Monday, April 30, 2018

CRD Meetings move to Elks Hall

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

This week, the following meetings have changed location and will be held at the Elks Hall in Williams Lake (98 1st Avenue South):

TUESDAY, MAY 1

9:30 am Service Effectiveness & Efficiency Review Committee
11:00 am Emergency Preparedness Committee

WEDNESDAY, MAY 2

9:30 am CCRHD Board
9:45 am CRD Board
5:00 pm Central-South Cariboo Joint Committee (Closed Committee Meeting as per Section 90(1k - negotiations) of the Community Charter

Agendas for the above mentioned meetings can be viewed here

Please contact the CRD office (Ph: 250-392-3351 or email mailbox@cariboord.ca) if you have any questions.

Cariboo RD EOC Update - Mon Apr 30th

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District's Emergency Operations Centre:

Evacuation Update
The CRD and RCMP completed the second evacuation order for the Nazko area this morning. Fifty people have registered in Quesnel for Emergency Social Services so far, which includes both CRD and Nazko First Nation residents. The Nazko First Nation also issued an evacuation order yesterday.

The CRD’s two evacuation orders for the Nazko area impact about 120 properties: Evacuated residents should register with Emergency Support Services (ESS) at the reception centre in the Quesnel Recreation Centre at 500 North Star Road, which will be open until 8:00 p.m. tonight. ESS will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow.

Upcoming Flooding Concerns
The BC River Forecast Centre and the Province’s Water Stewardship department have advised the CRD to expect high stream flows and potential flooding concerns along Baker Creek, the Quesnel River, the Cottonwood River and the Chilcotin River. Residents who live along these waterways and their tributaries should take steps now to prepare in case of flooding. Have an emergency plan, prepare emergency supplies, assess your property and buildings for potential drainage issues and take proactive steps to prevent flooding. Contact the CRD’s EOC if you have concerns about flooding in your area.

Safety Precautions
Please stay away from fast flowing water, as well as road washouts. The banks of rivers, streams or washout areas may be unstable and dangerous.

Flooding Resources
The CRD’s EOC is providing sandbags to residents as needed. It is the homeowner's responsibility to undertake temporary and permanent flood protection works to protect their home and property. If you need sandbags, contact the EOC. Learn more about proper sandbagging techniques: bit.ly/2FldNd1

High stream flows and flooding are expected to continue through the week. If you are experiencing flooding issues that affect your home or business, please contact the CRD’s public information line at 1-866-759-4977. For after-hours emergencies, please call the Provincial Emergency Reporting Line at 1-800-663-3456.

Residents are strongly encouraged to register for the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System to receive a text, call or email regarding Evacuation Alerts and Orders or other emergency updates: member.everbridge.net/index/453003085612292#/signup

For more information:

Province ready to help those impacted by 2018 Spring Flooding

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

As flood waters continue to rise throughout the province, the Government of British Columbia is assisting local governments and First Nations communities, as needed.

Residents of the B.C. Interior are already experiencing flooding. Emergency Management BC, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure are working together with municipalities and regional districts to minimize damage and keep people safe.

“We’re hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst, by supporting communities to prepare for and hopefully prevent the same kind of flooding that we witnessed last year,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General for British Columbia.

Farnworth noted that a high snowpack, coupled with warming temperatures, could lead to unusual flooding. “It is critical that those affected listen to their local authorities, and do everything in their power to protect themselves.”

Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness, said that the Provincial Emergency Coordination Centre in Saanich and three Provincial Regional Operations Centres in Kamloops, Prince George and Nelson, have already been activated. “The Province is working with local governments to help protect our communities, and we urge all British Columbians to develop a household plan and build their own emergency kit,” said Rice.

