The District of Clearwater Oct. 27 regular council meeting saw a few recommendations for the councillors, from infrastruture to seniors housing and an education fund from Trans Mountain.
First on the docket was a recommendation from the Infrastructure Committee of the Whole meeting that the speed limit on Miller and Davey Road be reduced to 30 kilometres per hour and to notify the residents of the sudivision, as well as the general public.
Mayor Merlin Blackwell did note that the recommendation was put forward because of requests from some of the residents in that area. The recommendation was moved and passed by council.
The following recommendation suggested that council authorize staff to investigate the costs of hiring a traffic engineering firm to complete a report on the design and costs of the best traffic calming measures at two intersections in town — Park Drive at Murtle Crescent; and Robson Street at Murtle Road — and to report back to council.
Councillor Barry Banford noted that he did not have a concern with the recommendation put forward, but did want to suggest an amendment to change the intersection at Robson St/Murtle Rd to a four-way stop.
The intersection can be quite congested, he said, with increased population in town and the nearby school bus stop.
“It’s a real safety concern,” he said.
While other councillors didn’t disagree with Banford, some did bring up concerns about who should be making the decisions about traffic signage and how those decisions would affect future development and traffic flow.
“I don’t feel as a councillor that I’m sufficiently educated to say that’s the best thing to do to address the problem,” said Councillor Lucy Taylor. “I would rather we move forward and have a traffic engineering firm tell us what’s the best option there.”
The current three-way stop signage was most likely done before incorporation, therefore pre-dating council, explained Chief Adminstrative Officer, Leslie Groulx.
Councillor Shelley Sim, agreed with Taylor, noting things like traffic flow require a holistic view and third party firm may come forward with a more innovative solution.
It most likely wouldn’t be until early next year until a report is brought back to council, but it was agreed that these intersections do require a change.
“Let’s try to get this done as quickly as we possibly can,” said Blackwell.
Council moved and passed the recommendation as it was presented, to seek a traffic engineering firm to complete a report on possible changes.
New amenity building for seniors and furthering adult education
A meeting of the Wells Gray Community Forsest Commission brought forward a recommendation, which council moved and passed, to support a financial contribution of $300,000 to build an amenity building with Phase 5 of the Evergreen Acres Senior Housing Society project expansion.
The current hall, said Banford, is too small for the higher number of people being housed at Evergreen Acres. The EASHS came to the commission for support for the funding for the grant application to build a bigger hall that will be able to house meetings as well as kitchen equipment to support the larger population.
A few of the councillors have had tours of the new buildings and provided rave reviews of the new additions being built. Council voted in favour of the recommendation.
The Commission brought forward another recommendation to council to support the WGCFC responsibility to distribute the funds of the Trans Mountain Adult Education fund and that the funds be managed through the DOC and that a small select committee of the WGCFC review and approve funding requests.
Communities in the North Thompson, including Clearwater, Barriere, and TNRD Areas A, B and O, received $50,000 from Trans Mountain to support adult education. Banford explained that council did not want to be a political wing handing out educational scholarships, so reached out to the WGCFC to manage the funds of Clearwater and Areas A and O’s share of $83,500, to which the Commission agreed.
Blackwell explained that the funds from Trans Mountain were given to support adult education through hotel rooms, gas or meals, anything that would help a person achieve an education.
Council moved and voted to pass the recommendation.
Masks requested to be worn in municipal hall
District staff brought forward a request that council support a recommendation that staff wear a mask outside of their offices (ie: in bathroom and hallway) and that the public and staff wear a mask to enter the municipal hall. It would not be mandatory, but staff asked for support from council to inform the public by posting signage and through social media that they do ask that a mask is worn while doing business in the district office.
With the rising numbers in B.C., Blackwell noted is a reasonable request from staff.
Council moved and voted to passed the recommendation.