Vanderhoof Municipal Office. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)

Agenda items under discussion during the June 24 regular public meeting

Here are some agendas items discussed during Vanderhoof council’s June 24 regular public meeting.

Rio Tinto

In terms of the Nechako reservoir precipitation for the month of June 2019, the reservoir is at 78 percent of long term average.

In terms of water management, the existing water management plan will be followed until changes are identified via the Water Engagement Initiative process.

Skins Lake Spillway discharge is being held at an average of 49 cubic metres until early July. Preparations for the summer temperature management program starts July 10.

The spillway discharge will be increased to achieve a flow of 170 cubic metres in the Nechako River at Cheslatta Falls by July 15.

The spillways plunge pool repair project is being run between Aug 20 and Oct 31. Diversion pipes are going to be installed in this process and flow will be maintained at normal base flow of 32 cubic metres.

Vanderhoof Speed Skating Club

The Vanderhoof speed skating club presented to council to get approval from them to continue with grant applications and to start design and engineering work for a booth rebuild at the arena to accommodate a sanctioned meet.

The Vanderhoof Clippers Speed Skating Club started in 2004 as the Nechako Lakes Speed Skating Club. Currently the club is the one of the largest in the province with 136 members and 75 skaters.

The club has run coached sessions three days per week for the kids and have 5 trained and certified coaches with an additional four coaching assistants that the club is working on getting trained this fall.

However, due to the lack of a proper stand setup at the arena, the club cannot get accurate times to hold a speed skating meet.

The club is unable to host a sanctioned meet and meets are a critical part of ensuring the club has funding to operate. Last year, no higher level skaters attended the meet as the club could not get accurate times from the stand setup used. Usually the club gets skaters from all levels travelling from Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Prince George, Fort St. James, Williams Lake and Kamloops to compete.

Terry Lazaruk who was presenting from the club said this is a lost opportunity for Vanderhoof skaters to compete with other skaters.

Lazaruk said that he has had discussions with Ian Leslie, Fire Chief and Darren Dyck, building inspector for the District to ensure that their proposal for changes to a booth in the arena meet their expectations and conform to code requirements.

He said other ice user groups have also been consulted with and both figure skating and minor hockey have no concerns. People from minor hockey are viewing this as an opportunity to work together to make improvements to the Timing booth that would benefit all hockey groups, Lazaruk added.

The club is requesting some funding from council and a letter of support to apply for other grants.

In terms of funding for platform engineering costs, as a worst case scenario the club will cover the costs related to the improvements. But in their best case scenario, all these expenses are donated.

Lazaruk said for the speed skating platform fabrication the money is going to come from grants.

Funding for booth construction is going to come from money/resources from Advanced Millwright Services Ltd, Lazaruk said.

BC Float Plane Association Letter to Council

The BC Float Plane Association has written a letter to council to discuss the recent NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) placed on the waterdrome at Vanderhoof.

The BCFA said, ” We enjoy a close relationship with Parks, B.C. in which we do various flying jobs for them so that we can access nominated restricted lakes and rivers with their blessing. Therefore we hope we can come to a solution to your problem which arose to cause you to action this closure of the Vanderhoof Waterdrome… Please let us know if it was the DOV that initiated this NOTAM and the reasons. That way we might be able to resolve them. We have been told it is an issue with the dock?”

More to come

Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre

The Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre gave their first quarter operational update at the regular public meeting.

In their first quarter they have averaged 14,466 users.

From January to March, the focus of programming has been to increase the number of qualified lifeguards to fill staff vacancies. Bronze medallion and bronze cross courses were offered twice in the first quarter and national lifeguard certification was also offered twice.

The main challenge is still staffing, turnover in leadership positions related to aquatics and maintenance, recruitment and training of lifeguards.

Another challenge is working through timely communications regarding closures and construction deficiencies.

In terms of successes, the pool has seen higher usage than anticipated and there is a positive response and engagement from users accessing the facility.

Meanwhile, their priority areas are to start Aquafit, get more lifeguards, swim lessons and group bookings.

DOV residential solid waste collection service amendment bylaw no. 1205

Council provided direction to staff at an April 9 budget meeting regarding utility rates and billing. They asked staff to remove the 10 percent early payment discount for utility fees and add ten percent late payment charge and increase annual utility billing by a minimum of the Consumer Price Index every year.

IPGP Grant for Lift Station Review

Staff recommended to council to support the infrastructure planning grant program application of up to $10,000 for a District of Vanderhoof Lift Station review.

A lift station review is needed to understand what improvements are required for the Lift Stations within Vanderhoof.

This review will include a visual evaluation of the conditions of all 4 of the DOV lift stations and suggestions for required infrastructure improvements. The final outcome from this project will produce project cost estimates for each location.

The estimated project cost is $15,000.

VMHA – Hosting Bantam Provincial Championships

Vanderhoof and Districts Minor Hockey (VMHA) is applying to host the BC Hockey Tier 4 Bantam Provincial Championships next year March 16 until March 19 and were requesting a letter of support to accompany their application.

Holly Makow wrote to council stating, hosting the championship will attract approximately 120 athletes and their families to Vanderhoof which will provide a large economic and tourism benefit to the community. This event may present the need to curtail all other ice activities during this timeframe.

Vanderhoof Men’s Shed Grant Application

The Vanderhoof Men’s Shed made applications to the BC Capital Gaming Grant in 2018 to seek funding to assist with the purchase of 2953 Burrard Avenue and was unsuccessful due to missing information.

The Vanderhoof chapter of Men’s Shed has used that location since 2015. The organization was asking a letter of support from council as they are applying for the 2019 grant.

Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express

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