Cache Creek pool, 2009. Photo credit: Journal files

Concerns, comments about pool bookend Cache Creek council meeting

Council revisits several previously decided motions due to procedural irregularities

Coun. Lisa Dafoe was the only council member not present at the regular meeting of Cache Creek council on April 6, which began at 6 p.m. and saw several previously discussed items back on the agenda because of procedural irregularities at the March 15 meeting.

Pool presentation

The HUB Online Network held an online public meeting about the Cache Creek pool on March 18 and conducted an online survey, and Jessica Clement presented to council about them.

She said that more than 500 people had subsequently viewed the presentation, and that feedback indicated people recognized there were issues with the pool infrastructure and understood the reason for closing it in 2020. However, she also noted that people said they had been promised answers about the pool, and wanted those answers.

The survey attracted 125 responses, with 110 of them from residents of Cache Creek. Of the latter group, 86 per cent said they were willing to have a tax increase to help fund the pool. The same number of people said they wanted the current pool repaired, and the majority of respondents did not want an alternative to the pool, such as a water park.

Community Foundation

The first of the repeated motions from the March 15 meeting involved providing information to the BC Interior Community Foundation about the village’s Community Fund, including a fund summary, the purpose of the fund, and who is eligible to apply for funding. The motion passed.

Gas Tax funding

Mayor Santo Talarico noted that the village has received additional federal Gas Tax funding of $104,000 for 2022. Every municipality in the country has received a doubling of their annual Gas Tax transfer for next year, with the fund now being called the Canada Community Building Fund.

Retail cannabis buffer zone

The second repeated motion concerned the reduction of the buffer zone around Cache Creek Elementary School that excluded the establishment of retail cannabis stores within that zone. The motion — which saw the buffer zone reduced from 200 metres to 150 metres — had passed at the March 15 meeting, and passed again.

READ MORE: Cache Creek reduces retail cannabis buffer zone around school

A related matter — that Bylaw No. 6-001, Zoning Amendment, 2021 be given second and third reading and final adoption — was also brought back from the March 15 meeting. Second and third reading of the amended bylaw, and adoption, were again passed, but there was then some confusion about whether or not the bylaw could be given final reading, so adoption was defeated, with the matter being held over to the next meeting while clarification was sought.

Inter-community business licence

Council considered the possibility of becoming part of the Thompson-Nicola Inter-Community Business Licence program, which streamlines and simplifies the licensing process for businesses that operate in more than one municipality and removes the need for multiple business licences.

Peters asked staff to get clarification on the benefits to the village and how much it would cost, and for the matter to come back to a subsequent meeting. That motion passed.

Pool inspection

Another matter brought back from the March 15 meeting was a pool inspection report from Interior Health. Council had voted 4-1 in favour (with Talarico opposed) of obtaining a permit for the hypo-chlorinator pump at the Cache Creek pool, as advised in the report.

At the April 6 meeting, Talarico moved that the report be received and filed. However, Pittman — seconded by Coun. Wendy Coomber — moved once again that the village apply for the permit. This time both Talarico and Peters voted against the motion, with Pittman and Coomber in favour. The tie vote meant that the motion to apply for the permit was defeated.

Community Garden

The Equality Project asked council for a letter of support for their application for a Local Food Infrastructure Fund grant for the development of a community garden behind and below the Project’s clubhouse on Stage Road. The garden would consist of a fenced area containing more than a dozen 4’ x 8’ x 2.5’ box gardens, ground and bank gardens, and a greenhouse.

Pittman said a concern for her was that it might be a conflict if Cache Creek as a community wanted to apply to the same fund, as the project would only be for Equality Project members. Peters added that she hoped bank stabilization would be in place, as the garden boxes would overlook Cache Creek. The motion for a letter of support passed, with Pittman opposed.

Task force on community safety

Council discussed a motion to develop a Mayor’s Task Force on Community Safety, Security, and Well-Being, which would be created in response to concerns from the public about the sale and use of illicit drugs, especially in neighbourhoods and public areas. The committee — which would have one representative each from council, the Bonaparte Band, The Equality Project, School District No.74 and/or the Cache Creek Elementary School PAC, the RCMP, Interior Health, mental health, and the public at large — would investigate these concerns and develop safety and well-being responses from the village.

Talarico said the plans for the task force were at the preliminary stages and that he would like to speak with the local RCMP detachment commander to discuss the ins and outs with him and see if there was any value in moving forward. The motion passed, with Pittman opposed.

Invasive plant program

The final item that was once again before council was a decision on whether or not to join the Thompson-Nicola Invasive Plant Management program. The program has, until now, been available only to electoral areas within the TNRD, but member municipalities are being invited to join. The cost to Cache Creek would be $5,000 per year starting in 2022.

At the March 15 meeting a motion to join the program had passed, with Talarico opposed. Coomber said that she would support the motion again, but that if there were any reservations it would be best to receive and file the request to join the program. Pittman received clarification that there was no money in the budget for the program, and council unanimously passed a motion not to join the program at this time, citing the cost.

Pool letter

A letter from Cache Creek resident Carmen Ranta expressing concerns about the pool was addressed, with Peters recommending that the village write to Ranta saying that the village is still in the budget process and that there will be public consultation as part of that process. The motion passed.

The meeting went in camera at 6:47 p.m.

All minutes and agendas for Cache Creek council meetings can be found on the Village’s website at 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, April 19.

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