All five members of Cache Creek council were in attendance at the regular council meting held on Jan. 13, 2020.
The meeting began with a presentation from Gareth Smart of the HUB Online Network. He showed a short video describing the network, and asked if it would be possible to have one member of council each month, on a rotating basis, do a half-hour, in-depth interview to talk about what is happening in the Village and answer questions from the interviewer and the public.
“We think this would be something to help the council get their message out to the public more, because not a lot of people come to the meetings, but a lot of people have an opinion,” said Smart. The interviews — which would also be done with members of Ashcroft council — are projected to start in February or March this year.
Mayor Santo Talarico congratulated the HUB Online Network on its success and activities thus far, and Coun. Sue Peters clarified that it would be one member of council, including the mayor, per month.
Coun. Annette Pittman asked how far in advance council members would get the questions. The answer was that questions would be supplied several days in advance of the interview. Smart added that they were also asking the local MLA and MP, as well as local Band councils, to take part. Talarico said council would mull it over and have the item on the next meeting’s agenda.
There was some discussion around a staff request to close the Village office for the whole day on Feb. 14 to allow staff to do year-end filing and clear-up. Staff explained that during the process they have files spread out around the office to go into the vault, while other documents that have reached the end of their life are removed from the vault, and that this closure happens every year in order to allow staff to accomplish the work in one day.
Talarico and Pittman were opposed to the closure, and it was asked if it would be possible to have one clerk deal with members of the public while others carried out the work. After some discussion the question was tabled until the next meeting in order for council to obtain more information.
Council then gave first, second, and third readings to three bylaws: a Water Rates amendment, a Sewer Rates amendment, and a Garbage Collection and Disposal Rates amendment. The bylaws call for all three sets of rates to increase for the 2020 year by 10 per cent over the 2019 rates.
Talarico raised a concern regarding the charge to residents of $50 (during regular hours) to have water to their property turned off or on, noting that it has always been an issue for him. “We have staff available during the course of Monday to Friday, 7:30 to 4:30, and that should be a service we provide for our citizens, and not something we should be charging for.”
Coun. Lisa Dafoe asked if that would include new residences as well, and Talarico said it should include all residents of Cache Creek if the request was within the regular operating hours of the Village crew. He added that he did not have an issue with there being a charge for weekend or after hours services (currently $50 plus call-out fee).
Staff explained that the Village gets two or three such requests per month, with Coun. Wendy Coomber noting that seasonal businesses would sometimes ask for their water to be shut off and then turned on again when the business reopened. Talarico replied that it is a service the Public Works crew should be providing to citizens at no charge. “I really have a problem with it.”
After discussion, Peters proposed an amendment removing the regular hours charge for turning water off or on from the Water Rates amendment bylaw. The amendment was passed, and the amended bylaw received first, second, and third readings, as did the other two bylaws. All three bylaws received final reading and were adopted at a special council meeting on Jan. 16.
Final reading and adoption of a zoning amendment bylaw that would clear the way for a 59-unit modular home development at the east end of Stage Road was passed with no further discussion.
Dafoe moved that a letter of authorization be provided to Western Water Association Ltd., allowing employees of the firm to contact property owners on the Semlin aquifer to obtain information related to establishing a new water source for the Village of Cache Creek. The motion passed.
Free use of the Community Hall, and a waiving of the security deposit, was granted for an event during Family Literacy Week (Jan. 26 to Feb. 1). Talarico also proclaimed that week Family Literacy Week in the Village of Cache Creek.
Coomber gave a transit report, stating that if Cache Creek wanted “on demand” service within the Village from the local transit bus, the Village would have to write to Ashcroft and Clinton — the other two partners in the system — and ask them to share some of their time. (The on demand service operates in Ashcroft on Wednesday and Friday afternoons, and in Clinton on Wednesday and Friday mornings).
Coomber moved that the Cache Creek CAO write to the Ashcroft and Clinton CAOs to ask for some of their on demand service time. She added that if existing time could be shared there would be no charge to Cache Creek, but if extra time had to be added to the schedule the Village would incur a charge. The motion passed unanimously.
Coomber presented written reports on a SILGA workshop on the Emergency Program Act modernization and a TNRD Emergency Operations Centre workshop she had attended, noting that more training and preparedness was needed and that the Province was going to be looking more closely at local Emergency Plans. Peters noted several people within the Village (staff and council) with emergency training and spoke of the critical importance of the first 24 to 72 hours after an emergency, and there was a lengthy discussion about emergency preparedness and knowing what resources are available.
It was eventually moved that an Emergency Operations Centre committee be formed, and that people be sought to take part in the committee. The motion passed unanimously.
It was noted that repairs to the fire hall roof were complete, and that Fraserway RV had once again made a donation — in the amount of $20,000 — to the Cache Creek Volunteer Fire Department for wildfire-fighting equipment. The warranty issues with Engine 4 have also been resolved.
Council then discussed a zoning amendment application from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District for a parcel of land at Boston Flats, where a manufactured home park is proposed.
The 4.5 hectare piece of land — located above the former mobile home park — is zoned RL-1 Rural, and the rezoning application, if successful, would change that to MH-1. The land in question is within the TNRD, but is immediately adjacent to land owned by the Village of Cache Creek, bringing into effect the Fringe Areas Policy of the TNRD.
The zoning amendment application was being submitted to council for comments and resolution, with the Village asked to review the application and respond to the TNRD within 40 days. Peters stated a concern about the lack of potable water in the area, citing it as something that would need to be addressed, and Pittman asked how it might affect the proposed modular home development in Cache Creek. It was noted that the Boston Flats development is for a mobile home park, with Coomber saying that the only affect on Cache Creek would be providing more homes for locals. A resolution in support of the application was passed.
Peters asked that the Village craft a resolution, to come forward at the Southern Interior Local Government Association convention and AGM, asking that more financial assistance be given to small communities to assist with emergency preparedness and creating an Emergency Plan. She clarified that “small communities” would mean communities with a population less than 5,000 people. The motion passed.
Talarico asked council to consider what they might like to see on a cancellation mark to be used on all outgoing mail from the Cache Creek post office, noting that it was an idea that had not flown with previous councils. He said that if council agreed with the suggestion, he would bring the cost back to a future meeting, noting it would give Cache Creek international exposure.
Council went into a closed session at approximately 8:15 p.m.
Minutes and agendas for all Cache Creek council meetings are available on the Village website (http://www.village.cachecreek.bc.ca/). Video recordings of council meetings can be viewed on the HUB Online Network’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.