All five members of Cache Creek council were at the regular council meeting of Nov. 12, which began with a presentation from David Rhodes of Dawson Road Maintenance, who talked about the company’s preparations for winter. It was substantially the same as his presentation to Ashcroft council earlier that evening, and included discussion of new winter specifications, including the reduction in the size of aggregate used on major highways from 12.5mm to 9.5mm.
Rhodes explained that this would hopefully reduce the number of cracked windshields at higher speeds, and that the larger aggregate would be used on other roads. Mayor Santo Talarico asked what the benefit of the larger aggregate was, and Rhodes replied that it was less expensive, and also provides better traction/coverage when applied.
Referring to the recent preventative closure of Hwy. 99 near the 10 Mile Slide site, Talarico asked what the particular issue there was. Rhodes replied that there is continuous movement in the area; up to three-eights of an inch an hour. “Once it starts moving a certain amount for a certain period of time, they have to shut the highway down until they know what’s going on.” He then described the work being done at the site to stabilize it, which is set to be completed in 2021.
Talarico also asked what could be done about the situation where Village crew ploughs the sidewalks beside the highways, Dawson fills them up again, the crew ploughs, Dawson fills them again, etc. Rhodes explained that the only way would be for the plough drivers to slow down to 10km/hr, to prevent snow going onto the sidewalks. He noted that was an ineffective thing for the drivers to do, given the size of the area they are covering. “They tend to be in a hurry because they want to get everything done. But we do instruct [the drivers] that they need to slow down in the towns. It’s an ongoing concern.”
There were minor amendments to the minutes of the Oct. 28 meeting, after which Coun. Sue Peters moved that council approve the Village of Cache Creek becoming the community organization responsible for the “Love Northern BC” program, and that Coun. Wendy Coomber be appointed the program’s community champion. Coomber had proposed that Cache Creek join the program—run by the Northern Development Initiative Trust—at the Oct. 28 meeting. There was no discussion, and the motion passed unanimously.
A motion granting permission to Dave Underwood of TRUE Consulting to correspond directly with UBCM on behalf of the Village regarding the Structural Flood Mitigation funding stream passed unanimously, after Coomber asked if council would be privy to the correspondence. CAO Martin Dalsin replied that he would be privy to it, and could pass the information to council. TRUE is applying to UBCM on behalf of the Village for $750,000 to help fund construction of a bridge on Quartz Road to address the issue of an undersized culvert.
The Permissive Tax Exemption bylaw was given first, second, and third readings, with Coun. Annette Pittman the only one opposed each time. When it came time to discuss the motion for third reading, Pittman said she agreed with some, but not all, of the exemptions, and felt that funds could be used towards the pool or the water system. “That would benefit the whole community. That’s why I’m opposing.”
Dalsin asked if she would care to be specific about which of the exemptions she was opposed to. Pittman replied that she thought there had been enough discussion, and declined to comment further. The five entities named in the Permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw were The Equality Project Society; the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada; the Roman Catholic Bishop of Kamloops; the South Cariboo Sportsmen Association; and the Ash-Creek TV Society.
Council unanimously passed a motion waiving the rental fee and damage deposit at the Cache Creek Community Hall for a PeeWee hockey bake sale fundraiser on Dec. 8.
A slide show about the water treatment plant followed, with Talarico reporting that on Nov. 3 there was an alarm at the plant. Crew responded, and pictures showed a fractured PVC cap which was spilling water into the plant.
Talarico noted that the PVC—polyvinyl chloride—cap is plastic, and that this is part of ongoing problems at the plant. A subsequent slide showed that the plant’s main control panel is directly across from the recent break, and within spraying distance of it. “That’s where all our electrical comes in, so you can see it’s a big issue for us.” said Talarico.
Dalsin pointed out in another slide that the waterproofing on a piece of equipment that recently underwent $100,000-worth of repair amounted to a plastic sheet placed in front of it.
The mayor explained that a water treatment plant project awarded in 2009 and commissioned in 2012 cost between $1.8 and $2.2 million. Slides showed damage to plastic pipes and the “solution” by the company that installed them: steel pipes mixed with plastic (PVC) which introduced many more “elbows”, which is even more of a hazard than was the case before.
“This is what we have today,” said Talarico. “You can see how much PVC we have in that water treatment plant: a lot.” Another slide showed a solution tank containing sodium hypochlorite. “That’s a very corrosive chemical, and if you walk into the building the first thing you smell is a heavy, heavy bleach smell.”
Talarico ended by saying that the water treatment plant was the Village’s biggest concern.
“Based on what happened on Nov. 3, I’ve contacted an electrical company to provide us with a quote for moisture sensors, and also the equipment needed that in the event we have another structural failure in the our water treatment plant it automatically sends an alarm to our crew and shuts down the pumps completely.”
It was noted that the initial impact to residents of the pumps shutting down would be minimal, but that if the shutdown was lengthy there could be an impact. Talarico said they were taking these steps to try to ensure any shutdowns of the system were as minimal as possible. He added that the plant in question was commissioned in 2012, and that the main pumping station was commissioned in 1980. “Before we have our Town Hall we’ll be taking some photos, as we’ve had issues with that facility as well.”
Mayor Talarico proclaimed that November would be declared “Adoption Awareness Month” in the Village of Cache Creek, and Dalsin noted that the start date of work on the fire hall roof had been delayed by a week, and would begin on Nov. 22. He also reported that there were a few issues with the new fire engine, and that follow-up with the company was being done.
Under inter-governmental relations, Mayor Talarico said that he had spoken with the mayor of Ashcroft about the possibility of getting together on a government-to-government level and discussing the sharing of services and equipment discussed at a recent Cache Creek budget meeting. “Anything to do with inter-governmental relations where we can combine our efforts and start the dialogue. She was receptive to that, so we’ll be directing the CFO and CAO to maybe meet with their clan and see if we can come up with a directive we can proceed with down the road.”
A status report from CAO Dalsin followed, with a lengthy summary of the status of items from the Oct. 28 council meeting; the Draft 2020 Strategic Plan; the Age-Friendly Communities study; the Seniors’ Housing Needs study; and the Vision for Downtown study. There were 97 items in all, with many marked as completed or in progress; the recommendation for the remainder was that they be discussed during strategic planning in 2020, 2021, 2022, or 2023, or removed altogether.
Dalsin explained that he was asking council to adopt the report, which would mean accepting the recommendations within it. “A lot of those recommendations you see in there are to defer to another strategic plan year, or to remove them either because they’re already done or just not do-able for some reason.”
Coomber and Peters noted a few items that were either already in progress through other organizations, or which might be better handled by other organizations. There was no further discussion, and the report was passed as amended.
Pittman asked how the Christmas lights were coming along, and Dalsin said very well, with more than $2,000 spent on repairs to existing decorations and some new ones added. The focus will be on the community hall this year, but the hope is to expand down the streets in the future.
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.