Emergency Management BC is assisting local governments to respond to flooding in many areas of the province. The Province has:

Activated the Provincial Emergency Coordination Centre (PECC) on the Saanich Peninsula. The aim is to co-ordinate flood response efforts throughout the province.
Activated the Provincial Regional Emergency Operations Centres (PREOC) in Kamloops (continually since April 11), in Prince George, and periodically in Nelson, to provide assistance to local governments in the Central Interior, Northeast and Southeast.
Deployed almost two million sandbags to local governments to protect homes and public infrastructure.
Provided a total of six sandbag machines to Cache Creek, Oliver, Vernon, Willowbrook and Kelowna (two).
Currently deployed 140 BC Wildfire Service firefighters to Kelowna and Oliver to assist with sandbagging. Last week, firefighters were deployed to Penticton and the Nooaitch Indian Band near Merritt.
Shipped 1.2 kilometres of gabions and 9.8 kilometres of tiger dams to the Okanagan.

The River Forecast Centre and regional operations are providing water flow expertise, as well as dam safety officers, geotechnical specialists and engineers in affected areas.

Rice encourages people to use the links below to become better prepared.

Learn More:

For information on flood-related evacuation alerts and orders, visit: www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca or follow on Twitter: www.twitter.com/EmergencyInfoBC

PreparedBC is British Columbia's one-stop shop for disaster readiness information. For tips on how to prepare an emergency plan and what to include in an emergency kit, visit PreparedBC: www.gov.bc.ca/PreparedBC

Flood prevention tips can be found here: http://ow.ly/E2JV30bttgr

The PreparedBC Flood Information for Homeowners and Home Buyers guide: http://ow.ly/t4lg30bttjr

River Forecast Centre link: http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/

Floodwaters can quickly wash out roads and bridges. Be prepared and plan an alternative route. For the latest road conditions, visit: www.drivebc.ca

Referendum scheduled for South Cariboo Rec Centre expansion

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

The proposed expansion for the South Cariboo Recreation Centre is moving to a referendum (the technical term is an assent vote) on June 9, 2018. The Regional District Board endorsed the recommendation of the South Cariboo Joint Committee and approved the necessary administrative details to conduct the assent vote.

The referendum follows an extensive public consultation process and survey that concluded in March 2018. In order for the proposed expansion to move forward, the CRD has to conduct a referendum to get the authority to borrow money for the project.

“We realize that there are mixed opinions about the proposed expansion project; that was very clear through our public meetings and survey,” said working group Co-Chair Margo Wagner. “With the even split of feedback we received, we want to have a referendum on the project so that the voters can truly have their say on the project.”

General voting day will by Saturday, June 9, 2018. The four general voting locations will be at the 108 Mile Elementary School, Forest Grove Community Hall, Lone Butte Community and District of 100 Mile House Council Chambers. Two advance polls will take place at the District of 100 Mile House Council Chambers on Wednesday, May 30 and Monday, June 4. All polling stations will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“We encourage residents and property owners within the South Cariboo Recreation Service Area to be informed, take some time to read all the resources posted on the CRD website and come out to vote,” urges Ralph Fossom, Co-Chair of the working group. “Your vote matters. Let us know whether you want to see this proposed expansion move forward.”

The project vision is to build a flexible, multi-use facility for year-round active living. The concept design includes a turf field, elevated walking track and a hard-court gymnasium. Additionally, the expansion would integrate with the current recreation centre facility and curling club. The estimated cost for the project is $14.6 million.

Through the referendum, the CRD is asking permission to borrow $10 million for the project costs. They will look for grants and corporate sponsorships to cover the remaining $4.6 million. To pay for the construction and operating costs of the project, residents would see a residential tax rate increase of up to $65 per $100,000 on the assessed value of land and improvements. The current residential taxation rate for South Cariboo recreation services is about $55 per $100,000.

The project working group consists of representatives from School District No. 27, Community Recreation, South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce, Age-Friendly Society and elected officials from the Cariboo Regional District and District of 100 Mile House. They have championed the project since the beginning, working with the CRD and HCMA Architecture + Design from Vancouver, B.C. to develop a concept design for the expansion and then assisting with the public consultation.

