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Pemberton council approves its 2017 Statement of Financial Information

Council briefs: bylaw update gets third reading; UBCM briefing note; goose poop contest

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At its Tuesday, July 10 regular council meeting, Village of Pemberton council approved its 2017 Statement of Financial Information (SOFI).

The document shows the remuneration and expenses of the Village's elected officials and staff.

Mayor Mike Richman was paid $27,382, while the Village's councillors received $13,781 each. Expenses for each came in as: Richman $800; Councillor Ted Craddock $215; Coun. Jennie Helmer $690; Coun. James Linklater $800 and Coun. Karen Ross $800.

Nine Village employees were paid more than $75,000, including chief administrative officer Nikki Gilmore ($126,940); fire department captain Cameron Adams ($105,750); manager of public works Tim Harris ($98,517); manager of corporate services Sheena Fraser ($98,282); manager of finance Lena Martin ($92,286); and senior planner Lisa Pedrini ($76,272).

Total remuneration for all Village employees in 2017 was $1,905,650.

A requirement of the Financial Information Act, the document is filed with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing on an annual basis.

Bylaw update

The comprehensive bylaw, 832, 2018, received its third reading during the meeting.

The bylaw has been contentious at times, with many voicing opposition at a proposal to do away with Automotive Service Shop and Equipment Sales, Servicing Rental and Repair as permitted uses in Pemberton's downtown core.

The changes were seen as unfairly targeting popular business Blacks Hot Wheels and Valley Chainsaw and Recreational, Ltd., and council decided to allow the businesses to continue on without any changes to their specific zoning following a well-attended open house on June 26.

Part of staff's rational for its proposal was that Blacks Hot Wheels could potentially pose a health risk to a nearby aquifer. In its council package, council received a letter from Vancouver Coastal Health that acknowledges the risk to the aquifer.

Dated June 25, the letter said that some current businesses such as the "tire shop are thought to be too high (a risk) to manage, especially if there is a risk of fire."

In response, CAO Nikki Gilmore said that an issue could arise if tires were to catch on fire and roll onto the aquifer.

The wells are protected, but there could be permeation through the ground, she said.

Gilmore suggested looking for grant funding that could be used for storage basins for the tires and said working with the owners to come to a resolution is a priority for the Village.

"We won't stop because we understand (the aquifer) is vital and it's something we need to protect," she said.

The majority of changes to the bylaw were non-substantive and include changes to italicized words, punctuation and other minor corrections that staff has identified and made. Amendments have also been made to several specific zones that regulate development at Sunstone, The Ridge, and the Tiyata sites.

The bylaw will now be sent to the province for approval, and then will come back to council for fourth and final reading, potentially by the end of July.

UBCM Briefing Note

Council also gave its support to a briefing note that will be sent to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Michelle Mungall in anticipation of the forthcoming UBCM Convention, which will take place in Whistler in September.

The note is aimed at getting the minister to reconsider the two-tiered hydro rate structure that was implemented by BC Hydro and Fortis BC several years ago.

"The Village asks for the Province's support in working with BC Hydro and Fortis BC to address the negative financial impact of the two-tier rate system to lower to middle income families," reads the note.

Said Richman: "You quickly go from the first tier to the second tier and we don't have alternatives here (in Pemberton) like natural gas. So it means lower-income individuals are forced to pay a top-tier rate, which is challenging."

Poop contest

One Mile Lake has seen an increase in visits from Canada geese of late, and that means a lot more poop on the beach.

The Village has been asking the public to pick up a rake, which can be found at the boathouse and Paddle Barn, and help clean up.

And staff has decided to launch a contest as a thank you to those who help out.

Simply take a photo of yourself scooping up poop and post it to the Village's Facebook page with the hashtag #rakeforbeachsake.

The contest closes Aug. 1 and two lucky contestants of the draw will win a one-hour paddleboard rental session for the Paddle Barn.

"It's more a way of saying thank you to residents who are out there cleaning goose poop so the rest of us can enjoy the beach," said Richman. "It's just a way of saying thank you—make it fun," he said with a laugh.

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