Notes from the Cache Creek council meeting of Dec. 5. Coun. David Dubois was absent.
Drag race delegation
Mark and Dianne Boutilier, whose letter asking to be the organizers of 2023 drag races at the Campbell Hill dragstrip had been discussed at the previous meeting, appeared to speak about their application. The couple stepped in at short notice to organize the 2022 drag races, which were held to coincide with the Graffiti Days weekend in June, replacing previous organizer Dwight Toews.
The couple noted that they had had a very positive response to this year’s races, and that all the sponsors were on board for next year, as were many racers from far and near. They also expected to double the number of spectators from this year, and hopefully have more food trucks. “We’re really excited to be getting into it again,” said Dianne. “We had a debriefing with council and the Graffiti committee and didn’t have any negative feedback.”
Coun. Sue Peters clarified that the drag races are held completely independently of Graffiti Days, but that there is liaising between the organizer(s) and the Graffiti Days committee.
Mayor John Ranta said that he had contacted Toews after the last meeting, to see if he was interested in organizing the 2023 races. He added that while Toews had seemed interested, he had recently called Ranta to say he was bowing out from organizing next year’s races. “I think you’re the only trick in town,” he told the Boutiliers. “I’m optimistic council will support your request to manage the drag races for Graffiti Days in 2023.” The Boutiliers’ request to organize the races will come back to council for formal consideration at a future meeting.
Policy and bylaw review
Council received a report from Peters regarding the Bylaw and Policy Review Committee meeting held on Nov. 28. It was the committee’s first meeting, and it will meet monthly and have short, medium, and long-term goals, including a systematic review of all the village’s policies and bylaws in order to ensure that they are all reviewed on a rotating basis, ideally every four or five years. The committee will also identify bylaws that need to be reviewed, rescinded, or consolidated and develop a communication plan.
Coun. Carmen Ranta noted that the first policy the committee plans to bring to council is a draft Code of Conduct, hopefully in January 2023.
Draft policy on staff pay for fire department duties
Council discussed a draft policy stating that “Village Staff that are active members of the Cache Creek Fire Department shall be indemnified for responding to emergency event [sic] during regular hours of operation.” Peters recused herself from the discussion due to a conflict of interest.
The draft policy would allow staff who are also firefighters, and who respond to emergencies during their regular working hours, to be compensated for their time as if they were conducting their regular duties. CAO Damian Couture noted that only two staff members (including himself) are currently members of the Cache Creek fire department, adding that the hope is to encourage the participation of other staff members.
Coun. Ranta suggested setting a limit as to the number of days off for training sessions per year that staff member-firefighters can be reimbursed for, and Mayor Ranta agreed that there should be some checks and balances in place. Couture explained that the intention was to have a maximum of three days off in a calendar year per person, regardless of the number of training sessions taken.
The policy will be amended and brought back at a future meeting.
Parks and recreation committee
Council passed a motion directing staff to hire a consultant to determine the requirements to bring the pool to a level it can open, with a budget (for the consultant) to a maximum of $10,000. Coun. Ranta said that the committee wanted to determine the true cost to get the pool up and running (hopefully for the 2023 season), not to do every renovation possible.
Couture said that multiple consultants would probably need to be hired, as each one would have a different scope. He was hopeful that even with multiple consultants, the total cost would not exceed the $10,000. Peters noted that there has been a lot of discussion and conjecture and misinformation about the pool, so having an independent third-party assessment was “a good step forward”.
The committee also discussed the possibility of movie nights and activities; tidiness and maintenance of the downtown core revitalization area and the Gateway park at the highway junction; ensuring that the reader board information is accurate and that the board is functioning properly; and the construction of a safety barrier or fence at the dyke in the Cache Creek park. The concept of a water park to replace the pool was discussed, and the committee decided it will not proceed further with that discussion at this time, as they felt the pool should be looked at first.
A staff report noted that many village-owned streetlights are burnt out, which poses a safety issue, and that numerous complaints have been received from residents. Collins Road alone has 14 burnt-out lights, and the cost to replace all the burnt-out lights in the village is about double the budget for the year.
Council voted in favour of the staff recommendation, which is to replace not only the burnt-out lights but all the older lights with LED lights, at a total cost of approximately $54,000. The cost would be covered by funds from the Local Government Climate Action Program and the Community Works (formerly Gas Tax) grant. Upgrades to lighting at the Community Hall, village office, and coverall are recommended for the future.