Clinton council meeting of Feb. 23.
Cpl. Marika Masters of the Clinton RCMP detachment gave a presentation detailing some of the challenges of the past year, including a substantial rise in the number of cases dealing with mental health issues, which take up a lot of police resources and time. She also noted the good working relationship with the Ashcroft detachment, which sees members from both communities backing each other up.
There was a significant amount of community engagement, including “Cram a Cruiser” and a bike rodeo. “All of our members currently here are quite heavily engaged in community activities. We work and we play here,” Masters said.
Traffic enforcement — which includes pedestrian safety — will continue to be a priority in 2022. Masters said she is working with the Ministry of Transportation about speed limits in and around the community on Highway 97. She added that the detachment currently has three members, but will be up to four in April.
Council considered the 18 Grant-in-Aid requests received for this year, almost all of which comprised free use of the Memorial Hall for periods lasting from three hours (the Clinton Legion’s Remembrance Day service) to 40 evenings (three hours each Tuesday for the Mill Girls Follies practices). Mayor Susan Swan noted that although there was a request from the Clinton Annual Ball for use of both the Memorial Hall and the village meeting room, organizers of the ball have decided there will be no event again this year.
The total in-kind value of all the requests for facility use (including the Clinton Annual Ball request that was subsequently withdrawn) is calculated a $11,250. The booking administration fee, liability insurance requirements, associated equipment, and janitorial services are not included, and will be the responsibility of each user group.
The applications are usually received and assessed by the Spirit of Clinton committee. However, that group has not met for two years because of COVID-19, so this year’s requests have fallen to council to approve.
Coun. David Park said that some of the requests for use seemed excessive, singling out the Mill Girl Follies as an example. Swan said that the group traditionally provided free entertainment at the village’s Canada Day event, adding that if a paid user wanted to rent the hall on a Tuesday evening, that user would take precedence.
Coun. Christine Rivett said she understood what Park was saying, but that she would rather see the Memorial Hall used than have it stand empty. Park agreed, saying that the community hall is for the community and that people have been cooped up for two years, but noted that the village is trying to raise money, and that this might be something to look into in the future.
Cross Connection bylaw
Council considered a new Cross Connection bylaw, which will require every house and business in Clinotn to install, at their own cost, a mechanism to prevent backflow that could contaminate the municipal water supply. Interior Health requires the village to have a Cross Connection Control program in place as a condition of its permit, and Chief Administrative Officer Murray Daly said that while there will be a cost attached to installing backflow preventers or whatever else is needed, the village must have these measures in place.
He added that the village has not found a grant that will cover putting the preventive measures in place. The cost will vary depending on the building in question and the measures needed for each one.
While council acknowledged the necessity of adopting these measures, there was considerable discussion about the proposed deadline of January 2023 for full compliance, with Park noting the lack of contractors in the area who can carry out such work and wondering if 10 months is long enough for people to get the necessary work done. Daly pointed out the need to have some sort of deadline, adding that the bylaw can be amended if more time is needed. He also noted that while it was unlikely that every residence in Clinton would have the measures in place by January 2023, the more pressing concern was ensuring that larger, higher-risk properties come into compliance as soon as possible.
Council gave first three readings to the bylaw, after changing the implementation date to Jan. 1, 2024 subject to final approval. Daly explained that once the work is done, each property will need to be inspected and certified; commercial buildings will then be subject to an annual inspection.
Swan asked if it was possible for the village to purchase the necessary hardware in bulk, but Daly said requirements will vary too much according to what is needed for each property to make that feasible.
The next meeting of Clinton council is on Wednesday, March 9 at 7 p.m.