Present at the regular council meeting were Mayor Brad Unger, Councillors Rod MacLeod,
Darcy Curr, Gordon Waterman and KirstyBegon. Administrator Larry Plourde was also
present. There were six members of the public and the Fire Chief present in the gallery.
During Open Session our Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Brenda Patrick asked council if they were all signed up with the Early Warning System that is now in place. There was a test of the system Monday
morning. ‘Connect Rocket Community’ is a mass notification tool now being used by the
Regional District to meet the specific needs of small and mid-sized communities. It is an easy-
to-use solution that empowers the Regional District to reliably reach large groups of people
with important messages, like our recent Tsunami scare. Mrs. Patrick asked if a link to
this information could be included on the Village’s website.
Minutes of the Regular Council Meeting
Held January 15 were adopted as were the minutes from the Committee of the Whole Meeting held
January 22. Committee of the Whole was called to discuss changes to the Official
Community Plan Bylaw No. 705, 2018, and was a continuation from the January 8th meeting.
Council offered comments to staff regarding updates to the OCP and will vote on changes at
an upcoming meeting. Rachel Stratton addressed council with regards to the upcoming video shoot by
CGI Communications. The videos are being created for the village website, and for marketing the
community to the outside world. Shooting dates are March 2 and April 20. Schools have
been approached about having students and staff “fill up” facilities for the shoot at the
arena and pool, other locations include the Pub, Clayworks Cafe, the Revellers and the
House of Unity. Outdoor shoots in April will cover community highlights as well as local
attractions such as the Uchuck, Upana Caves, Crest Creek Crags and local lakes. The village
has offered to waive entrance fees for the events and staff will be instructed to help
There were eight reports on the agenda.
The first was a quarterly report from FireChief, Lisa Mellis-Jones. During the Oct - Dec
time frame the department responded to 5 fire calls, 7 BCEHS assist/First Responder calls, and
4 motor vehicle accidents. Members took part in Low to Steep Slope Rescue Training and
S.T.A.R.T. - Search Techniques and RescueTraining. The department also took part in a
number of Public Relations events including: Fire Prevention Week, Halloween Haunted
House, cleaning the parking lot for Remembrance Day and taking part in the
parade, Santa visit at the Arena, FirstResponder’s kids Christmas party and visits to
Ray Watkins Elementary School and Little Dino’s Day Care. While the department
currently has 21 volunteers, they are always looking for new members.Mayor Unger submitted a
report on highlights from the last Comox Strathcona Regional
Hospital meeting. Demolition of the oldhospital is expected to be complete by
September, opening up more space for parking. A final decision from Transport Canada on the
helipad certificate is expected by late March, early April. There was also a note on the
Comox Strathcona Waste Management committee meeting, which continues to meet
and look into the possibilities of Waste to Energy options in the future. The committee is
looking for more information on technologies that have come forward before making any
recommendations to the board. Councillor Waterman asked how long the Waste
Management committee had been meeting and what it was they were doing. The Mayor
responded that the committee had been created about a year ago and they were
looking into alternate solutions to garbage as a region. A report was received from Grant Loyer, an
independent contractor hired by the village to assist with the Gold River Bridge Waterline
Replacement Project. The report started by recapping the “considerable information” that
has already been provided on this project, including a recommendation from the Village’s
C o n s u l t i n g E n g i n e e r w h i c h s t a t e s “replacement of the water main is extremely
urgent”. With recommended options ranging in scope and cost, from $15,000 to conduct a
desktop study and collect more information, to $500,000 to cover the cost of replacing the
complete water main, there was a great deal of discussion. Council eventually chose options 1
& 2, which authorizes up to $15,000 to gather more data and possibly apply for grant
funding. They will also release $16,000 to acquire materials to construct a temporary
bypass for the waterline and allow staff to create an implementation plan moving forward.
Mr Loyer also submitted a report on the Centrifuge Project. The centrifuge is a
component in the Village’s sludge dewatering process, (management of our sewage).
