Mother's Day Golf Tournament

April 29, 2018

Saturday  May 12, 2018.   Sign up in Teams of Two – Mother & Daughter/Son/Friend

Register by May 6 /18 at GR Golf Club, 11:00 am Shotgun Start,   9 Holes of Golf.

Meal included and there will be a tacky auction as well.                            

COST:   GR Golf Club Members $30 person-Non Members $35 person

Don’t forget to reserve your cart! ($11.50 per person)                                             

    

           

Gold River Days Meeting

April 26, 2018

Monday April 30th at the Village office.
We have lots of residents volunteering their time, but we need more. We especially need people to organize the Parade and the events at the park for the kids. If you or a group you are involved in can spare some time for this great community event, please attend the meeting.

Mother's Day At The Ridge

April 27, 2017

The Ridge is planning a very special day, May 13th, Mother's Day!

Stay tuned we will be listing the full details shortly, reservations are suggested.

Treat Mom to a day out and give us a call.

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An Eventful Council Meeting

April 24, 2018

GOLD RIVER VILLAGE COUNCIL - APRIL 16, 2018

SUZANNE TREVIS

Present at the regular council meeting were Mayor Brad Unger, Councillors Rod MacLeod, Darcy

Curr and Gordon Waterman. Councillor Kirsty Begon was absent. Administrator Larry Plourde

was also present. There were more than two dozen members of the public, and the press, in the

gallery.

Tonights meeting opened with a presentation of the 2018-2022 Financial Plan. Administrator

Larry Plourde and Deputy Treasurer Maxine McLean gave a power point presentation of the

Village’s financial situation. There were a number of questions from the public and a great deal

of discussion.

The current budget is in deficit, which means the village is expecting to spend more than it will

take in this year. This has been the case for a number of years, and in the past, money needed

has been taken from savings. This is also the plan in the current budget. It is not something that

you can do forever, but it has allowed us to keep taxes low, and our recreation facilities open.

Projected deficits don’t always become actual numbers either. According to the Mayor, over the

past fifteen years a sum total of only $450,000 has been drawn from savings. The Village’s

primary responsibilities include sewage treatment, providing clean water and roads. Current

projects in these areas are pushing our budget to the limit.

One of the most debated items was the Centrifuge Project at the Sewage Treatment Plant.

Engineers originally estimated the project at roughly $600,000. When the bids finally came in

cost of the project had almost doubled in price. A large part of this was due to engineers

misjudging project costs. Staff and council assured everyone that the company was one we have

dealt with in the past and they are reputable. Items came up that hadn’t been anticipated and

material costs were higher than expected. The reality remains that the project needs to

happen and council are trying to secure more grant funding to cover the difference.

It should be noted that $495,000 of the original $600,000 has already been covered by grant

funding.

There were concerns raised that some companies “jack up” the prices when it comes to small,

remote communities who have little or no options. While it would be naive to think this doesn’t

happen, the administrator explained that market conditions usually play a bigger role. As in the

case of the 2010 Olympics, when well paying jobs on the lower mainland were plentiful, and

companies put out really high bids because they didn’t really need the work, or didn’t have the

man power.

A number of people were quite upset at the deficit position we are facing. One member of the

public went so far as to ask how they could approve a budget that is so far out of balance. “It

should be sent back until it is balanced!” he said. He then asked what councils plans were to

resolve the problem. Mayor Unger explained that that they are always on the lookout for more grants. He reminded everyone that in addition to generating interest,  Savings allow us to partner on grant

opportunities, something Federal & Provincial governments often ask for. If you can’t provide

your share, you loose the grant, so having those reserves is important for a number of reasons.

He said they have already cut so many costs in the village, it’s hard to find other ways to save

money without cutting needed or wanted services.

The village is looking into a Community Forest Agreement or a Woodlot to replace the

Community Forest License we used to share through the Nootka Sound Economic Development

 

Corporation (NSEDC). The Mayor also touched on the Connect to Innovate program that is

currently bringing high speed internet to rural communities, including Gold River and Tsaxana.

The Administrator then reminded everyone of things that have already been accomplished,

including: Grieg Seafoods, who brought their fish farms to Nootka Sound. They worked closely

with the village to secure facilities at our wharf and currently bring a lot of freight across our

dock. The farm and hatchery jobs support families in Gold River and Tsaxana. Although it

didn’t go anywhere, not all ideas do, staff and council spent many hours working with Green

Island Energy, trying to get a Waste to Energy plant operating on the old mill site. Through the

formation of the NSEDC, a joint venture with Tahsis and Zeballos, we secured the last

Community Forest License issued, and brought needed manufacturing to the town. The shake

and shingle mill started up and a sawmill came down from Tahsis. The NSEDC, through Western

Forest Products, supplied them with wood for many years. He pointed out that the Village has

been a big supporter of the Golf Course, who in turn bring a lot of business to the community.

