New Invermere council holds first meeting
By Carol Gordon
Mayor Al Miller and Councillors Greg Anderson, Kayia Becker, Ute Juras and Gerry Taft were in attendance.
Staff present were: Chris Prosser, Chief Administrative Officer; Rory Hromadnik, Director of Development Services and Karen Cote, Director of Finance.
REPORTS REQUIRING ACTION:
Council approved the application for the third annual CastleRock Estates Community Association (CRE) FireSmart Day (July 21, 2019).
Request for Proposals – Audit Services
Council approved BDO Canada, LLP’s proposal to be appointed as the municipal auditor for the District of Invermere and Invermere Public Library for the fiscal years 2018-2022.
Excerpts from Request For Decision (RFD) by Karen L. Coté, Director of Finance:
“The work performed by BDO Canada, LLP (hereafter “BDO”) for the past 10 years has been of the highest quality and they have fulfilled all of their contractual obligations to the district’s satisfaction. Their work performance and staff relations have been exemplary and many of their audit suggestions detailed in their annual management letter have been incorporated into the district’s financial operations. These changes have increased operational efficiencies, strengthened internal controls and allowed the district to maintain the highest financial integrity required to ensure the finances of the district are in good standing.
“The district issued the Request for Proposal (hereafter “RFP”) through CivicInfoBC on September 25, as per section 9.0 of the District’s Purchasing Policy. We also posted the RFP on Municipal World’s website and newsletter on October 3. The District received one quote from BDO (Cranbrook/Invermere).”
The Financial Statements for the period ending September 30, were received by council as presented.
Non-Medicinal Cannabis Store Licence
“The District of Invermere has received notification of an application for a Non-Medicinal Cannabis Retail Store (CRS) proposed within the second level, 809- 7th Avenue of the Parkside Place Commercial / Residential building across from Pothole Park.
All applications must receive endorsement by the local government to move on to the “Fit and Proper “assessment stage with LCRB (Liquor and Cannabis Licencing Branch) where the applicants are screened for licencing acceptability. Rejecting the suitability of this application will result in the LCRB abandoning the application with no further consideration for approval.
The business proposal is consistent with OCP (Official Community Plans) direction for support of diversity of functions of buildings within the downtown core but is inconsistent with Zoning Bylaw 1145, 2002 amendment Bylaw 1547, 2018 which does not support retail Cannabis Sales in residential settings.
The proposed location is within the residential/professional level of Parkside Place and as such does not meet the intention of the C-1 Commercial zoning targeting ground floor retail with residential, professional office above. The unit proposed is accessed off of 6th Avenue within the residential access and parking area.”
Council Taft raised the question of whether or not the “pretty substantial” application fee was refundable. He suggested going “back to the applicants and say ‘amend the application to a different location because you’re not going to get this one approved.’ So maybe they can hold onto that application fee. If we say no tonight then that money is gone.”
Chris Prosser, Chief Administrative Officer, informed Council that from the website (Cannabis Retail Store Licence Application Fee Refunds) “Circumstances are listed where the LCRB may consider issuing a refund.”
He suggested that the application may fall into two of the circumstances on the list and that there may be an administration fee. He added that there was no mention of the possibility of amending the application.
Councillor Taft suggested tabling the application until the next Council meeting to find out from the province the answer to these questions as to whether the application fee would be refundable and if an application can be amended.
Councillor Becker: “I don’t see why it falls on local government reaching out during those two weeks.”
She suggested the applicants be contacted and told “‘look you do your homework and if in two weeks we haven’t heard boo from you, sorry its’ been squashed’ rather than us doing the work to move this through.”
Councillor Juras expressed agreement with Councillor Becker but doesn’t think that council should “start deferring motions because applicants have not done their due diligence.”
“I think it’s on the applicants to do their homework,” she said.
Council tabled until the next meeting in two weeks, with Councillor Juras opposing, the submission by Ullr Bar Inc. of an application to the Liquor and Cannabis Licencing Branch (LCRB) for a Non-Medicinal Cannabis Retail Store at unit 210, 890 – 7th Avenue, Invermere.
CORRESPONDENCE FOR INFORMATION:
Columbia Valley Taxi Ltd. letter to notify that it is asking the Passenger Transportation Board to implement a rate increase of 2.1%.
Regional District of East Kootenay newsletter – October Board Meeting Highlights.
Ministry of Attorney General letter (October 4) to update Local Governments’ Role in Licensing Non-Medical Cannabis Retail Stores.
“The province will be able to issue licences for the retail sale of non-medical cannabis on or after October 17, and we are currently in the process of assessing the applications that have been submitted to us.
“It will be up to each municipality to determine if and where non-medical cannabis can be sold, and whether it is sold in private or government stores, or a mixture of both.
“Once an application is received by the provincial government and it is deemed to contain the required information, the province will notify the respective local government of the area where the store is located.”
Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture letter thanking Mr. Taft for the meeting during the Minister’s Kootenay Rockies Tour. Excerpt from letter:
“It was a great opportunity to hear from you and local tourism operators about your perspectives on the challenges and opportunities facing tourism in the Kootenay Rockies. The feedback received during my trip has been shared with Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture staff and will help inform our strategies to ensure tourism continues to be a vital, successful and sustainable industry in BC.” Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
Youth Parliament of British Columbia letter to encourage youth to sit as members of the Youth Parliament. Excerpt from letter:
“The British Columbia Youth Parliament’s 90th Parliament will hold its parliamentary session in Victoria at the Provincial Legislative Chambers from December 27 to 31, 2018. The Youth Parliament is a province-wide non-partisan organization for young people 16 to 21. It teaches citizenship skills through participation in the December parliamentary session and in community service activities throughout the year. Youth Parliament is a one-year commitment.” Rhonda Vanderfluit, Registrar, Youth Parliament of B.C., Alumni Society.
The next district of Invermere regular meeting is Tuesday, November 27 at 7 p.m.
District of Invermere council meets regularly throughout the year on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month (second Tuesdays only during July, August, September and December) at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Office (914 – 8th Avenue, Invermere) unless otherwise indicated.
Lead image: Invermere’s new council – pictured from left – Coun. Gerry Taft, Coun. Kayia Becker, Mayor Al Miller, Coun. Greg Anderson and Coun. Ute Juras. Carol Gordon Photo