Clinton village office, 2014. Photo credit: Journal files

Village offers grant funding opportunity to Clinton non-profits

Council votes to provide up to $50,000 to assist non-profit organizations hit hard by COVID-19

All members of Clinton council were present for the meeting on April 28, which began at 7 p.m.

ABC Communications update

Falko Kadenbach of ABC Communications presented information about the millimeter wave service the company will be providing to Clinton. Millimeter wave products are a key component of 5G deployment, and are used in many markets where traditional wire line products are not viable. The cost to deploy millimeter wave is much less than fibre; the latter was originally considered for Clinton, but the cost made it prohibitive.

Kadenbach ran through the various packages offered to residents and businesses, and the area that would be covered. He noted that an area to the northeast of Clinton and another to the southwest would not be able to be covered as there is no line of sight in either.

A few services have been installed, and all eligible customers in Clinton will be offered the 50 megawatt service beginning the week of May 3.

Museum requests

The South Cariboo Historical Museum Society asked for letters of support from council for various grant funding opportunities they are pursuing for the Clinton Museum. The society also asked for approval to proceed with two landscaping features in the museum’s grounds: one focusing on pioneer horticulture and the other acknowledging the Clinton and District Community Forest.

Council voted to provide the letters of support. Approval was also given to allow the landscaping features at the discretion of the public works department, with whom staff will direct the society to collaborate in planning the landscaping.

COVID restart funds

Council approved a motion allowing the village to use COVID-19 Safe Restart funds to help qualifying non-profit organizations in Clinton.

In November 2020 the village received $373,000 from the province to assist with increased operating costs and lower revenues due to COVID-19, and included in the list of eligible items was assistance to local non-profit and charitable organizations that have suffered loss of revenue or unexpected expenses (such as PPE) due to COVID-19.

A staff report noted that many groups have been unable to hold events or do fundraising during the pandemic. Eligible groups would need to submit an application for financial aid to the village, and have it reviewed and approved by council. A maximum of up to $50,000 in total would be disbursed from the COVID-19 Safe Restart funding.

Chief Administrative Officer Murray Daly suggested that council discuss guidelines around who could apply and what the application criteria would be. It was decided to use similar criteria to what had been developed for the Clinton 150/50 grants, and that the funding not be restricted to only registered societies and non-profits.

Zoning amendment

Council gave first and second reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 573, 2021, and waived a public hearing for the bylaw, which would change the list of permitted uses to include Craft Distillery/Microbrewery.

An individual has approached the village and proposed a new business venture: a craft distillery producing small batch spirits such as gin. The business would also include a patio or tasting room, and the property they are considering is located at 1600 Cariboo Highway. As Mayor Susan Swan is co-owner of the property in question, she recused herself from the discussion.

Daly explained that since the proposed use is not a significant departure from currently permitted uses, and is consistent with the Official Community Plan, council could decide to waive a public hearing after second reading. In the report to council, and during the discussion, it was noted that Clinton is actively encouraging and seeking new businesses and investments in the community. Councillor Christine Rivett added that the proposed business is unlike any other business in the community, and therefore will not be “stepping on anyone’s toes”.

The proposed bylaw change will still be able to be reviewed by members of the public, and will be advertised with an invitation for people to submit comments. Coun. David Park raised a slight concern about transparency, but council as a whole felt that the public would have ample opportunity to make comments without holding a hearing.

Daly added that amendments can be made before third reading.

The meeting went into closed session at at 7:58 p.m.

All minutes and agendas for Clinton council meetings can be found on the Village’s website at Meetings normally take place on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, and begin at 7 p.m. The next regular meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 12.

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