Michael Higgins, Regional Manager and Teron Moore, a Seismic Specialist with Emergency Management BC joined the meeting and presented a short video and slide presentation focusing on tsunami preparedness and notification. It was noted this is timely in that it is nearing the 50th anniversary of the Great Alaskan earthquake and tsunami and three years and one day since the devastating Japanese tsunami three years ago. EMBC wants to work with local governments to support their emergency planning for tsunami preparedness.
Jan Prins, spokesperson for the Central Coast Electoral Area Restructure Study (CCEARS) group, addressed the board and requested CCRD hold an Open House to make the public more aware of the status of the Restructure Study as it cannot go forward without public consultation. The CAO spoke to item (C)(f) on the agenda, “Restructure Study-Liaison Committee Recommendations”, which is a report to the board for their consideration outlining the outcomes of the two meetings with the CCEARS group. The report also includes, by way of an example, a copy of the North Island Regional Protocol Agreement.
The CAO went on to comment that, regarding meeting with the community and Open Houses, staff will be starting the Strategic Planning process in April and going out to the community is key. There are plans to engage the community numerous times between April and November when the plan will be adopted. She gave an overview of the foreseeable conversations that need to happen and stressed that the plan is integrated and includes all peoples. Although it will be a huge process, the quality of the document is going to be dependent on the input received from the community.
The CCRD was successful in its application to Northern Development Initiative Trust to host a local government management intern for one year. The intern position will be funded by a generous $35,000 grant from NDIT. The intern, who will be mentored by CAO Darla Blake, will be involved in learning and experiencing all aspects of a local government career. The intern will undertake Economic Development training during the month of May, then start at the CCRD from 1 June 2014.
The CCRD approved an application to be made for grant funding from the BC Healthy Communities Capacity Building Plan H to the value of $20,000 to achieve the Valley Volunteer and Health Initiative outcomes. The CCRD will send a letter to Networks BC requesting reliable cell and internet services to remote outer coast communities, following years of unreliable cell, internet and telephone service to outer coast communities.
The 2013 Pre-Audit Financial Report – Draft, pre-audit financial statements for the period January 1 – December 31, 2013 were presented with commentary for variations between budgeted and actual figures for the information of the board. The audited financial statements will be presented at the April meeting of the board. A Solid Waste Management Funding Briefing Paper was presented outlining options for achieving a balanced budget for the Thorsen Creek Waste and Recycling Center.
The Five-Year Financial Plan (2014-2018) has been modified since the February presentation, most notably by reducing the requisition for the functions of Economic Development and Emergency Management in favor of the necessary increase to the Thorsen Creek Waste and Recycling Center (TCWRC). The distribution of the levy between electoral areas is noticeably changed since both Economic Development and Emergency Management derive tax revenue from all five electoral areas, and the TCWRC is paid for only by the ratepayers in Electoral Areas C, D and E.
Although the tax levy has been redistributed, the overall increase is still projected to be 6.2 percent as directed by the board at the December 2013 board meeting. The regional district auditors have now completed their fieldwork and will be providing confirmation of 2013 surpluses which will be factored into the financial plan. For this reason, the Board resolved to hold a Special Meeting on March 24, 2014 for the purpose of adopting the Five-Year Financial Plan 2014-2018.
The Public Works Department report highlights developments and issues surrounding the Thorsen Creek Waste and Recycling Center (TCWRC), recreation facilities, the Bella Coola Airport, town site water and street lighting. Public Works Manager, Ken McIlwain, spoke to activities at the Thorsen Creek Waste and Recycling Center regarding the financial challenges and options going forward.
The Board was advised the Vertical Baler for recycling has arrived and this will be set up over the next two months in anticipation of the MMBC program start-up; design work has started on upgrades to the Recycling Center at Thorsen Creek Waste and Recycling Center. The new Ministry of Environment Landfill Criteria will have a significant impact on small regional landfills like that of CCRD.
The Public Works Manager has joined a working group of other regional districts and municipalities concerned with the new criteria, and to look for workable options. New seats were installed on the swing set at Walker Island Park. Thanks to the Snootli Creek Hatchery who generously donated and installed an aluminum grate over the west window of the warming hut at the skating rink. The CCRD also thanks Caroline Granander for all her work on a volunteer basis. Many other volunteers’ hard work contributed to making it a successful month for skating.