The Cariboo Regional District looked at a wide range of issues in their last meeting of 2018. (File Photo Black Press)

Highlights from the CRD Board December meeting

Cariboo Regional District board discusses cannabis sales and production

As 2018 closes the Cariboo Regional District looks back on 50 years of service while discussing the issues that affect the Cariboo today.

Chair Reflects on CRD’s 50th Year

Cariboo Regional District (CRD) Chair, Margo Wagner, delivered a year-end report at yesterday’s Board meeting. She highlighted the CRD’s focus on rebuilding following the 2017 wildfires and key accomplishments in 2018. Read the full speech at cariboord.ca.

New Telus Towers to Improve Cell Service

The Cariboo Regional District Board endorsed the request from Telus to install new wireless telecommunications facilities in the Red Bluff and Kersley areas. The Board also approved a request from Telus to begin public consultation in their process to install a wireless tower on the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department property.

CRD Discusses Cannabis Sales and Production

The Board reviewed a detailed staff report regarding cannabis. The Electoral Area Directors directed staff to develop a policy along with necessary bylaw amendments to address cannabis sales and production in the regional district. The CRD will now conduct additional research and develop a new policy, comparing with other jurisdictions’ policies and collaborating with member municipalities to align with their existing policies.

Funding Sought for Community Wildfire Planning

The Regional District is applying to UBCM’s Community Resiliency Investment (CRI) program for $100,000 to support the development of an updated region-wide Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP).

An up-to-date CWPP provides a planning foundation for making decisions and prioritizing fuel reduction projects throughout the region. An updated CWPP is also a requirement for the CRD to apply for wildfire risk reduction fuel treatment project funding and subsequent CRI FireSmart programs. The CRD’s current CWPP was created in 2006.

2018 Wildfire Report Reviewed

As part of the review of the 2018 wildfire season, the Regional District hired Butterfly Effect Communications to develop a public survey and prepare a report comparing the 2017 and 2018 wildfire seasons. The survey gathered feedback on the overall response efforts and the impacts on mental health, agriculture and businesses.

Based on the public’s feedback, the overall response by all agencies improved compared to last year, with 65 per cent positive ratings in 2018 compared to 44 per cent positive ratings in 2017. Specifically, the CRD’s response was rated 69 per cent positive this year, compared to 53 per cent in 2017. Last year, CRD communications received approval of 76 per cent of residents, which improved to 86 per cent this year. Read the full report at www.cariboord.ca/recovery.

Board on the Road Scheduled for 2019 & 2020

The Board decided on the locations for their upcoming Board on the Road events. The CRD’s travelling board meetings and community barbecues will be held in Quesnel in June 2019, Electoral Area J in September 2019, Electoral Area L in June 2020 and Williams Lake in September 2020.

Quesnel Pool Renovation Closer to Reality

The CRD Board approved the North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee’s recommendation to hold a referendum in 2019 for a pool renovation at the Quesnel and District Arts and Recreation Centre, which is jointly owned by the City and CRD. The CRD will be submitting a funding application to the federal government’s Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, with the intention that the referendum will only move ahead if funding is approved. A commitment to a referendum is required to apply for the funding program. If federal funding is approved, it is estimated that the referendum would seek public approval to borrow $8 million for the project.

2019 Grants for Assistance Approved

Upon recommendation from the Central Cariboo and South Cariboo Rural Directors Caucuses, the CRD Board approved funding for the 2019 grants for the assistance program. In the North Cariboo, grants are coordinated through the Quesnel Foundation.

21 grants for assistance applications were approved in the South Cariboo totalling $40,975; nine grants were approved for the Central Cariboo for a total of $38,372. The 2019 recipients can be viewed in the Dec. 7 Board agenda at cariboord.ca.

Happy Holidays

The Board of Directors and staff wish all residents of the Cariboo Chilcotin a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Upcoming Meetings:

CCRHD & CRD Boards – Friday, Jan. 18, 2019

See the full CCRHD and CRD agendas at cariboord.ca/agendasminutes.

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