Located in 100 Mile House, the South Cariboo Recreation Centre is owned by the Cariboo Regional District and funded through the South Cariboo Recreation service, which covers portions of Electoral Areas G, H and L and the District of 100 Mile House. The CRD has a contract with Canlan Ice Sports to manage the property and day-to-day operations.

For more information about the project or upcoming referendum, visit the project page on the Cariboo Regional District website at cariboord.ca under South Cariboo Recreation. Follow the project’s Facebook page at facebook.com/SCRCExpansion. Residents can also contact the CRD’s Manager of Community Services, Darron Campbell, at 1-800-665-1636.

Jillian Merrick runs for Mayor of Wells

The Prince George Daily News is reporting today that current Prince George City Councillor Jillian Merrick has been nominated for the position of Mayor - District of Wells in the June 9th local by-election there.  Click here

She tells My Prince George Now, as to the reason she is seeking the position:

“It was seeming like the community was really struggling to find folks to take up that mantle and, after much soulsearching, I realized that perhaps I had some skills and experience with my role in Prince George and certainly some familiarity with the community.”

The formal nomination period for the positions of Mayor and 1 Councillor position on the District of Wells Municipal Council terminates at 4pm this Friday.  This is no current information on other nominees, either for Mayor or Councillor - District of Wells

If elected on June 9th, Councillor Merrick would serve as Mayor of Wells until this October when mandatory local government elections are held for Mayors, Councillors, Electoral Area Directors' (Regional Districts') and School Trustees for a 4 year term commencing this November and terminating November 2022.

~SF

450 kms to be resurfaced in 2018

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

A resurfacing project on Highway 5 near Barriere is now underway, marking the beginning of a busy season of resurfacing in the southern Interior region, covering more than 450 kilometres of highways and side roads.

"We have promised safer roads for the people of B.C., and paving more than 450 kilometres in this region alone this year will make a big difference to local residents and those traveling through the region,” said BC's Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena. “By maintaining high-quality roads and highways, we are improving peoples’ safety and keeping commercial goods moving.”

This first project on Highway 5, between Agate Bay Road and Darfield, includes 16 kilometres of resurfacing. Dawson Construction of Kamloops was awarded the $4.6-million contract for the work, which is now underway and is expected to be completed this spring.

More than $85 million is being invested in highway and side road improvements in the southern Interior in 2018. Other major resurfacing projects taking place in the region this spring and summer include:

Highway 3/95 near Creston – Resurfacing 36 kilometres of Highway 3, from Arrow Creek Road to Yahk; 11 kilometres of Highway 95, from Kingsgate to Curzon; and 23.5 kilometres of selected side roads in the Kitchener, Arrow Creek, Kidd Creek, Kingsgate, Yahk and Moyie areas.

Highway 5 near Merritt – From Portia Bridge to Kingsvale, resurfacing 38 kilometres of the Coquihalla Highway.

Highway 12 near Lillooet – 46 kilometres of resurfacing from Lytton to Lillooet, and 2.5 kilometres of overlay paving on Road 40, north of Lillooet, from Hollywood Crescent to Dickie Creek Bridge.

Highway 26 near Quesnel – Resurfacing 44 kilometres, from Wingdam to Barkerville.

Highway 97 in Kelowna – 4.6 kilometres of resurfacing, from Gordon Drive to the junction with Highway 33; 5.6 kilometres, from Edwards Street to Old Vernon Road; and 5.5 kilometres on Old Vernon Road, from Spencer to McKenzie. In addition, there will be intermittent paving between Abbott Street and Gordon Drive.

