COUNCIL ROUND-UP: Oct. 3, 2011 meeting

The Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Club of Mission led a delegation before council asking the district hire a domestic violence coordinator. The position would complement the hiring of Mission police chief Insp. Richard Konarski in May, who comes with a background in victim-centred domestic violence investigation protocols. Council voted to have staff coordinate with local police to determine whether current resources can be redirected to that purpose or whether the money would have to be found in the next budget.

Coun. Heather Stewart, who also serves as president of BPW Mission, said by telephone interview on Friday that no decisions would be made until then.

“It may be that [Konarski] reallocates resources or he may ask for additional [funding]. We tried to add an additional member last year but we just couldn’t in the economic climate that exists,” said Stewart.

 

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The Forestry Key Loan Policy — there are various gates located throughout the municipal forest to prevent vandalism, garbage dumping, road damage and fire hazard risk — has been amended to create a non-refundable weekly charge of $5 for every additional week the key is overdue, subtracted from a $60 deposit. There is a minimum refund of $20. The loan policy was reworked in June owing to the fact that a few borrowers did not return their keys on time.

But Coun. Paul Horn said he thinks some people would consider $60 a pretty good deal for a permanent gate key, while still being able recover $20 if it is eventually returned. The policy has been sent back for further modifications.

 

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A decision on remuneration for council has been deferred until at least Oct. 17. Full story available in the Oct. 6 issue of The Mission Record or here: http://www.bclocalnews.com/fraser_valley/missioncityrecord/news/131182268.html

 

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A mid-year budget review (fiscal budgets run from April-March) has shown the district is on pace for an $89,000 deficit. Full story available in the Oct. 6 issue of The Mission Record or here: http://www.bclocalnews.com/fraser_valley/missioncityrecord/news/131183788.html

 

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A review of helping with the costs of the annual Candlelight Parade has shown costs for cleanup will run between $1,500 and $2,000, but will be accommodated within existing budgets in the community pride account. As for the Christmas tree, staff are still looking into if it can be pruned. Of interest, and to the humour of many, nobody seems to know who, exactly, owns the tree.

 

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Council has opted to spend between $7,000 and $11,500 in additional annual transit costs to reroute bus 39 to a stop at the Mission Seniors Activity Centre on 10 Avenue. The Mission Seniors Advisory Committee had complained to the Mission Abbotsford Transit Committee in February that the centre is a 300 metre walk to the bus stop at the Leisure Centre, though this is within the BC Transit guidelines of allowing 400 metres walking distance from a bus stop.

But Coun. Mike Scudder said it was untenable that seniors should be forced to walk 300 metres to catch a bus, and that the additional money would have to be found.

 

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There was significant discussion about the Cedar Valley Drainage project, but clarifying information from the district’s finance department was required. Here is that information now:

Council has decided to take fiscally conservative measures when it comes to funding growth-related or development cost charge (DCC) drainage projects in the Cedar Valley area of Mission.

Previously, the district borrowed internally from other reserves to fund certain DCC drainage projects in the Phase I development area of Cedar Valley, before collecting DCCs from developers.

Now, where possible, future Cedar Valley DCC drainage projects will not be undertaken until the existing internal loans have been repaid.

Additionally, new DCC drainage infrastructure will be deferred or built/financed by developers, and that the internal loans will be repaid with DCC collections prior to funding other drainage projects with any district or DCC funds in the Phase II development area of Cedar Valley.

At issue was whether the district would continue to draw from other reserves or funding sources for growth-related drainage projects when existing internal loans have not yet been repaid with DCC collections from developers. Council was concerned that drawing down reserves from other capital funding sources to shore up the Cedar Valley drainage deficit wouldn’t be fair to the other capital projects planned for within the district.

Council also decided that the current planned mix of development in the Phase I development area of Cedar Valley — i.e. a mix between single-family residential, multi-family residential, commercial, etc. — should not change from that which is called for in the present official community plan (OCP), even though market demand indicates that a greater mix of single family residential would be more sellable in the current marketplace.