The first meeting between the Village of Pemberton (VOP) and Lil'wat Nation in regards to the Community Infrastructure Partnership Program (CIPP) was in some ways an "eye-opener," said Pemberton Mayor Mike Richman.
"Overall (it was an) exceptionally positive experience," Richman said at the regular meeting of the VOP council on March 3.
"I think there was an identification of the fact that we need to cooperate on many levels going forward. Having said that, there was also some real eye-opening moments."
The biggest eye-opener for Richman was when the two communities were asked to rate their knowledge of each other.
Overall, the Lil'wat Nation rated their relationship with the VOP as a two out of 10.
"I thought, 'wow, that's so honest, that's so great,'" Richman said. "Let's be clear — let's be honest about this and let's be frank — that it's not all fuzzy, it's not all great. Let's have our eyes wide open going into this that there's a lot of work to do, a lot of ground to be made up.
"It's a long road ahead, and we come from very different positions, and we're going to have to be really respectful and walk down this road together."
The CIPP is an initiative of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities that pairs municipalities with neighbouring First Nation communities to develop joint service agreements. An open house concerning the program scheduled for Feb. 25 was postponed, and a new date has not been set.
Pemberton Music Festival Community Fund Committee Appointments Made
Also at the March 3 meeting, councillors Joanne Molinaro and Karen Ross were appointed to the newly formed Pemberton Music Festival Community Fund (PMFCF) Committee.
HUKA Entertainment, producers of the Pemberton Music Festival, will allocate $3 from each ticket sold to support agricultural and community opportunities in the Pemberton Valley.
The committee will be responsible for selecting grant recipients each year. Money brought in from the 2014 edition of the festival will be a part of the PMFCF as well.
Along with the two VOP councillors the committee will consist of one representative from the Lil'wat Nation, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD), Pemberton Farmer's Institute and Stewardship Pemberton Society, as well as two representatives from HUKA.
Applicants for grants from the PMFCF must be community organizations within the represented communities.
Advertisements for applications will be placed in local media outlets each year in June and August, with applications being accepted in September. The committee will then vote on distribution of the grants.
Fire Service Agreement Extended, Zoning Amendment Deferred
A Fire Service Agreement between the VOP and SLRD has been extended to December 2015 to allow for proper negotiations.
In 2009, the VOP agreed to provide fire services to areas within the SLRD, including Pemberton Meadows and Pemberton Heights. With the agreement set to expire this summer, VOP and SLRD staff agreed to extend it to December 2015 to allow proper negotiations to take place.
Also at the March 3 meeting, a zoning amendment bylaw that would allow for the subdivision of property with the legal description of Lot 4, DL 211 was deferred to the next Committee of the Whole meeting.
"This property... is currently all one legal title, and we would like to subdivide it into five lots to allow the Village to exercise their option to purchase this property of which they are currently leasing," said VOP planner Lisa Pedrini.
Councillor Jenny Helmer suggested the decision be put off until more discussion can take place.
"I'm just concerned we're going to make decisions at the end of an eight-hour day," Helmer said. "We're being asked to waive a public consultation, and I'm not comfortable with that with the knowledge that I have right now."