Last chance for public input to Barriere budget

Last chance for public input to District of Barriere budget

Council members passes two motions at the March 19, District of Barriere Council meeting that were recommended from the Feb. 21, Cemetery Committee meeting:  the first was to authorize staff to complete and submit the BC Hydro/Tree Canada Grant, which, if successful, will cover the cost of buying and planting trees in and around the Barriere Cemetery; the second was to approve the list of community members to be on the Cemetery Committee – Wayne Broomfield, Earl Eustache, Manuel Eustache, Charlie Kibble, Barry McLean, Bev Murphy, Marty Philibert, Bernice Randrup, and Steve Shannon.

Council then heard a presentation from WorkBC regarding the Employment Services Centre update.  Speaking to council were executive director Jack Keough, Manager BES Connie Falk, director Frank Gordon and financial administrator Jackie Enfield, while two additional directors, Marge Mitchell and Joanne Stokes were in also in attendance.  They went over the different services that the Clearwater and Barriere Employment Centres will offer to their clients.

Mayor Humphreys made the following proclamation: “Whereas the Canadian Cancer Society’s B.C. and Yukon Division continues to be a leader in funding outstanding cancer research, undertaking cancer prevention initiatives and delivering support services to people with cancer and their families; whereas the Canadian Cancer Society’s B.C. and Yukon Division consistently demonstrates a collaborative approach to cancer control and represents the interests of all citizens of Barriere affected by cancer; and whereas the Canadian Cancer Society’s B.C. and Yukon Division assists the public in taking steps to reduce the risk of cancer by adopting prevention strategies and advocates for healthy public policy that makes healthier choices easier choices; therefore, let it be know the the month of April 2012 shall be proclaimed Cancer Awareness Month, and April 27 as Daffodil Day in the District of Barriere.”

Several bylaws were discussed with two passing their final adoption: the Board of Variance bylaw No. 86 and the Water System Rates bylaw No. 0046, 2009, Amendment bylaw No. 87.  Two more bylaws passed their first three readings: the Revenue Anticipation Borrowing bylaw No. 88 and the Barriere Community Water System bylaw No. 1644, Amendment bylaw No. 89.  The bylaw regarding the revenue anticipation borrowing is to make the building of the wastewater treatment plant a smoother process.   All these bylaws are available on the District’s web-site for viewing.

Council members passed a motion to award the Environmental Impact Study for the new Wastewater Plant to Watterson Geoscience.

Councillor Smith recommended that Staff draft a letter to all local businesses regarding our participation in the Communities in Bloom program, requesting they participate, which Councillor Smith will hand deliver to said businesses.  Council members passed this as a motion.

Councillor Kershaw spoke regarding the 2012 budget, suggesting that Council consider cutting back on some of the ‘unnecessary’ expenses.  Councillor Smith asked why this hasn’t been brought up at any of the previous budget meetings?  Councillor Kershaw replied that he was waiting for all the numbers from the various ‘wish lists’ to be in before bringing this up.  Now that the budget is pretty much completed, he felt it was time to determine which items are necessary, and which are not.

After some active discussion, it was moved to have an extra budget meeting on March 26 at 7 p.m., for a final chance of input from the public regarding suggestions/adjustments to the budget.  Then on April 16, from 1-3 p.m. and again from 7-9 p.m., there will be a open house to present the final, finished budget to the citizens of Barriere.

Mike Fennell asked Council regarding the borrowing bylaw (see above) whether the interest costs of borrowing would be covered by the Grant that the District received for the Wastewater Plant.  Mayor Humphreys assured him that it does cover that cost.

Barry Thorn asked the Mayor about the comment heard on the local radio by the Mayor regarding taxes going up five percent.  Mayor Humphreys replied his comment was taken out of context, that the reporter who interviewed him asked him a two part question but only aired half of his reply.  He explained further that he does not expect taxes to be up by five percent, and that Council has been working hard on the budget to keep taxes as low as possible.

The next regular council meeting will be on April 2, at 7 p.m.