District of Barriere council meeting receives report from CAO Hannigan

District of Barriere CAO, Colleen Hannigan, presented her report for approval to Mayor and Council last Tuesday evening. The regular council meeting was held on Tuesday due to the Victoria Day holiday on the Monday.

Hannigan started her report by noting Simpcw First Nation recently elected a new Chief and Council. The swearing in of the newly elected Chief, Shelly Loring, and Council members Eddie Celesta, Tina Donald, Alison Eustache, George Lampreau, Ron Lampreau Jr. and Lori Eustache will be taking place on Thursday, May 31, beginning at 5 p.m. at the Chu Chua Offices.

Hannigan’s report included the following as presented to Mayor and Council:

Regional Solid Waste Management Plan (RSWMP) Summary: The TNRD has released a Summary of the strategies that have been identified through the recently completed RSWMP process that has a horizon of ten years.

Wells and Reservoir Update: A walk-around was completed with True Construction, True Consulting and District staff on Monday May 14 to determine whether substantial completion of the well and reservoir contract can be considered substantially complete. A number of deficiencies have already been addressed and a short list amounting to $2,326 is remaining. 200 per cent of this will be kept back until these are addressed to the District’s satisfaction. The application for Short Term Use of the wells has been submitted to Water Stewardship by BC Groundwater and the length of that process is unknown at this time.

Wellhead Protection Committee Work: Wells within the estimated drawdown area for District of Barriere’s deep wells have been identified, mapped and researched as to ownership and depth. An education package on wellhead protection has been compiled and available Committee members have divided the duties of going door to door with this information. Prior to that an article has been printed in the Star/Journal to inform well owners they may be visited by a member of the Wellhead Protection Committee over the next couple of weeks. Once this exercise has been completed the committee plans to meet again to decide how best to move on to next steps in the overall Wellhead Protection Plan.

UBCM Wildfire and Flood Recommendations Released: UBCM has released the following report summary. Last December, former MLA George Abbott and hereditary Chief Maureen Chapman were appointed to undertake a thorough review of the 2017 flood and wildfire season. Addressing the New Normal: 21st Century Disaster Management in British Columbia outlines the findings of the review, and includes 108 recommendations to improve disaster response. The review process involved a number of public engagement sessions focussed on planning and preparedness, prevention and mitigation, response, and recovery. Feedback was obtained through one-on-one meetings with key stakeholders (including local governments), community events, online engagement, and written submissions. In April, information was analyzed and used to form the final report, including recommendations. Among the recommendations are a number of options for the Province to enhance partnerships with local governments. These include: support towards local emergency plans; better clarification around roles and responsibilities during an emergency; and establishing workshops and forums to help support information sharing, understanding, and identification of policy gaps. There is also an emphasis on a more streamlined and efficient response and recovery process. The recommendations include 14 strategic shift’ recommendations. These recommendations suggest actions that would significantly amend current policy. Among the strategic shifts’ are: proposals to develop strategic partnerships with community members (e.g. ranchers, forestry contractors, landowners) to provide additional response capacity during emergencies; building a robust emergency communications website that includes all necessary information from government as well as emergency updates; and increasing the use of prescribed burning as a safety and prevention tool. The Honourable Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, has noted that the provincial government is already in the process of implementing 19 of the recommendations. The complete report can be read at https://bcfloodfirereview. ca/wp-content/ uploads/2018/05/ BC-Flood-and-Wildfire- Review-Addressing- the-New-Normal- 21st-Century-Disaster- Management-in-BCWeb. pdf .

Parks Update: Caught in action planting Desert Planters in Fadear Park, staff are very busy trying to catch up to spring’s sudden growth spurt. The seasonal meters have all been reinstalled, the irrigation systems fired up and repaired where necessary, the Community Garden refurbished with generous donations form Gilbert Smith and other volunteers, and the Splash Pad is on and ready to go. Sketches of the proposed wellhead protection design for Bradford Park is as shown on the following pictures. Bradford Rd. will be lined with 8’ concrete ties, possibly two high in some locations. Once we have the ties on site we can experiment with the final layout. Quotes for a park gate adjacent the pump house will allow access to the well head area for repairs and general park maintenance. $5,000 in the Wellhead Protection budget was earmarked for this work.

Wastewater Update: A full report on the status of the Septage Receiving and SAWRC will be provided at the next meeting of Council.

Hannigan also notes that the District are currently looking candidates to fill experienced water/wastewater occasional relief and project positions. Hannigan says the positions would be ideal for those semi or recently retired, or a masters or fourth year university student looking for a project and living in the area.

“We are currently seeking skilled, self-motivated, innovative individuals to work on project, vacation and sick leave assignments as they arise in our water and wastewater departments,” says Hannigan, “The downtown Solar Aquatics Water Reclamation Centre (SAWRC) uses living plants during part of the processing and the associated biochemistry and maintenance of this system is unique.”

She states that an existing Rural Dividend grant has a small remainder of project funds to work on process issues which range from greenhouse insulation bubbles created by fire suppression generators, to setting up a mini lab with a microscope connected to a computer that provides feeds to a TV in the lobby.

“The living plants in the wastewater need to be thinned and either composted or disinfected and sold as pond plants which requires some amount of moderately heavy lifting and vaccination against wastewater bugs,”said the CAO, noting anyone who would like more information can contact her at: channigan@ barriere.ca or call 250-672-9751.

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