Council divided over two issues

Council met and discussed participation in the FCM conference, the disposal of a surplus garbage truck, and spot zoning.

Council met Feb. 2 and among the topics were whether to participate in the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) conference, the disposal of a surplus garbage truck, and spot zoning a parcel of land on Sullivan Way.

When asked, engineering and operations manager Don Hounsell had nothing to report on the water leak situation.

FCM Conference

Councillors were split on whether to put money towards attending this year’s FCM conference in Winnipeg.

It ended in a 4-2 vote, with councillors Jonathan Van Barneveld and Rick Lundrigan opposing the recommendation to send one representative. Coun. Dawn Potvin was not present.

Houston has not participated since 2009. The conference can cost an attendee up to $915, and Coun. Rick Lundrigan took issue with that.

“I still question how much we can get out of this particular FCM as far as the benefit for Houston as a whole,” said Lundrigan.

Mayor Shane Brienen and Coun. Tim Anderson, however, support sending someone from council, pointing to the networking opportunities.

Coun. John Siebenga asked what the benefits of attending the FCM meeting were, to which the mayor responded:

“There are going to be several announcements this year on infrastructure and grants.

“Much like UBCM, when we go to UBCM, we have a lot of the announcements of what’s going forward the next period, that’s what will happen at FCM.”

Brienen also pointed to the gas tax as being an FCM initiative.

Anderson added that it provides networking opportunities that, “would otherwise be unavailable to us.”

He elaborates that the meeting allows representatives to meet grant providers and learn the processes of applying for a grant.

Council mulls surplus fire truck disposal

Council was also split between two options put forth by fire chief Jim Daigenault.

The fire department asked whether council would like to auction off a surplus 1979 fire truck with 31,048 miles on it, estimating a $5,000 value, or if council would rather donate it to Firefighters Without Borders. Council passed a motion to dispose of the fire truck using the first option, with councillors Jonathan Van Barneveld and John Siebenga opposing.

Chief administrative officer Michael Glavin noted that selling the truck would not yield much in return after considering the District’s labour requirements. Donating it to Firefighters Without Borders would pass the onus onto them to handle it, at no cost to the District.

Spot zoning for CityWest

Council has passed the adoption of two bylaws that will make way for 2080 Sullivan Way to host CityWest’s telecommunications equipment.

According to the rezoning application, CityWest wants “to place a permanently mounted brown-coloured modular communications equipment building housing a fibre cable distribution system.”

During public hearing, Coun. Van Barneveld relayed a comment he heard from his constituents that they would rather not have it brown.

“They didn’t like brown,” he said. “They said there were too many other brown buildings up there, but that’s all they had to say.”

Spot zoning, while not recommended by the District, was done because the property is located on a telecommunications corridor.

 

Just Posted

Jill Mackenzie carefully replaces books on the shelves at the Houston Public Library. (Angelique Houlihan photo)
District approves annual library grant

Craft kits featured for summer reading club

The tradition of Houston Christian School grads giving Bibles to incoming kindergarten students will take place this year, but outdoors and in a modified fashion. (File photo)
Houston Christian School grad day is June 24

Grads themselves have set tone for the day, says teacher

Scott Richmond will be starting as the new vice principal for HSS and TSE. (Submitted/Houston Today)
Houston gets a new vice principal

Scott Richmond takes over from Dwayne Anderson who moved to Smithers

A Pacific Salmon Foundation grant of $3,000 is going towards the tree plantations. (Cindy Verbeek photo/Houston Today)
550 trees planted in Houston through A Rocha

Houston Christian School students and volunteers help with the tree planting

Currently the Houston station has 16 paramedics, two ambulances and one community paramedic vehicle. (File photo)
Retirement of longtime paramedics worries Houston community

“No loss of service,” assures BC Emergency Health Services

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Most Read