Suzanne Trevis –
Please Note These Are Not the Official Minutes
Present at the regular council meeting were Mayor Brad Unger, Councillors Brenda Patrick, Rachel Stratton, Kirsty Begon and Joe Sinclair. Village Administrator, Brad McRae was also present. There were seven members of the public, one delegation and the press, in the gallery.
There was one question from the public during open session regarding the closing of the water wells at the municipal campsite. Council confirmed that the cost of capping the pumps permanently was roughly $10,000. However this was quite a bit less than the cost would have been to upgrade the water system.
Two items were added to the agenda before council approved it as amended. They then approved the minutes from the Regular Council Meeting held April 15th and the Special Council Meeting held April 24th. The Special Council Meeting had been held in order for the public to have the opportunity to view the 2019-2023 Five Year Financial Plan and ask questions of council. Two members of the public managed to show up.
Greg Deane of Paradigm Auto Works in Victoria was in attendance with a plan to hold a TARGA Road Race in and around Gold River later this fall. His presentation included a slide show and a question/answer session with council and members of the public. The idea would be to host a two day event that includes timed interval races on different sections of road rather than one closed course. It would, in theory, bring hundreds of people to the community both to compete and to watch. Some of the questions asked included whether Gold River had the capacity to manage that many visitors at once and what the cost would be to the village. While the event would necessitate the need for a number of volunteers, Mr. Deane felt quite confident that we have the ability to host such an event. He went on to explain that costs are worked out ahead of time and factored into the registration fee. There should be no cost to the village, in fact they expect to be able to donate a healthy sum of money back to the community following the event. They also take care of a great deal of the planning. Council agreed to let the CAO continue working with Paradigm on the idea, with the Mayor saying, “Its outside the box, but it’s a way everyone can enjoy our community.”
The first of three reports was the Village’s new Social Media Policy. This document is long overdue and if it does all it promises will be of huge benefit, not just to those of us that live here, but also to anyone thinking of visiting or doing business in our community. It’s primary goals include: increased awareness of municipal services and events; advising taxpayers of upcoming capital projects; the ability to correct misinformation, remedy mistakes, or alter services; and to utilize social media as an additional way to collaborate with the public and other municipalities on mutually beneficial programs or initiatives. Council was in full support.
The Climate Action Revenue Incentive Public Report (CARIP) is an annual report put together by staff to show how the community is planning and progressing toward meeting their climate action goals and carbon neutrality. The report itself is a condition of a Carbon Tax grant (approx. $9,000) that the village receives. Following receipt of the report Councillor Patrick asked if some of this grant money could be used for a community garden or a composting program. Mayor Unger first pointed out that neither of these ideas have come forward as council initiatives, and asked Councillor Patrick if there were groups in the community who were currently trying to make those things happen. “There are some funds available,” he said, “if the community wants to do them.” She said she would look into it.
Financial Statements for the year ending Dec 31, 2018 along with the auditors report were received. CAO McRae thanked the Deputy Director of Finance, Maxine McLean for the hard work she had put in. He went on to give his full support for the report, which was then received by council.
Council Information Items included a report from Councillor Stratton on the April 18th Chamber of Commerce meeting. Among other things Chamber members will be looking after the Parade and Go Cart Races during this summers Gold River Days.
Mayor Unger reminded everyone that Saturday, May 11th is SARA Trails clean up day. Members of the public are invited to hike local trails with clippers and garbage bags to help clean things up in anticipation of summer! All of our local trails are maintained by volunteers. Plans are also in the works for members of the public to be able to advise when hazards such as downed trees or washed out trails are found. Volunteers could then go out and deal with things in a timely fashion. The Mayor gave a shout out to Ken Merlo who already went out and fixed the one culvert that had eaten up half the trail.
Councillor Patrick submitted a report on her trip to AVICC (Association of Vancouver Island & Coastal Communities) convention in Power River April 12th-14th. They went on a tour of Stillwater Tree farm Licence #39, which is about to undergo its third harvest. It is good to remember that logging is all about farming, trees are replanted and grow up to be harvested again and again, just like other crops. Councillor Patrick attended two workshops, one The Provincial Active Transportation Strategy hosted by the Ministry of Transportation, and a CCSPI workshop that promoted local government and First Nation usage of social procurement. There were a number of speeches by Ministers, and keynote speaker, Mark Collins, President and CEO of BC Ferries, spoke about clean tech, shipbuilding plans and long term noise mitigation plans. BC Ferries boasts more than 174,000 sailings a year on the Salish Sea. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans also put on a very lengthy presentation. The meat of the meeting though, is in the resolutions put forward. One of particular interest to Gold River and other north island communities was Resolution 44, Protection of Old Growth Forests submitted by the City of Victoria. There