These are the highlights from the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) board meeting Feb. 2-3
NDIT funds being sought for Anahim Lake Airport terminal building expansion
The CRD will be applying to Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) to help finance a 1,000 square foot expansion of the Anahim Lake Airport terminal building. The grant funding available through NDIT’s Economic Infrastructure project supports the investment of funds into projects capable of generating economic activity and supporting community development. A total of $132,691 in funding is being sought from NDIT, representing 20 per cent of the estimated $663,456 necessary for the expansion. The remaining funds are being sought from the province of B.C.’s Rural Economic Diversification Program, which could supply the remaining $530,765 of project costs if it is successful. The CRD would be responsible for contingency costs and internal project management as needed.
The Anahim Lake Airport is owned by the CRD and receives about 3,000 passengers annually through scheduled flight services from Pacific Coastal Airlines. The airport also receives 50 charter flights from Bella Coola Heli Sports each year which supports the region’s tourism sector and operators. The completion of this project would recognize the airport’s increasing role in providing air access to the Chilcotin and its growing role in the regional economy.
Community Works Funding to support Bull Mountain solar panel project
A total of $45,000 will be contributed from the CRD’s Community Works Funds to the Williams Lake Cross-Country Ski Club to install solar panels for the new lodge at the Bull Mountain Cross-Country Ski Trails facility. Based on the design and production of the proposed solar panel system, it is expected that the panels will produce about 15.6 megawatts annually, which the club anticipates will fully cover electricity usage for the new lodge. The funding will be administered through a contribution agreement with the club and CRD.
Community Works Funds are provided to local governments in British Columbia through agreements between the Government of Canada, the province of B.C., and the Union of BC Municipalities. The CRD has received $6.97 million through the program in the last three years and has allocated $7.43 million over that time towards regional improvements to water, sewer, solid waste, and recreation infrastructure.
Board reviews its code of conduct for directors
The board reviewed its current code of conduct for directors, as required under the B.C. Community Charter. At the meeting, gaps in the existing code were discussed to ensure the final code supports effective, responsible, and responsive governance processes. The board has requested that staff develop a revised code to reflect key changes around the handling of complaints under the code, enforcement provisions, and refinements on the existing code. Once drafted, the new code of conduct will be presented to the board for its further consideration.
Broadband committee to be revived
In the face of significant works throughout the region to connect residents with CRTC mandate broadband services, the board has decided to revive the broadband committee, which dissolved following completion of the CRD’s regional broadband strategy. As a standing committee of the CRD, the objective is to advocate for strategic investments in broadband infrastructure which serve the needs of regional residents. Chair Wagner was tasked with developing terms of reference for the committee and appointing members from among the board of directors from the north, south, and central Cariboo and the Chilcotin.
Enbridge provides overview of pipeline operations and planned upgrades
Rikki Beaudet, Sr. community and Indigenous engagement advisor and Jesse Berube, public awareness/emergency response with Enbridge Inc., updated the board on its operations, maintenance and safety programs, and plans for upgrading its B.C. natural gas pipeline system. Sections of its main transmission line running through the Cariboo Regional District will be upgraded to create additional transport capacity. Upgrades are planned to occur near Alexandria, 150 Mile House and Lone Butte. The proposed work is subject to environmental permitting, and will be undergoing geotechnical and environmental surveys alongside public consultation to inform the design process.
Concerns raised with changes to provincial emergency program approaches and guidelines
The board raised concerns with proposed changes to provincial emergency programs after receiving letters from other local governments about the province of B.C.’s Flood Strategy Intentions Paper and new Emergency Support Services program guide, which do not reflect the availability of personnel, funding, or resources within rural B.C. The board has authorized responses of its own to be provided to the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Change Readiness, which aim to describe the impacts the two programs would have on the Cariboo Regional District. With a jurisdictional boundary over 85,000 square kilometers and a population of just over 62,000, taking on new responsibilities for managing emergency situations over a large geographic area without new funding sources is not feasible.
CCRHD funding supports healthcare service delivery
The CCRHD has approved expenditure bylaws to support major capital projects for Interior Health, which support upgrades to healthcare facilities, equipment, and technology. These projects were previously identified to the board at its Jan. 23 meeting. The adopted expenditure bylaws create the authority for the CCRHD to contribute funding towards these projects under the Hospital Districts Act. The projects include the 100 Mile General Hospital Chiller Replacement ($438,000), Interior Health’s Digital Health Investment Plan ($200,000), and the South Cariboo Health Centre Patient Care Network Partnership ($200,000).