All members of Cache Creek council were present for the regular council meeting on Feb. 16, which began at 6 p.m.
Zoning amendment public hearing
The meeting began with a public hearing dealing with retail cannabis sales and production within the village. The first of two late written submissions was from the Williams Lake First Nation, asking that the “buffer zone” around Cache Creek Elementary School be reduced from 200 metres to 175 metres, or whatever would allow them to establish a retail cannabis store adjacent to Junctions Coffee Shop.
The second late submission was from Chuck Pittman, asking what effects the zoning bylaw would have on his businesses (Chanor Truck Repairs and Pittman Properties Ltd.). Dalsin said both businesses are within the 200 metre buffer zone, meaning they could not open cannabis business and none could be located on immediately adjacent properties.
There were no online questions or comments during the hearing, although Coun. Annette Pittman asked about the procedure for notifying members of the public, noting that at least one person did not receive the written notice in their postbox until the Thursday or Friday before the Tuesday, Feb. 16 meeting. Dalsin said that as per requirements, two notices were published in separate issues of the Journal, and placed on the village’s Facebook page and website. He added that the letters were mailed out on Friday, Feb. 5, and were sent to almost everyone in town.
Mayor Santo Talarico said “We do our best to make notifications, and that’s all we can do.”
Invasive plant program
Jamie Vieira gave a presentation about the TNRD’s Invasive Plant Program, which has previously been confined to, and funded by, the 10 electoral areas (EAs) within the TNRD. The program gives EA residents an opportunity to take advantage of the program’s services, including rebates on money spent combating invasive plants, access to invasive plant control methods and equipment, private land consultations, and more. The 11 municipal governments within the TNRD are now being offered access to the program, at an annual cost determined by population size. The Village of Cache Creek’s annual fee would be $5,000, and if the village opted in the service would start in 2022.
Vieira outlined the benefits to municipalities of joining the program, noting that invasive plants do not respect municipal boundaries and are a region-wide issue. He added that municipal residents and staff often come to the TNRD asking questions about invasive plants and what can be done about them. “Benefits to the village would be having a stable, long-term invasive plant program within your boundaries, increased support for municipal staff in managing invasive plants on public land like within your parks, enhanced coordination region-wide, and increased education and outreach programs within the municipality.”
Council will consider the request at an upcoming meeting.
Talarico asked about progress on the proposed Cache Creek/Ashcroft Eco-Depot on Campbell Hill Road East. Vieira said that work was hampered last year by archaeological work that was required, which was delayed by COVID-19. “It postponed us quite a bit.” He said that a tender would be issued this spring and he hoped that a contract would be issued for construction this summer, with construction expected to last three to four months. “We’re doing everything we can to have it open by the end of this year.”
Bonaparte Band meeting
Coun. Sue Peters moved that a Zoom meeting be set up with the Bonaparte Band to discuss mutual aid and protocol agreements given the upcoming freshet. The resolution passed.
Meeting with MLA
Talarico, Peters, Coun. Wendy Coomber, and Dalsin recently met via Zoom with Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart regarding emergency planning for the upcoming freshet. Peters said the gist of the conversation was that the issue was bigger than the municipality and even bigger than the Province, and that everyone needs to stop working as independent “silos” and begin working more globally. “The flooding involves all levels of government and our hands are tied on a lot of things because of [provincial and federal regulations] on our creeks, and Crown land, where the flooding originates from.”
Peters continued, “We can do flood mitigation within the village, but unless something is done higher up in the hills … it’s a losing battle.” She added that if they fixed one culvert there were others to fix, and that climate change was a huge part of what is happening. “We have to figure out some projects to mitigate the effects of that as well.”
HUB Society letter of support
A motion to provide a letter of support to the Ashcroft HUB Society regarding the disposal process for the HUB property was questioned by Coomber, who noted that council had not provided a letter of support for Historic Hat Creek when asked to do so. “We declined that for Hat Creek Ranch … I don’t know why this is different.” There was no answer or discussion, and the motion passed with Coomber opposed.
The meeting went into closed session at 7:32 p.m.
All minutes and agendas for Cache Creek council meetings can be found on the Village’s website at http://www.village.cachecreek.bc.ca/. Meetings normally take place on the first and third Mondays of each month, and begin at 6 p.m. The next regular meeting will take place on Monday, March 1.