District of Barriere CAO Colleen Hannigan presented her report to mayor and council at the regular council meeting held last Monday evening.
Here are the highlights of that report as presented:
Bradford Wells Update:
Thierry Carriou from BC Groundwater reports that well screens arrived from Calgary on Dec. 7 (original delivery date was Nov. 28). JR Drilling is proceeding with the necessary casing cuts to release the 12 inch in preparation for advancing the 10 inch overlap casing. There will be a couple of short days as the cuts are completed.
With winter drilling the cold somewhat affects work but generally projects continue running throughout January and February stopping when temperatures are below -20°C. The same is planned for this project.
The only slowdown is typically supply availability such as screens, and if a larger DR24 rig is required to pull the first feet of frozen casing. The nice part of working this time of year is that because work is slower the rig can just stay between steps.
It is anticipated that the first well will be completed before Christmas with work on the second to begin in January. Mr. Carriou will be attending the Jan. 9, council or Committee of the Whole meeting to provide a further update on this project.
Barriere Solar Aquatics Water Reclamation
Centre (SAWRC) Update:
Staff are working on maximizing the levels of dissolved oxygen (DO) in the second and fourth solar tanks. Since the large aerators are located in tanks one and three, the DO levels in two and four have not been as high as they should be. As a result, a continuous layer of water lettuce in the number two tanks hid a slow buildup of sludge that needed to be recirculated back to the Surge Blending Tank. Staff are in the process of resolving this issue.
Insulating bubbles have been introduced into both north and south roof/wall cavities to help retain the temperature gains in the building from the biomass boiler and from solar heat during the day. The colder weather has created some previously unknown challenges due to the temperature of the bubble solution as it dissipates and flows back into the solution tank and since our design is unique we have had to spend time experimenting with solutions. Staff are continuously adjusting parameters in order to provide this extra R value to the building. Even without the bubbles when the outside temperature dips to -16°C the inside temperature stays above 10° to 15°C.
Besides our core team, who are still volunteering after the completion of the first phase of the Operational Sustainability Plan, we have a new volunteer, Michael Linthorne, all the way from Heffley Creek. He has his own home-based aquaponics experiment ongoing and is very interested in the district’s greenhouse. He is a qualified operator and computer science grad and is spending half a day a week with us.
Councillor Fennell recently volunteered to install proper weather stripping around the doors at the SAWRC to help keep the cold temperatures outside and to retain the heat in the building. Volunteers are always welcome.
Students from Barriere Secondary are scheduled to make presentations to council about their SAWRX projects in January.
Official Community Plan Review:
It has been five years since the adoption of our Official Community Plan – Bylaw No. 85 on Nov. 7, 2011, and it is time for its first review. This review can easily be accomplished internally at a savings of at least $5,000. During budget deliberations, council may want to consider using the money set aside for a Development Cost Charges update (up to $5,000) for this purpose in 2017.
TNRD Shared Services Meeting:
TNRD (Thompson Nicola Regional District) CAOs and senior staff met to discuss opportunities for shared services within the area of the Regional District. The following were discussed:
1) ESS/Red Cross working together across TNRD. This will allow local ESS volunteers to become Red Cross volunteers if they want as well as local ESS volunteers with the hopes that new recruits will be encouraged to join the ranks who may be interested in the broader volunteer opportunities this would present. Meetings with local ESS groups are underway across the TNRD.
2) Bylaw Services – Coming on board for Bylaw Enforcement and related services would consist of a longer term agreement at a cost of approximately $20,000 per year for one day of dedicated service in that respective community.
3) Building Inspection was discussed, however, the District of Barriere already has a shared service agreement in place with Sun Peaks for Building inspection services that seems to be working well. There is talk of requiring a Level 3 Building Inspector in each local government building inspection office. This requirement, if it comes to pass, could be satisfied by contracting out for those specific projects where a Level 3 is required. There are years in Barriere where a Level 3 Inspector would not be required at all. Currently most small municipalities rely on professional engineering signoffs.
4) Safety Officer – The Regional District was wondering if there was value in a joint Safety Officer who would work on program development, site checks (pre WorkSafe), risk assessments and audit testing. I relayed that we have a competent Safety Officer on staff already with Ms. Buchanan, our Deputy Corporate Officer, and we would most likely not be interested at this time. Again this would require a longer term commitment since it would involve hiring someone.
Although joint service provision sounds like an economical solution in some cases, a significant cost is associated travel and time spent travelling to and from the TNRD office in Kamloops if that is where the position is located.
Canada150 Community Leaders Nominations:
Mayor Virginia Smith, Councillor Donna Kibble and Jill Hayward (president of the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association) have all been put forward to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) in response to their request for people in the community that they could be in contact with regarding Canada150 activities in communities across Canada.