Referrendum considered

Committee of the Whole for the District of Barriere met last Monday with a number of items on their agenda

The Committee of the Whole for the District of Barriere met last Monday with a number of items on their agenda to cover.

Only three members of the public attended, which included this reporter.

Dave Underwood and Kim Rink gave an update on the Wastewater Project which has been delayed due to the finding of a lithic chip in one of the excavations late last year.  They noted the project is currently “in a holding pattern” and that contractor L&B has been advised to cease all work until advised otherwise.  They noted they are currently in the process of establishing the ongoing costs, and “making sure they are reasonable”. The archaeological permit has been issued but a copy had not been received by the District as yet.

CAO Colleen Hannigan said, “We hope to hear fairly soon what we can proceed with.”

It was noted that an Archaeological Impact Assessment possible scenerio being considered could cost the District up to $60,000.

The opportunity to submitt an upcoming government  shelf-ready grant for infrastructure was discussed.  Application for funding would be applied for to assist in projects involving the water supply wells, the additional water reservoir, water main repair, and finishing the Barriere Town Road water upgrade.  Total cost of these projects was approximately $6 million.  The grant being applied for would require one-third, or approximately $2 million to be provided by the District, which it was pointed out would have to go to referrendum as the funds would have to be borrowed.   Council moved to pursue application for the grant if it becomes available to do so in April.

It was noted the Louis Creek Industrial site is moving closer to the ability for the District to move forward with development of the site.  Water, hydro, and other matters were discsussed, but the concensus was that until the site has officially changed hands monies should not be spent.  The item will be discussed again at the next Committe of the Whole meeting.

Renovations at the HY Louie building were discussed, most importantly the type of roofing that needs to be applied.    Consideration had been given to two reroofing processes and information obtained.  Considered were an SBS torch-on roof system, or a Duro-Last PVC Membrane roof.   After some discussion staff were directed  by a motion  to issue a request for proposals (RPF) for the SBS roof application with the results brought back to the next meeting.

During the public inquiry part of the meeting, resident, and past-mayor, Mike Fennell asked if the District goes to referendum in May to borrow the money required to match the government grant (if it is obtained), who would vote in this referrendum; all of the citizens of Barriere, or just the residents along the wastewater system? He did not receive an answer to his question.

Mayot Humpreys noted the question had no answer at this time.

“We need money to go forward with our strategic plan, and one way to get that money is to go to referendum said Humphreys, “This is a tremendous amount of money, but it will push us 15 to 20 years into the future.  We need improvements to our water reservoir.”

Fennell then asked why the plans now show the sewer project will go down Railway Avenue, when that was never in the initial sewer project plan; and now there is apparently not enough money for the project to finish the Barriere Town Road section (which was on the original plan)?

The answer to Fennells question, was that no money from the wastewater project grant is being used for the Railway Avenue section.  This will be funded by a small communities grant that is received annually from the government.