Below are some snippets of what is being discussed at Vanderhoof council chambers, as it continues to be held virtually, with a video of the meeting uploaded on the municipal website one day after. These briefs are from meetings held March 8.
Traditional land acknowledgement
Council meetings now begin with an acknowledgement that the meeting is being held on the traditional territory of the Saik’uz First Nations.
Minutes of special meeting held March 1
Council directed staff to create a 4-way intersection at the corner of Victoria Street and Recreation Avenue in their 2021 capital budget.
Council also requested staff to report on grant funding opportunities for the development of a tourism strategy.
Local Government Internship Program
Northern Development Initiative Trust approved $50,000 to support an intern at the District of Vanderhoof office.
PG Timber Supply Apportionment
The District of Vanderhoof has issued a letter to Kathrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, to extend their PG and Lakes Timber Supply Area apportionment comment deadline to March 31.
In the letter from Mayor Gerry Thiessen, he said, “council is very frustrated with the Ministry’s lack of consultation and with being engaged as a local stakeholder rather than an order of government. Collaboration amongst all orders of government, First Nations and stakeholders should be a critical component of discussions regarding apportionment.”
As any of the apportionment scenarios presented by the provincial government will have economic, social and cultural effects on the Vanderhoof community and the Nechako Valley, Thiessen said there was no discussion with Vanderhoof council in regard to the apportionment scenarios.
Accounts payable – Feb, 2021
District expenditures for Feb, 2021 totalled to $485,853.95. This amount includes payroll of municipal employees as well.
Council has issued one new permit for $1.5 million for a restaurant in Vanderhoof in January this year. The Express has filed a Freedom of Information request with the district to get information around which restaurant has been issued the permit.
Other than the new construction permit, there are 8 other permits related to renovations that are under review.
Tax increase of 1 percent
Vanderhoof council has added a 1 percent tax increase for 2021. They met on March 1 to finalize operations, capital and taxation budgets for 2021.