Advantages to the proposal include: all components of the dewatering process would
be housed in one building specifically designed for this purpose; operations are simplified with
an elevated centrifuge; it allows for existing equipment to remain in place, and in
compliance with Ministry of Environment Permit requirements while the new project is
completed; the old building can be converted to a desperately needed work space and
storage area. An extension to the Infrastructure Project Grant is giving council
time to review construction options and costs. The recommendation that came forward was
to support the elevated centrifuge in a two-story building project proposal. Council passed
a motion to support this recommendation.
The Deputy Clerk submitted a report on 2018Free Use / Discounted Rent and
Utility Fees at the Jack Christensen Centre. The village currently supports Restorative Justice, Museum & Archives, Food Bank and Lions Club by providing discounted space in this facility. All groups
are required to submit an annual report outlining group activities and showing their financial situation. Council agreed to continue supporting these very worthwhile causes. Mayor Unger reported on a meeting
he had attended with MLA Claire Trevena. They discussed Hwy #28. Line painting will be done
this summer throughout the province. There was concern about the size of the gravel that
is being used by Emcon and she will be looking into this. There was also concern about the
continual damage to the highway camera at Crest Lake. There was discussion about repairs
that are needed to our main street. Muchalat Drive is part of the highway and as such comes
under the jurisdiction of the province, not the Municipality. The minister will also be looking
into the possibility of some kind of transport system between our community and Campbell
River. One high priority issue that was discussed was that of Home Care. Our senior
population is rising and talks with the health clinic have only emphasized this lack in our
community. The Minister indicated she would look into this immediately. They also discussed
the possibility of a senior home. Mayor Unger has been in touch with Jim Abram on Quadra
Island. They have been working on this for some time, and have information to share. Ms
Trevena also continues to support our efforts to bring cell service to the community.
Councillor Waterman submitted a report on the Library Board, which had their Annual General
Meeting in January. Performance indicators for Gold River show a membership of 603, with
10,329 visits last year. They ran a total of 35 programs which saw 948 participants. There
were discussions about a potential new library at the Tyee Plaza in Campbell River, a new
library in Chemainus, and a VIRL branch in Sooke. They are also working on temporary
branches in Sayward and Tahsis due to issues with current spaces.
The Mayor also brought forward a letter from Sgt McGee replying to his concerns around
cougar sightings in the community. It outlines RCMP protocol when it comes to wildlife. He
also said he would be happy to come and discuss the issue with council. A copy of the
protocol is available to view at the RCMP office or at the front desk at the Village Office.
Under Council Information Items the Mayor brought forward a report from the Regional
District regarding “Building Remote and Rural Community Capacity Through High Speed
Internet”. The SRD has submitted proposals to the ‘Connect to Innovate’ program. CTI is a
$500 million Federal program targeting rural and remote communities. The SRD has hired a
telecom business consultant to provided input into the development of a regional broadband
strategy, while also exploring funding opportunities for broadband infrastructure.
Mayor Unger also reported that a press release from Tahsis advised that Mayor Jude Schooner
had submitted her resignation effective April17th.
Council received 9 pieces of correspondence
and acted on the following:
Deputy Minister Jill Kot with regards to cell coverage in Gold River & Tsaxana. The
Ministers office was looking for gps coordinates of the area we would like to see covered. The
Mayor advised he would get the information to them as soon as possible.
Brenda Patrick regarding overgrown areas along Matchlee Drive. Residents in the area
have been trying to get trees and brush cut back along the road and were made aware that
some of the property is no longer owned by Western Forest Products Ltd. Some, like those
between Nootka Drive and the Heber River (atthe upper bridge) were exchanged in some sort
of company trade. The administrator assured council that staff would write a letter to the
new owners “advising them of their obligations”. With no further business to discuss in public,
council adjourned to move in-camera.The next council meeting will Monday February 19th.