Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Caroline Village Council Notes

Caroline Has New Fire Chief

At its regular council meeting on Tuesday, March 17, the Village Council appointed Rick Foesier to the position of Battalion Fire Chief for the Caroline Fire Department. This was done following the resignation of Caroline Fire Chief Patrick Blowers. All councillors except Van Dijk were present at the meeting along with CAO McKinnon.

Preparing For Development Appeal Hearing

An appeal has been registered against the Municipal Planning Commission's conditional approval of an application to establish a youth center in Caroline by the Rocky Youth Development Society. A commercial building on the west end of the village, on the main thoroughfare, is the proposed venue.

As this issue has provoked a great deal of local interest, CAO McKinnon suggested that Council appoint previous Village CAO Mike Haugen to the position of Interim SDAB Secretary as the hearing will be a “quasi judicial” one. A motion to this effect was carried. The hearing will take place at the Caroline Complex on Thursday, March 26 at 9:30am.

CAO Report

CAO McKinnon presented his written report as follows with an additional item “Call For Volunteers” inserted after an in-camera session at the end of the meeting: (please insert report emailed last week)

Utility Billings Set To Increase By 20%

Council gave first reading to a proposed amendment to the Village Utility Bylaw (#36/07) for an across the board increase in charges for water, sewer and garbage services of 20%. Included in the proposed bylaw change is the intention to change billing periods from bi-monthly to monthly. The 2009 Village Budget requires the increase in order to account for inflation as billing rates have been flat for several years. Two more readings are required to bring the changes into effect.

Board Reports

Mayor Cudmore, reporting from the Library Board, said that the board had declined a request to rent the library out for meetings. The book club is exempted from this decision. An old magazine rack from the library is now available. There are still some frost heaving problems by the front doors of the library.

Deputy Mayor Nielsen said that the recycle week will begin on May 23 in Rocky this year. People can bring in their unwanted articles and pick up other peoples' unwanted stuff as they please. Last year's event was very successful with very few things ending up on the dump. The Rocky Solid Waste Authority will arrange to pick up articles from Caroline to bring to the recycling tent in Rocky.

Councillor Pryor, reporting from the West Country Drug Coalition, presented copies of the newly released brochure “Take Charge” which provides advice on how to deal with drug problems. This is a resource pamphlet with an emphasis on self direction. Pryor also noted that the Clearwater Boys and Girls Club had given a report to the FCSS Board.

Items For Discussion

McKinnon, having looked into the idea of providing village residents with trees for their lots said that shrubs might be more appropriate because of high maintenance costs of mature trees. He said that Village office staff had been paid overtime in order to get financial information ready for the 2008 audit of the Village's books. This was done in order to reduce the size of the audit bill. A review of the Village's Curfew Bylaw #532 was tabled. The bylaw states that children 16 years of age or younger are not to be in public, without proper guardianship, between 11pm and 6am. Councillors felt that this bylaw should only be enforced “when things go wrong”.

McKinnon had been led to understand that there may be federal funds available for to install water meters in the village, so this issue is on hold for now, pending more information. The goal, however, is to have meters installed by the end of 2009.

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