The November 21 District of Barriere Council meeting was the last one for the outgoing Council, as the newly elected members will be sworn in at the December 5 meeting.
After adopting the usual minutes of previous Council and committee meetings, Council heard Corporal Mucha’s last report. Mucha is transferring to Kamloops. Mayor Fennell wished him all the best and thanked him for his service in Barriere.
The second and third readings of the District of Barriere Cemetery Bylaw No. 83 was passed.
Council members moved to approve entering into a lease agreement with Barriere FM Radio and instructed staff to complete and sign the required documentation. The lease is for three years, starting Nov. 22, 2011, with an option to extend the lease for a further seven years.
Yellowhead Community Services (YCS) has approached the District about a unique idea around teaching/sharing economical, but delicious and healthy food preparation knowledge during sessions they have dubbed “The Frugal Gourmet”. In order to make this happen, the staff room and kitchen is a possible candidate for an upgrade to become a licensed kitchen. YCS is interested in pursuing grant opportunities to do this upgrade, subject to their partner leaseholder (the District), with which they share the facility, agreeing to support the project idea by opening the staff room for this use. Council members directed staff to send a letter of support for this initiative.
In January 2011, the District was contacted by the District of Clearwater to participate in a Transit Pilot Project for the remainder of 2011. At the time, Council approved the participation with a maximum expenditure of $4,000. The District has now received a report on this project. The total cost of the project was $15,000, with the District of Barriere’s portion being 20 per cent, or $3,000. A total of 661 trips (both ways) were made, 164 trips of which were to and from Barriere. Eighty-two people used the bus service from Barriere. Clearwater has indicated that they are pursuing all avenues of funding to continue this program, and will keep Barriere up to date with their progress.
A report was received on the Economic Development in Barriere. Economic Development rep Andrew Hayward had attended a follow up meeting in Vancouver with Mr. Wu from China Steel and the Chinese Businessmen’s Association. While there, Hayward was interviewed by Chinese TV about opportunities in Barriere, with the piece being broadcast on over 200 TV stations in China. This resulted in up to 800 million Chinese hearing about Barriere, B.C. Since then, he has continued to work with a number of local developers and industrial property owners, to match potential investors with local interests.
Staff are also working on inviting and welcoming another tour through Barriere this week, and another on Dec. 15, with yet another group.
Funds expended on this project so far including wages,benefits, signage, travel, site prep, and watersystem/well development totals $43,993.06. This has been paid for with the funds from the Tolko Reserve Fund, which are monies received from the upper levels of government after the fire that were earmarked specifically to be used for economic development.
Council received updates from staff on several other projects. The website barriere.ca is now up and active.
A rock (boulder) barrier has been placed around the septic system for the fieldhouse at the Ball Parks.
The approved expansion of the existing parking lot at the Ridge has been completed. Minor repairs to the existing irrigation system will be undertaken by School District staff in the spring at a minor cost to the District of Barriere. YCS has agreed to pay for the fencing portion of the upgrade, and possibly the installation of an additional light at the corner of the building that will help light up the parking area at night.
Councillor Smith reported that she has received several calls complimenting the Barriere Fire Department on their handling of the garage fire on Dunsmuir Road on Saturday, Nov. 19.
Mayor Fennell congratulated newly elected Council members. Bill Kershaw spoke briefly to Council, thanking Mayor Fennell for the hard work he put in during his term as mayor.
Council members Ward Stamer, Glen Stanley and Virginia Smith (Councillor Paula was absent), presented outgoing Councillors Rhonda Kershaw and Ron Glanville with certificates of appreciation. They then also presented the Mayor with one that read: “Presented with deep appreciation to Michael Fennell, First Mayor of the District of Barriere, Dec. 4, 2007 – Dec 5, 2011, from the Council and Staff of the District of Barriere. Your dedication to your community as the First Mayor of the District of Barriere and the passion you have exhibited in your efforts to make Barriere a place where people, business and sense of community will thrive and grow, will forever leave large indelible footprints for future community leaders to follow. Your hard work will always be remembered by this community.”
The next regular District of Barriere Council meeting will be on December 5, at 7 p.m., and will include the inaugural swearing in of the newly elected Mayor and Council.