The Village is currently conducting an Economic Development study, and a Tourism study, with

the help of Ministry of Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. He also

pointed out that the fact that our facilities stay open and our taxes have not gone up, are

reasons people come, or have stayed here.

Keeping facilities open was another hot button item with those in attendance, when discussions

turned to what savings could be had if we started cutting back at our facilities. Apart from the

fact that almost no one in attendance was on board with cutting hours, overhead and the costs

involved in starting up after an extended closure, made savings with those options negligible as

well. We have a lot invested in our facilities and many people live here because of them. It is

the biggest reason past councils have continued to run at a deficit, in the hope that playing the

long game will hold our community together, while we look for solutions.

The Mayor then mentioned that council had just returned from AVICC, the Association of

Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities convention in Victoria. While there they had

discussed housing issues and money for senior housing in smaller communities. “The NDP are in

power now and should be helping us out,” said the Mayor.

 

They also discussed transportation and the possibility of getting some kind of regular public transit between Gold River and Campbell River. The Mayor also reported that there has been some serious interest from

someone looking at reopening a grocery store in the community. They are trying to put a plan

together and he is hoping to have more news in a few weeks time.

There were some questions about why we don’t have an Economic Development person in

place. The Mayor repeated what he had told everyone at a meeting a few weeks ago, no other

community under 1,500 has or can afford an Economic Development officer of their own. When

asked what an EDO could do for us, the Administrator explained that when the mill was running

we had an Ec Dev person and the village budgeted about $160,000 a year. They attended about

4 trade shows a year and mostly promoted lodges etc out in the sound, Air Nootka and the

Uchuck. We did targeted advertising at seniors and RVers. They ran the information centre and

sent out packages to people looking for information. We had a more active Chamber of

Commerce then and the EDO worked closely with them as well. He pointed out that all resource

based communities are facing the same issues and unfortunately for us we are at the end of a

road, not on a busy route.

There were questions about whether some of the items mentioned in the budget really needed

doing, such as replacing a work truck and a backhoe sometime in the next 5 years. The

Administrator explained that just because an item is in the budget doesn’t mean it is carved in

stone. Sometimes you can find grants, sometimes it is there to remind council that this big

ticket item is coming up and should be considered. Sometimes they can be pushed off for a few

years depending on what else comes up and how immediate the need is, but as councils change,

it needs to be shown, so they can plan for it.

There were some questions about staffing and whether we need the number of staff we have in

certain areas. The Administrator explained that staffing levels are already as low as they can

get while still maintaining health and safety standards. He also admitted that while it might

appear that village workers spend a lot of time “gardening”, once you put in vegetation that

needs to be looked after, you have to look after it. There were comments from the gallery on

this subject as well. “People talking about letting staff go is just ridiculous,” said one resident.

“If jobs are not done properly, go supervise. We need to keep standards and our population up.”

Administrator Plourde also reminded residents that 5 staff now do jobs that 10 staff did while

the mill was running, even though the village itself is the same size. Same number of roads,

same number of parks, same amount of sewer and water lines to look after. They are also

required to do far more reporting to other levels of government than they were 20 years ago. At

least 4 weeks of the year are spent doing this additional reporting.

Council then moved on to the regular meeting, approving the agenda and adopting the minutes

of the Regular Council Meeting held April 3, 2018.

There were three reports on the agenda:

Utilities Supervisor Michael Lott submitted a report on the village’s water tank. As part of the

2017 Strategic Goals and Objectives, council contracted an engineering company to conduct a

structural and seismic assessment of the villages steel water tank. Installed in 1965 it is the

only tank, there is no backup or duplex water tank capability. Everyone was impressed with the

condition of the water tower. All of the assessed items were deemed to be good to fair

condition. “It is remarkable that after 53 years of continuous service life that there has been

virtually no steel plate diminishment from weathering, corrosion, electrolysis or any other

degrading elements,” said the report.

Council received a report from Operations Clerk, Jan Rose regarding Pitch In 2018. Junior

Rangers will host the event Sunday, April 29th. Volunteers meet at the Community Centre at

10am where they can choose a route and pick up supplies. Snacks, drinks and a swim pass will

be waiting for participants upon their return.

The Accounts Payable listing was also approved.

Under Council Information Items Councillor Curr stated that he was quite concerned about the

housing situation in the community with regards to apartments, rental suites etc. He asked for a

report from staff that looked into what was being done in other communities and any concerns

that would need to be considered.

Mayor Unger explained that they had all just returned from AVICC the night before and would be

reporting on their findings at the next meeting.

He showed everyone a copy of the new brochure that has been printed with a map of the trails

around the Scout Lake & Antler Lake Recreation Area. He thanked the volunteers responsible for

seeing the project through.

He advised that staff had met with counterparts at Tsaxana to finalize three possible locations

for a cell tower in the valley. They identified one site at Tsaxana, another next to the Village’s

water tower, and a third option above Golden Hinde at the old CBC tower site. Recommendations have been sent in, now we wait to hear back.

