District to take over the administration of Barriere Community Garden

Council passed a motion to approve that the district take over the responsibility for the Barriere Community Garden

A wide variety of topics were covered in a short time at the Oct. 21, District of Barriere council meeting.

The first report heard was given by Constable Cory McGregor of the Barriere RCMP.  He spoke about the policing report for the last two quarters of the year. Of particular note was that the police had received complaints regarding some potential grow-ops, of which 13 to date (this year) have proven to be licensed grows.

Next up was Steve Shannon of the Bear radio station in Barriere.  He asked council members to consider allowing him to broadcast live the council meetings once his station is on air.  Council members agreed to consider this and will give him a formal reply at a later date.

Council members passed the second and third readings of the Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 73.  Final adoption of this bylaw will be voted on at the next council meeting.

In September, council had directed staff to survey water customers on their water use and recycling habits by way of a utility billing insert and on the district website.  Those who participated in the survey were entered in a random draw  for a chance to win that billing period’s bill free of charge.

A total of 101 completed surveys were submitted.  The winner of the draw was Cory Stamer.  One of the questions on the survey was if people would like to have a tour of the water facilities.  There was a good response to this question, so staff will be organizing some tours in the near future.

Council members directed staff to prepare an amendment to Bylaw Notice Enforcement Bylaw No. 95, to include Business License Bylaw No. 41.  The draft will then be brought to a future council meeting for consideration.

The Barriere Community Garden, which is located on crown park land behind the Barriere Library, was established almost 20 years ago.  Most recently, it has been managed by the North Thompson Valley Garden Club, with the district providing water and associated technical assistance.

After years of volunteer hours building the garden to the point it is now, club members report they are finding the community garden to be more than they feel they can continue to manage.  It was reported they have voted to refocus their efforts on learning and sharing their gardening knowledge with others.  Although many of them will still be on hand with their expertise, they would like to relinquish responsibility for the ongoing maintenance and liability of the garden to others.

The garden plot-holders would like to continue participating in the success of the community garden.  In order to do this, they requested assistance, particularly in the area of liability insurance for the users and volunteers.  It was noted the district has the ability to absorb the minor cost of this, and if the administration of the garden would be taken care of by the district office, the parks staff will be able to provide plot-holders with assistance as required.

Council passed a motion to approve that the district take over the responsibility for the Barriere Community Garden, including the continuance of providing free plots to Barriere Elementary and Barriere House, and directed staff to work with the plot-holders to ensure a successful transition of responsibilities.

The next District of Barriere council meeting will be held on Nov. 4, at 7 p.m.