Water bills coming next quarter. Little compensation for Timeless Treasures

Two delegations appeared at the Jan. 20, District of Barriere council meeting

Two delegations appeared at the Jan. 20, District of Barriere council meeting.  The first was an update from the Barriere Curling Club, given by Harry Eberts and Brian Bondar, who stated the club is waiting to receive one more quote, hopefully by the end of the week, at which time they will approach the District to see if they do qualify to use Gas Tax Revenue.

The second delegation was Debbie Rainer, speaking on behalf of the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association.  The Association is looking for partner funding to develop a mobile app for the Fair.  Once up and running it will include features such as coupons, contests, registration, maps and much more.  The app will include a link to the District of Barriere.  Council members moved to give $800 toward this venture, to be taken from the economic development fund.

In other business, council members approved the final adoption of the District of Barriere Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 73, Amendment Bylaw No. 109.  The most significant change, which will begin with the next quarter’s billing, will be with the charge for water.  Everyone will be billed a basic flat rate for the water.  Those who use more than 76 cubic meters per month or 228 cubic meters per quarter will be charged an extra fee.  If they use between 76-100 cubic meters per month or between 228-300 per quarter, the extra charge will be $0.36 per cubic meter; if they use more than 100 cubic meters per month or over 300 per quarter, the extra charge will be $0.45 per cubic meter.  For many residents, there will be little change; for a some there could be an increase, especially if they normally do a lot of watering in their gardens during the summer months.

Several reports were received by council, including the final report for 2013 from the Fire Department.  There were only 42 fire calls during 2013, down from 58 in 2012, while false alarms increased to seven in 2013, compared to five in 2012.  2013 was the first year for the First Responders, with no previous stats to compare with;  they had a total of 58 calls during the year.

District staff announced details for the commemorative button program as part of the 100th Anniversary Committee report.  During the year, three different commemorative buttons will be released.  Starting in February, patrons of participating Barriere businesses who are wearing a commemorative button at the time of sale, will be given an entry ballot to complete and drop into a ballot box at that location.  Their ballot will enter them into a draw for a gift basket much like the “shop local” holiday program put on by the Chamber of Commerce.  The first draw will be held around Mother’s Day in May, at which time the next commemorative button will be unveiled.  The program will reset with the next draw being held around the Fall Fair weekend.  A third and final button will then be unveiled with its draw taking place during the late night shopping evening in December.  A grand prize draw will take place at the New Year’s Eve Bullarama, where attendees who are wearing all three pins at the event will be entered into the draw to take place that evening.  The buttons will be available free of charge at the Barriere Post Office, the Barrier Library, the Chamber of Commerce office and the District of Barriere office.  A donation tin to help offset the cost will accompany the buttons, but no donation is required.  Prizes for all four draws are currently being collected.

The 100th Anniversary Committee also reported that they are looking for donations of birthday cakes for the Family Fun Night Feb. 9.  Individuals can make a 100th birthday cake; each cake will then be displayed (under wraps) at the event with a vote canister beside it.  Attendees will be given one numbered ticket upon entry (no purchase necessary) to use to vote on the cake they think is the best birthday cake.  The cake with the most votes wins a gift card (for the baker).  Then a ticket will be drawn from each cake’s vote canister with the winning ticket holder getting to take that cake home.  This activity is meant to be a fun way for all ages to celebrate Barriere’s 100th milestone at the event. Anyone who would like to make a cake is asked to let the District office know,so they can plan for adequate table space.

The Barriere Post Office has indicated to the District, that they are planning a Customer Appreciation Day for Monday, Feb. 10, to commemorate the 100th anniversary.  While this date is now a provincial statutory holiday, it is not a federal stat, and their union has not added it to their schedule; therefore the post office will be open for business as usual on this day.  They plan on celebrating from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with period costumes, coffe, tea and a 100th anniversary cake.  The District is trying to arrange some events to coincide with this celebration and will publish the details once they have been set.

The District say they plan to apply for a grant from CN Eco Connexions, who in partnership with Tree Canada and Communities In Bloom, have announced grant funding for the purpose of greening of municipal properties across Canada.  This project can include tree planting in any area of our community, whether they are located at the Septage Receiving Station, the new Wastewater Plant, or down Barriere Town Road.

In the correspondence received by the District, was a letter from Yellowhead Community Services.  They will be putting on another Family and Caregivers of Seniors course, which will take place on Feb. 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the multipurpose room at the Ridge.  To register contact Grace Baker at 778-220-5930.

Finally, a complaint was received from Tony  and Paula Piluso, owners of Timeless Treasures, regarding their loss of business due to the construction in front of their store during the past two months.  Most notably, they had paid the Chamber of Commerce $100 to participate in the Late Night Shopping event, only to have customers unable to reach their store.  They reported that there were some days that they themselves were unable to get to their store to open for business.  Their request was that council consider the possibility of compensation for this significant disruption.  Council members suggested that the Piluso’s approach the Chamber of Commerce regarding a refund of the $100, and moved that should the Chamber decide not to reimburse for this, that the District will.

During public enquiries, resident Barry Thorn asked if the work stoppage due to the lithic chip, and subsequent costs for permits to continue the work will ultimately cost the tax payers extra?  Mayor Humphreys replied that while the exact amount of the extra costs are not yet known, that yes, the District will have to pay these costs, and ultimately it will affect the budget for the community.

The next District of Barriere council meeting will be on Feb. 3, at 7 p.m.