The following projects make up the rest of what will be resurfaced in the southern Interior in 2018:

Highway 1, from Glacier National Park to Donald Bridge and selected side roads near Golden (37 kilometres)
Highway 3, from Kootenay Pass Summit to Summit Creek near Creston (28 kilometres)
Highway 3 and 3A, from Ooteschenia near Castlegar to Playmor Junction at South Slocan (20 kilometres)
Highway 5, from the Nicola Interchange to Clapperton Brake Check and Coldwater Road near Merritt (32.5 kilometres)
Highway 20, from Jourdenais Road near Hagensborg to Atnarko Slough (50 kilometres)
Highway 20, from Redstone to the Alexis Creek/Nazko Road and McCullough Road (26 kilometres)
Highway 24, from the brake check to Highway 24/5 Junction near Little Fort (13 kilometres)
Highway 97, from Deep Creek Bridge near Peachland to Glenrosa Road in West Kelowna (15 kilometres)
Chimney Lake Road and other side roads in Williams Lake (28.5 kilometres)
North Fork Road north near Grand Forks (25 kilometres)

While these resurfacing projects are underway, drivers can expect minor delays and, at times, single-lane alternating traffic. The ministry appreciates peoples’ patience while this work is taking place.

Drivers are reminded to slow down, obey traffic control personnel, and to check DriveBC.ca for the most up-to-date highway information

Quesnel district permitted road deactivations begin June 1

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Beginning June 1, 2018, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development will begin deactivating up to 500 kilometres of permit roads located in BC Timber Sales operating areas, throughout the Quesnel Natural Resource District – weather permitting.

Under the Forestry Revitalization Act, the Province has a statutory responsibility to retire permit roads that are no longer in use, and no longer being maintained. These roads came to be in BC Timber Sales operating areas as a result of the 2003 tenure redistribution.

The deactivation work will be ongoing until Dec. 31, 2018, and will include:

Removing all crossing structures and stream culverts.
Installing water bars and cross ditches to control erosion.
Seeding grass on ditches and road surfaces to control erosion.
Implementing access-control measures.

Stakeholders and members of the public, who may be affected by the upcoming work, can provide their input by contacting engineering specialist Steve Lemke at: 250 992-4432, or email: Steve.Lemke@gov.bc.ca before 4:30 p.m., Friday, June 1, 2018.

Learn More:

Quesnel Natural Resource District Road Safety Information:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/natural-resource-use/resource-roads/local-road-safety-information/quesnel-road-safety-information

Fire hotspots may re-appear this Spring. Stay vigilant!

Courtesy of the BC Wildfire Service:

As warmer weather returns to parts of the province that were affected by last summer's wildfires, some hotspots could emerge due to what are called "overwintering" fires.

An overwintering fire can occur when a wildfire that burned deep underground last year has continued to smoulder all winter long. Given the extent of last summer's drought and the intensity of some of the 2017 wildfires, some of these residual hotspots could flare up with the arrival of warmer and drier weather this spring.

Most overwintering fires will occur well within the original fire's perimeter. Areas near communities where wildfires burned last year were patrolled extensively by firefighters and have been scanned using thermal-imaging technology.

It is standard practice for the BC Wildfire Service to monitor these previous wildfire areas to ensure that any flare-ups from overwintering fires are located and suppressed, if necessary.

However, members of the public are encouraged to report any wildfire or smoke that they see, even if it's located within the perimeter of a previous fire. To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free, or *5555 on a cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

For the FAQ on this, click here

1st annual Quesnel Community Clean-up - May 5th, 2018

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

The City of Quesnel has partnered with the Quesnel Downtown Association, West Quesnel Business Association, South Quesnel Business Association, Northern Health, Quesnel Clean Team and School District 28 to host the 1st annual Community Clean-up. On Friday, May 4, students will be kicking the event off by picking up garbage around their school yards. Residents are encouraged to volunteer on Saturday, May 5 and help clean-up our community. Volunteers will move throughout public areas picking up garbage. The clean-up runs from 10 am to 4 pm.

Volunteers can meet at any of the following locations:

Spirit Square (downtown)
Baker Creek Park (West Quesnel)
Staples (South Quesnel)

From there, they will receive gear (if needed), maps and instructions! If volunteers have their own gear (gloves, pick-up tools and Hi Viz safety vests), please bring it!

