Notes from the Clinton council meeting of April 13.
Mario Piroddi of BDO made a presentation about the draft audited financial statement for the 2021 fiscal year. He noted that there were significant changes to both the assets and liabilities, largely accounted for by the loan to construct the new public works building and the resulting construction costs. He said that all in all, revenue results were “good and strong”.
Just over a third of the village’s revenue for 2021 — $818,341 — came from property taxes, and Piroddi pointed out how dependent every municipality, particularly small ones, is on property tax revenue. The village has an accumulated surplus of $13,453,522, of which just over $8 million is in tangible capital assets. The village has sewer and water reserves of $290,088 and $196,775 respectively, as well as $1,962,801 in reserve (restricted) funds, $2,346,874 in general (unrestricted) funds, and $536,614 as equity in the Clinton and District Community Forest company.
Piroddi concluded that the audit went smoothly and there were no areas of concern. Clinton resident Ted Pappas had questions about the Clinton and District Community Forest, which Piroddi explained he could not answer, as well as several comments about the Community Forest and the Village of Clinton which Mayor Susan Swan deemed did not require an answer.
Pappas then appeared as a delegation to express concerns about what he said was the proposed use of McDonald Avenue. He claimed that the Community Forest was intent on designating McDonald Avenue as a long-term raw log-hauling and heavy equipment operations corridor accessing Cariboo Highway. He cited a lack of sidewalks on the road, as well as its use by people for recreation purposes, and asked if proper research had been done on usage, traffic patterns, etc. He asked how many trucks could be expected to use the route and during what hours, what the impact on infrastructure would be, and what this would mean for the junction with Cariboo Highway.
There were no questions or comments from council, and Swan thanked Pappas for his concerns.
Letter of support: Desert Mesa Club
The Desert Mesa Club, which operates the Cache Creek Visitor Information Centre, asked for a letter of support for a funding request to Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT). The request is for a marketing plan which would include new signage for the Visitor Centre that would include a regional map showcasing Clinton and Ashcroft as well as Cache Creek.
The plan also includes creation of a regional Chamber of Commerce for Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Clinton, and the surrounding area. The request noted that this would benefit the businesses in all the communities by providing business exposure, community involvement, grant funding, networking events, and workshops, conferences, and training opportunities. Money has been secured for the project, and a letter of support would be used to leverage that money into additional grant funding.
There were concerns raised over a perceived conflict of interest, since Kat Chatten — who manages the Cache Creek Visitor Centre — is also employed by the Village of Clinton. While council was in support of the creation of a regional Chamber of Commerce, there were questions as to how something at the Cache Creek Info Centre would benefit Clinton. However, it was also noted that people in small communities wear many hats; the request was for a letter of support only; and that people stopping in Cache Creek would take note of a map showing what is offered in Clinton.
The motion for a letter of support passed.
Letter of support: New Pathways to Gold Society
Council passed a letter of support for NPTGS, which has recently seen their financial support from the Province of B.C. cut. Other local governments in the region have already provided letters of support for NPTGS, which carries out projects in the Gold Rush/Spirit Trails heritage tourism corridor between Yale and Barkerville. One recent project was a survey of the Cariboo Waggon Road between Clinton and Lac La Hache.
Council passed a motion to apply to NDIT for grant funding to cover 70 per cent of the cost of removing the landscaping ties that edge the main walking path in Reg Conn Park and resurfacing the pathway in recycled rubber to improve accessibility and create a path that will require less maintenance. The estimated cost of the project is $42,835, which would mean the village’s share of the cost would be approximately$12,850.
Swan noted that the Clinton Volunteer Fire Department is still looking for new members. Anyone who is interested in joining the department is welcome to drop by the fire hall during practice every Monday night to see what is involved.
Council passed a motion that gives all members of the Clinton fire department a free membership for the fitness room located in the village office building. Coun. David Park said that in addition to helping with fitness/health, it might be an incentive for new members to join the department.