All members of Cache Creek council were present for the regular council meeting on March 15, which began at 6 p.m.
Grant opportunities for pool
In an email regarding the Cache Creek pool that was discussed during the March 1 meeting, Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon MP Brad Vis mentioned three possible grant opportunities to help with costs associated with the Cache Creek pool. Coun. Annette Pittman moved that staff look into the requirements of all three grants and apply if the village is eligible, noting that time was of the essence if there was any hope of using grant funding to enable the pool to open this year. The motion passed.
Retail cannabis buffer zone
Following a request from Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN), council considered whether to reduce the buffer zone around Cache Creek Elementary School that excluded the establishment of retail cannabis stores within that zone. WLFN had noted that they were interested in establishing a retail cannabis store beside Junctions Coffee House at 1153 Trans-Canada Highway, but the original 200 metre zone in the proposed bylaw would make the location ineligible for such a store.
Janet Lilly — who, with her husband Garth, operates Club Cannabis in 100 Mile House — had written to council, informing them that she and her husband have conditionally secured a suitable location for a retail cannabis store in Cache Creek which respects the 200 metre zone. The letter stated that the draft bylaw provided “ample opportunity” to accommodate retail sales of cannabis. “As investors and operators, we are steadfast in our opposition to any site specific deviations that would contradict this program as it is our belief that this would undermine the community’s goals and create uncertainty for those looking to invest. In addition, based on the significant number of properties that qualify we believe it is also unnecessary.”
Coun. Wendy Coomber moved to amend the buffer zone around the school to 150 metres. The motion was carried, and the bylaw was given final reading. The adoption of the zoning amendment means that cannabis retailers can now provide expressions of interest to the village.
Interior Health inspected the Cache Creek pool on March 11, 2021. The report noted that the “Gas room that supplied chlorine to disinfection system has been deactivated and replaced with hypo-chlorinator pump without the benefit of a construction permit. Please have this system approved by our public health engineers prior to opening.” The report also provided information on applying for a construction permit.
Pittman moved that staff apply for the permit. Councillors Sue Peters and Lisa Dafoe suggested that the issue needed to be discussed at a budget meeting, while Mayor Santo Talarico said that a construction permit was not needed, as there was a pre-existing injection system that was simply being replaced. The motion to apply for the permit ultimately passed.
The Cache Creek Activity Planning Council asked for support from the village for a variety of Easter activities, noting that the group’s goal was to “bring back a sense of community and rebuild community spirit.”
The village was asked for assistance with printing costs, prizes, and posting information to the village’s Facebook page, and was also asked for permission for painted rocks to be placed in the Gateway Park at the junction of Highways 1 and 97. The requests were approved.
Council approved the funding of a $500 bursary to be awarded to one Cache Creek student graduating this year from Desert Sands Community School.
Drug task force
Coomber moved that the village look into the creation of a task force to look into drug-related problems in the town, and suggested that it be comprised of the mayor and representatives from the RCMP, BC Emergency Health Services, and Interior Health. Coomber will bring a more detailed report to a future meeting.
General grant opportunities
Council approved a motion to apply for funding through two new government grant programs. The Strengthening Communities’ Services program helps local governments address the impacts of homelessness, support people, and strengthen community health and safety, while the Local Government Development Approvals program helps local governments implement established best practices and test innovative approaches to improve development approvals processes.
TNRD Invasive Plant program
Council voted in favour of Cache Creek joining the Thompson-Nicola Regional District’s Invasive Plant service at a cost of $5,000 per year. This will allow residents to access all of the service’s offerings, including rebates of eligible costs incurred in dealing with invasive plants and advice and assistance from the TNRD. Participation in the service will begin in 2022.
The meeting went into closed session at 6:42 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. Because of the Easter stautory holidays, the next regular meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 6.
With files from Jessica Clement