The Quesnel Clean Team will be moving though the areas prior May 5 to pick up any dangerous items and drug paraphernalia. If any dangerous items are found on Friday or Saturday, the Clean Team will be available to pick it up. Students and volunteers will only be expected to pick up garbage.

Join us on Saturday, May 5 starting at 10 am and help keep our community clean!

For more information about this event, visit the event page here

City of Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson stated:

“A great community is built and sustained by engaged citizens. When the community rolls up its sleeves and helps solve problems instead of just reporting them, our public areas stay safe and clean, so they can be enjoyed by everyone”

Cariboo RD EOC Update - April 29th, 2018

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District's Emergency Operations Centre:


The Cariboo Regional District’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) continues to coordinate and monitor flooding issues throughout the region in support of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
The CRD issued two evacuation orders for the Nazko area yesterday (Sun April 29th) due to flooding from the Nazko River. The evacuation orders impact about 120 properties.
The CRD’s EOC is providing sandbags to residents as needed. It is the homeowner's responsibility to undertake temporary and permanent flood protection works to protect their home and property. If you need sandbags, contact the EOC. Learn more about proper sandbagging techniques: bit.ly/2FldNd1
High stream flows and flooding are expected to continue through the week. If you are experiencing flooding issues that affect your home or business, please contact the CRD’s public information line at 1-866-759-4977. For after-hours emergencies, please call the Provincial Emergency Reporting Line at 1-800-663-3456.
Residents are strongly encouraged to register for the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System to receive a text, call or email regarding Evacuation Alerts and Orders or other emergency updates: member.everbridge.net/index/453003085612292#/signup
For more information:
Media Contact:
Emily Epp, Public Information Officer
Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operations Centre
250-302-9003
eoccommunications@cariboord.ca

Steve's Meeting/Expense Calendar - April 2018

In the month of April 2018 -- I participated in the following meetings or events:

April 3rd - CRD Emergency Preparedness Committee Meeting
April 4th - McLeese Lake Recreation Commission Meeting
April 5th - hosted TELUS Community Meeting in regards to Cell Phone/High Speed Internet Coverage at the McLeese Lake Community Hall

April 9th - Met with members of the WL Cross Country Ski Club Executive (Bull Mountain)

April 12th - CRD Policy Committee Meeting/Committee of the Whole CRD Board Session

April 13th - CRD/CCRHD Board of Directors' Meetings

April 16th - CRD Emergency Preparedness Committee Meeting
April 17th - Central Cariboo Arts/Culture Society Board of Directors' Meeting

April 19th - WL Field Naturalists - Scout Island Nature Centre Fundraising Annual Banquet

April 21st - Met with the executive of the McLeese Lake Recreation Commission to review their Revitalization Plan for McLeese Lake and provide options to change it, if they desired it.  Also participated in their review of their Bylaws and provided input as appropriate

April 23rd - McLeese Lake VFD Society's AGM

April 25th - Central Cariboo Rural Caucus/Joint Committee Meetings

April 26th - WL/District Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting

April 27th - Interior Roads Stakeholder Meeting for Summer Driving Season with the CRD Director for Williams Lake (and Mayor of Williams Lake) Walt Cobb

April 28th - "Day of Mourning" Event to remember those killed or injured in the workplace and discussed a flooding situation with a resident on Forglen Road at McLeese Lake, whose property abuts McLeese Creek.  Connected with BC Ministry of Transportation to request the culvert gets replaced, hopefully in Fall 2018, to hopefully eliminate the flooding situation from occurring in the future... He had already connected with CRD's Emergency Operations Centre to get sandbags to place around his home to help prevent the water from seeping into his basement along with reaching out to the local Fire Department to pump the water off his property and further down McLeese Creek

------------

As to expenses submitted for the month of April 2018:

* April 3rd - $120 for CRD Emergency Preparedness Committee Meeting

* April 12th - $185 for CRD Policy Committee Meeting/Committee of the Whole CRD Board Session

* April 13th - $185 for CCRHD/CRD Board Meetings

* April 16th - $120 for CRD Emergency Preparedness Committee Meeting
* April 25th - $75 for Central Cariboo Rural Caucus/Joint Committee Meetings

~SF

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Evacuation order issued for upper Nazko area

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District’s Emergency Operations Centre:

April 29, 2018, 7 p.m.
EOC-18-04
For Immediate Release

Evacuation order issued for the upper Nazko area

Williams Lake, B.C. – The Cariboo Regional District has issued an evacuation order for the Upper Nazko area due to danger from flooding and potential loss of access routes.

