Williams Lake has given three readings to a new bylaw so the City can access money raised through development cost charges.
During its regular meeting Tuesday, city council gave the City of Williams Lake Development Cost Charge Bylaw second and third reading and directed staff to forward it to the Director of Municipalities in Victoria.
The bylaw was in place for years, but needing amending, Coun. Scott Nelson said.
“There’s no better way to explain it, other than it was an absolute disaster. We couldn’t access the funds because we didn’t know fully where they were allocated.”
For seven years the fund accumulated in excess of $2 million under the previous administration, Nelson said, noting it couldn’t be accessed so Coun. Craig Smith embarked on updating it.
Under the new bylaw, when a development charge is made part of the money will go into four different categories — transportation, drainage, sanitary and water so the City can use it for those areas. For example, the development cost for a single dwelling will be $2,183. From there $528 will go to transportation, $27 to drainage, $100 to sanitary and $1,528 to water.
The issue, Mayor Walt Cobb, was that the money was collected over the years but for some reason it was not identified for which project and couldn’t be spent because of that.
“This will clean it up and allow us to spend the money where the work needs to be done.”
Waterworks bylaw amended
Council approved updating its waterworks bylaw for the first time in 10 years.
In particular, the city’s bulk water and water turn-on/off a rate of one cent per litre will be charged for any persons collecting water from the bulk water station at the Stampede Grounds.
Anyone wishing to use bulk water from the City’s water distribution system shall pay the rate of one cent per litre for all water used or a minimum charge of $100, whichever is greater.
Additionally, there will be a $45.00 charge to have water turned on or off by the City during office hours. All costs associated with turning water on or off after hours and weekends, will be charged to the consumer.
Wildfire recovery event
Approval was given by council to spend up to $10,000 to assist planning and delivering a wildfire recovery community event, with the expectation that the money will be reimbursed from the Canadian Red Cross Community Partnership Program.
Chief administrative officer Milo MacDonald said the City has also received funding from the provincial government for the City’s emergency operation centre at the fire hall and emergency social services.
“We are making sure we have the right set credentials,” MacDonald said, noting after last summer’s wildfires the City taken a hard look at making sure it is fully qualified to manage subsequent emergencies. “We are in the process of acquiring heaters and getting things set up so we can be prepared as well as we possibly can.”
Mayor Walt Cobb said the Cariboo Regional District is setting up a meeting for elected officials on May 2 to outline their responsibilities during any kind of a disaster.
“I think it will be worthwhile,” Cobb said. “I’m not suggesting there will be fires again necessarily, but it’s good to know what our responsibilities are in case something happens.”
NCLGA travel costs approved
Travel costs for council to attend the North Central Local Government Association’s annual general meeting and convention in Fort Nelson, B.C. May 8 to 10 was approved. Coun. Ivan Bonnell and Coun. Jason Ryll and Cariboo Regional District Joan Sorley are being appointed to form a committee with City and CRD staff to plan for when Williams Lake hosts the 2019 NCLGA Convention.
Pavement contract awarded
Peter Bros. Construction has been awarded the $1,576,258.50 contract, excluding GST, for 2018 pavement rehabilitation. To pay for the paving, the money for $1,816,258.50 total, will be taken from the 2018 budget as allocated.
“This amount is double what we’ve every been able to pay before on paving,” Cobb said.
Slumber Lodge renovations
During the roundtable portion of the meeting the Tribune asked about work continuing at the Slumber Lodge Motel in downtown Williams Lake where it appears the owner has demolished and removed the building destroyed by fire a few years ago but is renovating the remaining buildings.
Mayor Walt Cobb said a new roof was put on the main section of the motel as well as new carpeting, and there has been some electrical work done at the site.