Council: skateboard park update, new food truck bylaw deferred

May 9 council meeting: skateboard park committee update, 2016 tax rates set, food truck bylaw adoption deferred, BC Rural Dividend Program

Skateboard park committee update

An additional individual will be appointed by the district council to the Vanderhoof skateboard park committee.

Adopted on May 9, the committee’s terms of reference stated that two council members will co-chair the committee and three additional members will be appointed from the Skate Vandy Society.

So far, the committee is comprised of Councillors Steve Little and Ken Young, as well as Anna Pye and Orlanthia Habsburg from the Skate Vandy Society.

During the council meeting, an audience member asked whether the addition can come from others in the community.

Mayor Gerry Thiessen replied that the public is welcome to submit suggestions until the district council makes a decision.

 

2016 tax rates set

The 2016 Financial Plan and the rate increase of the water frontage tax rate were adopted on May 11.

To replace Vanderhoof’s aging water tank and garbage truck, the water frontage tax rate is raised by $1.68 for the next 10 years, and the price for garbage collecting would increase by 38.2 per cent for five years.

For example, owners of a 66-foot lot would pay $209.88 each year instead of $99 for water, and garbage collection for a residence would increase from $87 to $120.25 per year.

 

Food truck bylaw adoption deferred

The final reading of the new bylaw regarding mobile food vendors was deferred to the next regular council meeting, as some councillors raised questions on how the new policy would affect existing businesses.

Food trucks looking to set up shop throughout the day on municipal property would require a business permit, vehicle approval by Northern Health, possession of a $5-million liability insurance, as well as a $300-fee to operate for six months.

CAO Tom Clement stated that the new policy would only apply to businesses that sell as well as prepare items on site, and exclude special event-based operations.

Since the new policy’s first two readings on April 25, mobile food vendors have expressed to the district council their concerns on how the regulations would threaten their ability to operate.

The process to adopt a mobile vendor policy was initiated in March 21, when Vanderhoof resident Sharlene McKay presented to the district council her request to establish and operate a mobile concession trailer in Highway 16 Park this summer.

McKay looked to begin her operation with selling ice cream and may later expand her menu to hot options, as well as offering information packages to tourists, she said.

 

BC Rural Dividend Program

$25 million per year for the next three years are offered by the provincial government towards local projects in communities with less than 25,000 people.

Presenting to the district council on May 9, David Borth from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations explained that May 31 is the deadline for the program’s first intake this year, with the next intake to take place in October.

Eligible projects — involved with community capacity building, workforce development, economic development, or business sector development — can come from local government, First Nations, and local non-profit organizations.

Borth stated that infrastructure projects, such as aquatic centres, would not be eligible, as they fall under federal funding streams, but their engineering designs and feasibility assessments could be funded.

Applications would be reviewed by the Rural Advisory Council comprised of 14 representatives from various industries and businesses across the province.

More information can be found on www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend.

 

– with files from the District of Vanderhoof