It was business as usual at the District of Barriere’s regular council meeting held online via Zoom on Monday, Oct. 5. This reporter was the only member of the public attending.
Here are some of the highlights from the meeting.
CAO Bob Payette reported that discussions are ongoing with a potential developer for the remaining two lots in the Louis Creek Industrial Park. Lots 1 and 2 are situated on the North side of the Wildfire Monument site. The proposal by the developer is to establish an industrial enterprise that would be esthetically pleasing along the highway, add to the industrial tax base of the community and provide employment opportunities for Barriere and area residents. Any formal proposal will be brought forward to council for consideration.
The Agate Bay Road pullout area is now usable, although it will not be paved until next year.
Directional signage has been ordered for the entrance and exit areas of the Ridge parking lot due to some confusion among drivers on which entrance into the parking lot they should be using.
The RFQ for Backhoe/Excavation Service Contract has been posted and closes Nov. 13, 2020.
Parks and Roads manager Chris Matthews is working in conjunction with the Thompson Nicola Regional District to develop an Invasive Species Management Program for the town.
In addition to a request for a crosswalk installation at Bradford Road across from Barriere Town Road, another request has been made for a crosswalk installation at Glentanna Road across from the high school on Barriere Town Road.
Requests have been received for more lighting in community neighbourhoods and the parks. This will be looked into, and with the possibility of solar lighting being considered for park areas.
Utilities Manager Ian Crosson reported the District is still under a Water Quality Advisory which started in the spring of 2019 in respect of elevated levels of minerals. The water is safe for human consumption.
The annual fire hydrant maintenance has been completed be Cedardale Enterprises who have performed this duty for Barriere for more than 20 years. No major issues were found, and the company
noted that this was the best year they have seen regarding in-house hydrant maintenance and painting.
Crosson noted utilities staff, along with Interior Health are currently in the process of completing the Annual Drinking Water Inspection.
“We did pretty good,” said Crosson, “Concern continues with chlorine monitoring and staff are addressing this with a couple of program changes. The District has fared well in this process. However, there are a couple of key items that are being mandated to be completed in the next 12 months: the installation of continuous chlorine monitoring in the distribution system, GUDI/GARP studies to be completed on all production wells currently in use, along with cleaning and inspection of the North Reservoir.”
Crossmon also reported that Dustin Doherty, who recently passed a training course, is now the Water Department’s connection control inspector and will be spearheading that division.
CAO Payette noted the fire ban in the District of Barriere has been lifted by the Fire Chief. Open burning is now permitted for Category 2 fires. Category 2 fires must not be larger than 2m high and 3m wide, and that Fire Smart preventative safe guards should always be in place when burning. He encourages the public to avoid burning wet leaves, garden waste, etc., so to avoid “smoking out the neighbours”. He noted that the Louis Creek Eco Depot is open on Sundays until the end of the month and will take leaves and garden waste free of charge.
In light of the event regulations due to the pandemic, the annual Halloween Fireworks event is being tabled until year. In addition the annual Fire Prevention Week Open House will not occur this year, however the Department remains engaged with the community’s schools by providing Fire Prevention educational materials to teachers.
The District’s new fire truck is still on schedule and its arrival is anticipated later this year.
District of Barriere Legislative Services Manager, Tasha Buchanan, reported that multiple bylaws are currently being reviewed for necessary updating including parks, mobile homes, water restrictions bylaws and more.
“Staff goes through it all and we look at other communities as well before we present it to council,” said Buchanan.
The District of Barriere’s new website development continues, and hopefully will be ready to go by end of year or early January.
Buchanan also reported that the Water Service Application process and documentation forms have been developed as a supplemental package to the Building Permit Application process.
“We are hoping to be able to avoid any miscommunications regarding building permits,” she said.
Buchanan also stated that School District 73 has agreed to permit the rental of the Ridge gymnasium to a dance group on Thursdays as its ending time does not conflict with the current custodian’s work hours. Other rentals may be considered on a case by case basis with the condition of no more than one rental per day and that they also compliment the custodian’s current schedule.
Mayor Stamer reported that BC Parks have asked the District of Barriere (as the local government representative) to partner with the Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society in a job creation project to produce picnic tables and toilets for BC Parks facilities. There is no labour involved by the District, but the CAO will be noted as project manager, and he will work with LNTCFS manager Mike Francis as required. Council gave their approval to move forward with the project.
Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach coordinator Jill Hayward made a formal request of council for a grant in aid in regards to the current Raise A Reader fundraiser for Barriere youth and family literacy initiatives. Council approved a $500 grant. Councillor Al Fortin and Councillor Scott Kershaw also pledged $100 each to the fundraiser. Hayward thanked everyone for their generosity said the donations will be matched up to 100 per cent by government and corporate sponsors.
The next Regular Council Meeting for Barriere will be on Oct. 19, 7 p.m.