The expanded order area includes 74 properties. Members of the RCMP will be going door to door with the evacuation order on Monday morning, April 30. View a map of the affected areas here: bit.ly/2JzlKxK

The Evacuation Route is: the Snaking River Forest Service Road to the Harrington Pit Road, then to Nazko Highway 59.

For those residents unable to evacuate – please contact the CRD’s Emergency Operations Centre at 1-866-759-4977 and shelter in place until the RCMP arrives to evacuate you by helicopter tomorrow morning. A bus will be waiting to transport evacuees to the ESS reception centre in Quesnel.

Please register with Emergency Support Services (ESS) at the reception centre in the Quesnel Recreation Centre at 500 North Star Road, which will be open until 10:00 p.m. tonight. It will open again at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
  • Close all windows and doors.
  • Shut off all gas and electrical appliances, other than refrigerators and freezers.
  • Close gates (latch) but do not lock.
  • Gather your family: take a neighbour or someone who needs help.
  • Take critical items (medicine, purse, wallet, and keys) only if they are immediately available. Take pets in pet kennels or on leash.
  • Do not use more vehicles then you have to.
  • Do not use the telephone unless you need emergency service.
  • Register with Emergency Support Services (ESS).
Further information will be issued as it becomes available. Please visit the CRD Emergency Operations Facebook page at facebook.com/CRDEmergencyOperations as well as the CRD website at cariboord.ca.  For more information contact the CRD’s public information line at 1-866-759-4977 (8:00 a.m. - 9 p.m.). For after-hours emergencies, call the Provincial Emergency Reporting Line at 1-800-663-3456.

Residents are strongly encouraged to register for the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System to receive a text, call or email regarding Evacuation Alerts and Orders: https://member.everbridge.net/index/453003085612292#/signup

Caution urged with flooding in Cariboo RD/Interior Region of BC

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

The Government of British Columbia is urging caution and encouraging the public to prepare for localized flooding, as water levels are rising in the interior of the province due to increased precipitation, an above average snowpack and increased snowmelt.

An evacuation order for 148 properties in Tulameen has been issued by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS), and the remainder of the town is under evacuation alert. An emergency social services reception centre is set up at the Riverside Community Centre, 148 Old Hedley Rd., Princeton. Any affected residents staying with family or friends are asked to register as soon as possible by visiting the reception centre, or by calling the RDOS Emergency Operations Centre at 250 490-4225. Up-to-date information is available on the RDOS website: www.rdos.bc.ca

An evacuation order has been put in place for 47 properties by the Cariboo Regional District, due to immediate danger from flooding. An emergency social services reception centre is set up in the Quesnel Recreation Centre at 500 North Star Rd. Up-to-date information is available on the Cariboo Regional District website: www.cariboord.ca

Other areas of the B.C. Central and Southern Interior are also experiencing flooding and slope instability. Evacuation orders are in place for the Killiney Beach area in the Central Okanagan, and the Sportsman Bowl area north of Oliver. Emergency operations centres are currently activated in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, the Central Okanagan Regional District and the Cariboo Regional District.

The River Forecast Centre has issued a flood warning for the Nazko River and West Road River, and is maintaining a flood watch for the Central Interior, including the Bonaparte River and tributary rivers around Cache Creek, Merritt, Williams Lake, Quesnel and surrounding areas. There is also a high streamflow advisory for the South Interior, Boundary, Kootenay and Peace Regions.

Any local authority or First Nations community that is experiencing flooding is advised to call Emergency Management BC at 1 800 663-3456 for support.

