Highlights from TNRD Board Meeting of August 18

Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) Board of Directors met on Aug. 18

Local MLA Provides Update

Jackie Tegart, MLA for Fraser-Nicola, provided a riding update to the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) Board of Directors on Aug. 18 at their regular board meeting. A number of projects are occurring throughout the region related to health care, economic development, agriculture and transportation.

Challenges regarding access to water for agriculture remain a significant focus in the riding.

Health care also continues to be a concern for residents. Although the riding has experienced some success with doctor recruitment, many communities have further need for medical professionals. MLA Tegart also acknowledged the continued strong communication and relationship with the TNRD directors and encouraged directors to continue to contact her with items they wish to discuss.

She also recognized the Board for the value they demonstrated to volunteers in this area of the Regional District through the TNRD Volunteer Appreciation Dinner that occurred in Merritt the previous evening.

Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association Glenn Mandziuk, CEO of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA), provided the Board of Directors with an overview of the Rail Trails Tourism Strategy.

This strategy is aimed at attracting new visitors to our region through a trail system linking areas within the region such as Spences Bridge, Merritt, and local First Nations communities. It is intended that this trail system will be part of Trans-Canada Trail set to open in 2017.

TOTA approached the TNRD Board of Directors with a request for a formal letter of support, which was granted.

Reapplication Granted for Zoning and OCP Amendment

The Board voted to grant leave to allow an applicant to re-apply within one year to amend the South Thompson Valley-Pinantan OCP and Zoning Bylaws to enable a subdivision of 3335 Shuswap Road. The application had previously been rejected by the Board at an April meeting. Bylaw 2385 dictates that the owners are not allowed to submit another substantially similar  OCP/rezoning application until a year after the rejection of the initial application, in this case, April 7, 2017, but applicants can always appeal to the Board to submit another bylaw amendment now, rather than wait the full year.

TNRD Recognized by Kamloops Art Council

Vice-Chair Ronaye Elliott announced that the Kamloops Art Council voted the TNRD the Government Supporter of the Year. A certificate was presented to the Board Chair in recognition of The Arts Council appreciation of the support provided by the TNRD this past year.

Weed Management Within the TNRD

A number of complaints have been received about weeds within the region, particularly knapweed.

The Board passed a motion to direct staff to arrange a meeting with the province to discuss effective weed management.

Site-Specific Application Gets First Reading

First reading was granted for site-specific uses at Monte Creek Winery. The amendments will allow commercial assembly uses, specifically an open-air amphitheatre on portions of Lot 1 and overflow event parking on a small portion of Lot 2.

Board Approves Gas Tax Funds for Heffley Creek Community Hall

The Board approved the expenditure to a maximum of $55,000, allocated to Electoral Area “P” (Rivers and the Peaks), in Federal Gas Tax – Community Works Fund revenues, to fund roof resurfacing at the Heffley Creek Community Hall.

Resolution to Make McLure Rail Crossing Whistle Free

The Board provided a resolution to make the McLure crossing at Mile 116.39 whistle free. In 2006 and 2011, residents of McLure provided petitions to the TNRD to have whistle cessation at the public rail crossing at the Mile 116.39 and McLure Ferry Road.

Since a whistle cessation process was initiated, TNRD staff have worked with CN and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) to complete all the necessary steps to satisfy the Grade Crossings Regulations and Standards.

The resolution will now go to the rail service provider and other relevant associations, including the Transport Canada Rail Safety Directorate.

Little Fort Cemetery Now a TNRD Service

A request from the Little Fort Cemetery Committee to make the Little Fort Cemetery a “TNRD Service” was approved by the Board.

As many of the members of the Committee are no longer active and a more onerous administrative process is being requested by Consumer Protection, the committee requested that the TNRD make this a “TNRD Service”.

The Little Fort Cemetery has been in operation since approximately 1911 on Crown land. The Little Fort Cemetery Committee receives a financial contribution for the operation and maintenance of these premises.

The next TNRD Regular Board Meeting will be held Thursday, Sept. 22, 1:15 p.m.