All five members of Cache Creek council were present at the Committee of the Whole meeting (5:30 p.m.) and regular board meeting (7 p.m.) on Tuesday, Oct. 13.
Committee of the Whole meeting
Staff and council discussed proposed changes to the procedures bylaw. Highlights include:
Deputy mayor appointment: The procedure bylaw states that the mayor shall appoint the deputy mayor at his/her discretion. Mayor Santo Talarico argued that it should stay that way, and that the mayor should have the power to both appoint deputy mayors and rescind those appointments. Coun. Annette Pittman suggested that the appointments should be made by the drawing of lots, but this suggestion was not adopted. The ability of councillors to opt out of the deputy mayor appointment was added.
Council meeting dates: For many years the Cache Creek and Ashcroft council meetings have both been on the second and fourth Mondays of each month, with the two councils alternating the start times between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. This is now impeding filming of the meetings, and the ability of council members from one community to attend the other’s meetings. It was decided to move the Cache Creek meetings to the first and third Mondays of each month, and have them start consistently at 6 p.m. It was also decided not to add a formal second meeting to July and August at this time, but to judge that on an as needed basis.
Electronic meetings: It was decided to leave it that electronic (virtual) meetings would only take place if it was mandated due to something such as a provincial state of emergency. Participation of individual council members via electronic means under certain circumstances is still allowed.
Following the discussion about the procedures bylaw, Talarico noted that the introduction of water metering in the Village would probably be contentious, as it has been in other communities. He said that water meters not only establish the amount of water usage per property, they are important in detecting if there are leaks on a line and where those leaks are. He said that there are two options for the placement of water meters: at the curb or in the house/building. Placing them at the curb, he said, was important in determining whether — if a water leak was suspected — it was between the meter and the building, or in the Village’s system.
Talarico also noted the installation cost. Unlike in rural areas of the TNRD where water meters are being installed, in Cache Creek there are curbs, gutters, sidewalks, landscaping, and other infrastructure that will be impacted if meters are installed. Coun. Wendy Coomber said she hoped water meters were brought in sooner rather than later.
Dalsin said he was CAO in Chase when meters were brought in and they heard a lot of concerns, particularly from families with children and from those who take pride in their landscaping. Once they were installed, he added, they received many compliments, with people saying it was informative to see how much water they were using/wasting. Coun. Sue Peters noted that when every drop of water coming out of taps has to be pumped and treated, monitoring water usage and conserving water is important.
Replacement of the fencing at the Campbell Hill airport, which was destroyed in the Elephant Hill wildfire in 2017, has now been fully replaced.
Community Hall use
Coun. Sue Peters asked for information about Community Hall use. Dalsin said there is a COVID-19 checklist for hall users, which contains eight or so requirements. He said that there has been very little push back from user groups.
A new community bus will be arriving next month, equipped with features such as closed circuit TV. Coomber noted that new schedules will soon be available around town, and said that the use of the bus to take people from Cache Creek to Ashcroft for flu shots at the pharmacy was being looked into.
Talarico said that at a meeting with new Ashcroft RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Darren Angman, he had raised the issue of drivers speeding on Quartz and Stage Roads, as well as along the highways within the Village. Angman has committed to having members enforce speed limits along those roads four times per month. Members have also been asked to report any streetlights they see out to the Village office so they can be replaced in a timely manner.
Gold Country Communities Society
A decision about allowing two Electoral Areas (“M” and “N”) to be released from two TNRD Gold Country Communities Services Establishment Bylaws was deferred at the request of Coun. Lisa Dafoe, who asked that more information about the matter be obtained from GCCS. Talarico also asked for more information from the TNRD about the request, which requires that six of the nine signatories (Cache Creek, Ashcroft, Clinton, Lytton, and TNRD Electoral Areas “E”, “I”, “J”, “M”, and “N”) give their approval. The departure of the two Electoral Areas would mean a loss of funding of approximately $30,000 per year for GCCS, which the remaining signatories could (or could not) agree to cover.
All minutes and agendas for Cache Creek council meetings can be found on the Village’s website at http://www.village.cachecreek.bc.ca/. The next scheduled regular meeting of council is on Monday, Oct. 26 at 4:30 p.m.