Fort St. James Council held a regular meeting on Sept. 30. The following are some highlights and conclusions from that evening:
The meeting opened with David Dubois who spoke about the development of biomass heating solutions. Benefits and barriers were discussed and Mayor Rob MacDougall agreed that perhaps this should be further explored in the future.
Joanne Alexander from Northern Health Services was also present. In light of a provincial mandate regarding increased HIV testing and December being HIV Awareness Month, Alexander discussed the importance of raising awareness within the community. Alexander stressed that the community needs to spread factual information about the disease despite all of the misconceptions surrounding it. This will in turn allow those with the disease to be more fully supported by the community.
Council approved a plan to take ownership of nearby snowmobile trails along the old B.C. rail line. B.C. Rail will give up their title at a cost of $3,500. The council has agreed to pay whatever legal fees of a few hundred dollars to get this plan underway by 2016.
“The Key” could be in trouble. It is a place where those homeless and seeking refuge can come and find support, food, shelter, literacy programs, social health support and friendship. Many in the community are known to attend and use its services. “The Key” continues to impact street people within the Fort St. James community. The question is how can it receive more funding? Mayor MacDougall has asked that someone coordinate this project, initiate a program to keep “The Key” running and find more funding.
The Fort St. James Arts Council will receive $4,000 in 2016 as approved by the Council.
Council also approved the amendment to the 2015 budget for the increased expenditure for the dump truck purchase from $215,000 to $245,231 as part of the “2015 Financial Plan Bylaw Amendment No. 2, Bylaw No. 951, 2015. Community Charter sec. 173(1)(b) requires Council to “amend the financial plan to include the expenditure and the funding source” in the case of any expenditure which was not contemplated in the financial plan for that year.
The new community centre will be receiving a security card reader system as approved by council. If not implemented this year, the system will be installed next year.
The next regular council meeting will be held on October 14.