better model, it would mean having to replace a few extra parts (connectors to the compressor, etc.) which would bring the price up a bit. These options will be looked into carefully by the district before a final decision is made.
In other business, council members passed the first three readings of the District of Barriere Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 73, Amendment Bylaw No. 109. This bylaw is to set the rates charged for public works and services, which include the solid waste disposal service (garbage collection), street lighting, water system base rates, water connection and turn on/off connection fees, and the sewer user rates. They also passed the final adoption of the District of Barriere Waterworks Bylaw No. 110.
Council members received a report on the Building Inspection Services statistics for 2013. Over two and a half million dollars worth of building was approved during 2013, with licensing fees collected in the amount of $20,094.30. Compared with the other 17 communities and districts in the TNRD area, Barriere came in sixth place. Higher on the list were; Area J (Copper Desert Country), Area L (Grasslands), Area P (Rivers and the Peaks), Area M (Beautiful Nicola Valley,North), and Clearwater (Clearwater with less than $45,000 above Barriere).
Council passed a motion to authorize notification to residents in the next billing to advise that there will be a paper bill mailing fee of $1.00, effective April 1, 2014.
CAO, Colleen Hannigan reported that the district should hear soon from Canadian Heritage regarding the grant application for the Splash Pad. She also reported that the district has the commemorative buttons in, with the first two having been given out to Geordie and Manne Salle at Manne’s 100th birthday party held Dec. 26. Members of the public at the district meeting also received a button. Also received were two small banners that can be used at displays and in parades.
Ms. Hannigan also reported that during escavation on the airstrip along Airfield Road, LNB came across what appears to be a lithic chip [portion of rock removed from an objective piece by percussion or pressure]. It is being examined to determine whether it is or not. In the meantime, LNB Construction Inc. will only work on already opened excavations and will not dig in the location that the chip was found, nor will they start any new digs, until the results of the examination are in. The results should be in, within the next day or two.
Council passed a motion to dedicate the Field House at the Community Park to Ron Smith. During it’s design and construction, Smith played a large roll in getting it built, doing a fair amount of both the design and actual work in building it.
During public inquiries, Scott Kershaw spoke, commending the good job that Murray Purcha and Son Ltd. have done in plowing the roads. Liz Gilbertson spoke about how slippery and chunky the ice and slush is right in front of the Post Office – Mayor Humphreys replied that he’d speak to Mr. Purcha regarding this.
Scott Kershaw also asked if there is a timeline on the progress at the H.Y. Louie building that is being renovated for the district? Mayor Humphreys replied that they are waiting for a sign off on the planned renovations and should know by the end of the month, if not earlier.
In other business, Councillor Kershaw stated that he will be donating $250 a month of his councillor stipend to the 100th Anniversary committee. He also recommended that every councillor and the mayor all get enthusiastically into promoting this historic celebration. He will also be joining the 100th Anniversary Committee.
The next District council meeting will be on January 20, at 7 p.m.