The District hopes to plant trees this year depending upon the success of a grant program managed by a national organization called Tree Canada and BC Hydro.
“The program is intendend for small-scale community projects that are evaluated on the number of trees to be planted, project profile, community support, benefits, educational opportunities, site plans, sustainability and other factors,” said District communications officer Holly Brown in a memo to council.
While a grant will cover the cost of trees, planting and maintaining them is a cost borne by the District.
Last year the District applied for $6,967 from Tree Canada and received $4,000 which it put toward trees for the 9th St. improvement project.
Potential planting locations are any of the District’s parks, along Hwy16 or around the leisure centre/arena area.
Emergency services beefed up
The District is supporting an application made through the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako to outfit a reception center should the need arise.
“The Houston ESS (Emergency Support Services) is seeking funds to cover the cost of reception center information displays (iPads, televisions, whiteboards,ESS signage), an inverter generator, storage shelving, folding tables and chairs, a pop-up tent and storage totes,” indicated acting chief administrative officer Tasha Kelly in a briefing note to council.
Money from the Union of BC Muncipalities can coverage as much as 100 per cent of expenditures up to a maximum of $25,000.
The regional grant application includes Fort St. James, Burns Lake and Granisle.
Low Family Day turnout
The Family Day swim at the leisure centre had a relatively low turn out Feb. 15.
With 105 spots available, 56 people responded, says leisure services director Tasha Kelly.
The limited number of spaces fit the COVID-19 safety protocols for the pool which limited use to 35 people at any one time.
Each year the District gets an outside supporting grant of $1,000 to cover any associated costs connected with the Family Day swim.
Better definition for burial fees
Council has passed an amending bylaw to its two cemetery bylaws which clarifies who is considered a resident of the District and, by definition, who is not.
Defining who is a resident and who is not will determine the licensing fee to be buried in either the Mountainview Cemetery or Houston Cemetery.
Previously, a resident was defined as someone who has “resided in or owned land within the District for 30 days or more prior to the issuance of a cemetery licence”.
But now the definition has been clarified to read resident “means a a registered owner of property in the District, or a person who qualifies as a resident elector as defined under the Local Government Act … or the spouse or dependent child of such an owner or resident elector.”
The clarification follows what other municipalities have done.
Under current licensing fees, a full plot for a resident will cost $255 but for a non-resident, the fee rises to $392.75.