Under Bylaws:

Financial Plan Bylaw No 710, 2018 went through first and second reading again due to a

paperwork error. Sewer, Water and Garbage bylaws all received final adoption.

There were four items of correspondence, action was taken on the following:

Strathcona Community Health Network were looking for assistance with a Housing Needs

Assessment. It was unclear exactly what they were looking for. The Mayor said he would contact

them and get a better understanding. Master Carver Sanford Williams sent in a request for support regarding a grant, but again, it was unclear whether they wanted a letter of support for a grant, or for the village to apply for a grant on their behalf. Council received for information and will have staff follow up for

clarification.

Mr. Joe Sinclair sent a letter regarding parking issues in his neighbourhood caused by residential

rentals. Councillor Waterman mentioned more than once that while he wasn’t happy with the

wording of the letter, he was in support of its intent. Mr. Sinclair also had a copy of an online ad

that stated rental homes were available as “multi unit suites”.

“This is a residential neighbourhood. It’s zoned single family,” he said. “How is this okay?”

Mayor Unger said there were some good points in the letter and that the ad was a little

upsetting. Then there was a lot of discussion about how to enforce existing bylaws. Eventually

the Mayor said they would take a month to look into the issue. Some of it is being dealt with in

the new OCP, some will be addressed in the report asked for earlier by Councillor Curr.

During Open Session it was pointed out that in addition to the brochure showing trails in the

area, signage is going up at trailheads and along the individual trails. The Mayor said they would

post a copy of the map on the villages website and everyone was encouraged to share it as

much as possible.

Another resident pointed out that current parking issues would only be compounded with the

approval of basement suites. Councillor Curr stated that 2nd suites were only in the discussion

phase at the moment.

With no further business to discuss council adjourned in camera at 10:17pm, pursuant to the

Community Charter section 90(2)(c) labour relations or other employee relations.

The next council meeting will take place Monday, May 7th at 7pm.

The Ridge Is Hiring

April 23, 2018

We have an opening for an experienced Line Cook, part time initially, seasonal 30 - 40hrs/week. Pay rate  based on experience.  Please drop off your resume to The Ridge,

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Way To Go Dr. Phil!

Good News From The Province

April 13, 2018

This story comes to us from our good friends at CHEK TV.

The province is hoping to make the drive on Head Bay Road between Tahsis and Gold River a little smoother and safer with plans to upgrade two sections of the road.

The transportation ministry will resurface 13 kilometres of the 60 km route using a process called sealcoating, which it says is a cost-effective way to resurface and extend the life of roads by sealing out moisture.

Five kilometres of road will be double sealcoated for the first time, while an eight-kilometre section with existing sealcoat will be pulverized down and recoated.

O.K. Industries of Courtenay has been awarded a $2.13 million contract to do the job, which is expected to take place from mid-April to late June.

“Without doubt, Head Bay Road is vital for Tahsis, but it is also important for the whole of the North Island. It is an access road for First Nations, for tourists and lodges, as well as for industry,” transportation minister Claire Trevana said. Drivers are advised to watch for workers and obey the reduced construction zone speed limit.

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Nuu-chah-nulth and DFO to negotiate fishing rights following court decision

April 21, 2018

(This story from our friends at CHEK TV)

The five First Nations have territories on the west coast of Vancouver Island that range from the Brooks Peninsula in the north to Point No Point in the south.

They've been fighting the federal government since 2006 with numerous victories along the way including Thursday's ruling that the federal government failed to justify why it infringed on the five First Nation's rights to catch and sell fish from their territories.

The five First Nations are Ahousaht, Ehattesaht/ Chinehkint, Hesquiaht, Mowachaht/ Muchalaht and Tla-o-qui-aht.

"Well you know forever, we've been negotiating for a right to a livelihood from the fishery and because we've always done this," said Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council President Judith Sayers.

And the 400-page court ruling paves the way for that to happen. It calls for changes to government policy and effectively putting Indigenouss fishing rights ahead of those of sport fishers.

"The federal government, DFO, have to make room in the commercial fishery for the five nations to fish and it has to have economic viability," said Sayers.

The judge ruled that existing DFO salmon allocation can't be justified and must be changed. The ruling also states that the five First Nations have the right to fish for halibut and other ground fish which they couldn't do before.

In a statement, federal fisheries minister Dominic LeBlanc said "I have directed Fisheries and Oceans Canada to review the Pacific Salmon Allocation Policy. We will work in collaboration with Indigenous groups and all stakeholders to renew and co-develop this policy."

"You know they always speak good words but we need to have them at the table, we need to see that they're serious." added Sayers.

Judith Sayers says she thinks the possibility's that a deal can be negotiated over the next year is only about 50/50.

Time For Golf Registration

April 18, 2018

Ladies Night Golf Registration will be April 25th from 4pm-6pm. Golf will start the following week

Men's Night Golf starts next Thursday, April 26th. Tee off at 5:30.

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