City council approved upgrades for wireless and network upgrades at its Tuesday meeting. The upgrades will also be done at the Cariboo Memorial Complex and the works compound.

City council approved upgrades for wireless and network upgrades at its Tuesday meeting. The upgrades will also be done at the Cariboo Memorial Complex and the works compound.

Council chooses an education approach for deer in Williams Lake: council briefs

During its regular meeting Tuesday, city council selected education as the option for deer problems voiced by local residents.

Responding to a petition and concerns brought forward about resident deer issues in the Boitanio Street, Haddock Avenue and Mellish Avenue neighborhood, council tasked staff to explore the possibilities of an education program for residents about how to deer proof their properties and report back to council.

“At this stage there was no great fear of deer attacking children and what not, but through education we could prevent that from happening and not have to go to the next step which would be to remove deer,” Mayor Walt Cobb said during council’s regular meeting Tuesday, Nov. 22.

Coun. Laurie Walters said other neighborhoods are seeing lots of deer as well.

Property encroachment agreement policy

Council agreed to direct staff to develop a property encroachment policy for the city that would enable staff to present a written outline to property owners.

Coun. Ivan Bonnell said it is important because the Land Title Office is no longer registering encroachments.

“We need to develop a mechanism internally within the municipality so when properties are sold, new owners are made aware of existing encroachments,” Bonnell said.

Property tax exemptions program to be evaluated

City staff have been tasked with evaluating the city’s present tax exemptions program.

The Downtown Tax Exemption program, in place since 2007, encourages revitalization of commercial and multiple family residential properties in the downtown area. The tax exemption applies for three years and a single renewal for three years to a maximum

6 years. Council has approved agreements for seven properties, six of which benefitted and one which did not due to general decline in values, development manager Leah Hartley said in a report to council.

River Valley partnership agreement

Council approved extending its partnership agreement with the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations for the River Valley.

Under the new agreement the city can no long access provincial insurance, but the city’s insurance will cover liability.

Mayor off for training

Mayor Walt Cobb’s travel and expenses to attend the 2016 Chief Elected Officials Forum being hosted by the Local Government Leadership Academy on Dec. 6 and 7, was approved by council.

Clean water and waste grant fund applications approved

Council approved two applications to the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund Program.

“With this program the city has an opportunity to apply for a planning project and a capital works project,” Bonnell said. “We are committed to the planning because we know the upgrade to the water system to remove manganese, which is coming down in the future from the federal government, is going to be a significant cost overall.”

Bonnell said treating the water will be expensive and the other thing they want to look at in planning is further ways to conserve water, including diversion of industrial use from the potable water system.

The second application will be for funding to Phase 4 of the River Valley storm water drainage project.

If the applications are successful the city’s portion would be $34,000 for the study and $92,167 for drainage work.

Santa Parade and Winter Lights Festival approved

The Santa Parade route was approved for Saturday, Dec. 3, along with a request that staff co-ordinate barricades and emergency services be notified.

Waving of janitorial fees approved

The Williams Lake Community Band will not have to pay the janitorial service fees for its annual Christmas concert, taking place in council chambers on Friday, Dec.9.

BC Medal of Good Citizenship

Council received a letter advising that nominations are open for the BC Medal of Good Citizenship. Nominations are accepted all year, but the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training is currently soliciting more to be received in the next few weeks because the selection committee will consider all of the nominations in the new year. The ministry’s website has information on nominations for the award. [http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/celebrating-british-columbia/honours-and-awards/medal-good-citizenship/submitting-nomination]

Destination BC Community Consortium funding applications

Council approved an application by the Central Cariboo Economic Development Corporation to Destination BC Community Consortium Funding for a branding identity.

“We would be looking at contributing $5,000, Quesnel would contribute $5,000 and leveraging $76,000 total in funding from the Destination BC,” economic development officer Susan Fornier.

A second application that council approved would include be for a Cariboo, Chilcotin, Coast consortium.

“This is complementary to the activity of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, but not something they can apply for. This funding is for communities that are willing to work with a minimum of three communities,” she said.

Economic development microsite decision deferred

Council voted to defer approving funding for the Economic Development Corporation to develop an economic development microsite at the cost of $6,000 through Local Intel.

The micro site would include an online inventory of available properties.

During the council meeting, Coun. Craig Smith asked that the item be deferred to see if a local company could provide the service. All of council voted in favour of deferral, with the exception of Coun. Sue Zacharias.