Here are five tips that can help to prepare you and your family for potential flooding:

1. Steer clear of river and lake shorelines:

Keep away from river edges and shorelines. During periods of high flow, river banks may be unstable and more prone to sudden collapse. Stay well away, and keep young children and pets away from the banks of fast-flowing streams and flooded areas or bridges.

2. Recognize the danger signs:

If you live near a waterway, a change in water colour or rapid change in water level (especially a drop) could indicate a problem upstream. Call your local fire, police or public works department immediately if you suspect something out of the ordinary.

3. Do not drive through flood water:

Never attempt to drive or walk in flood water. A mere six inches of fast-moving water can knock over an adult. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including SUVs and pick-up trucks.

If you face a threatening flood situation, park vehicles away from streams and waterways, move electrical appliances to upper floors and make sure to anchor fuel supplies. Listen to local officials if you are asked to evacuate.

4. Protect your home:

The public is advised to prepare for possible flooding of low-lying areas by moving equipment and other assets from these areas to higher ground, where possible. Clear perimeter drains, eavesthroughs and gutters. Sandbags can also help, and can be made available through your local government.

5. Landslide risk:

Heavy snowmelt may contribute to landslides and dangerous debris in creeks and waterways. Be safe, and do not go down to watch the rushing water. If trees are beginning to lean or bend near your home, or cracks are developing in the hillside, consult an engineer or contact local authorities.

Learn More:

For information on flood-related evacuation alerts and orders, visit: www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca
or follow on Twitter: www.twitter.com/EmergencyInfoBC

PreparedBC is British Columbia's one-stop shop for disaster readiness information. For tips on how to prepare an emergency plan and what to include in an emergency kit, visit PreparedBC: www.gov.bc.ca/PreparedBC

Flood prevention tips can be found at: http://ow.ly/E2JV30bttgr

The PreparedBC Flood Information for Homeowners and Home Buyers guide: http://ow.ly/t4lg30bttjr

River Forecast Centre link: http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/

Floodwaters can quickly wash out roads and bridges. Be prepared and plan an alternative route. For the latest road conditions, visit: www.drivebc.ca

Evacuation order issued for some areas in the Nazko Valley

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District's Emergency Operations Centre:

The Cariboo Regional District has declared a State of Local Emergency forElectoral Area I. Effective immediately, the Cariboo Regional District has also issued an evacuation order for some areas in the Nazko Valley due to immediate danger from flooding.
 
The order area includes 46 house points. Members of the RCMP or other groups will be going door to door with the evacuation order. View a map of the affected areas here:bit.ly/2JDgFo6
 
The Evacuation Route is: South via Nazko Road to Quesnel. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) has confirmed the Nazko bridge is passable and open to single lane traffic.
 
Please register with Emergency Support Services (ESS) at the reception centre in the Quesnel Recreation Centre at 500 North Star Road, which will be open until 8:00 p.m. tonight.
 
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
  • You must leave the area immediately. 
  • Close all windows and doors. 
  • Shut off all gas and electrical appliances, other than refrigerators and freezers.
  • Close gates (latch) but do not lock. 
  • Gather your family: take a neighbour or someone who needs help. 
  • Take critical items (medicine, purse, wallet, and keys) only if they are immediately available. Take pets in pet kennels or on leash.
  • Do not use more vehicles then you have to. 
  • Do not use the telephone unless you need emergency service. 
  • Register with Emergency Support Services (ESS). 
 YOU MUST LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY.
 
Further information will be issued as it becomes available. Please visit the CRD Emergency Operations Facebook page at facebook.com/CRDEmergencyOperations as well as the CRD website at cariboord.ca.  For more information contact the CRD’s public information line at 1-866-759-4977 (8:00 a.m. – 6 p.m.).
 
Residents are strongly encouraged to register for the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System to receive a text, call or email regarding Evacuation Alerts and Orders:https://member.everbridge.net/index/453003085612292#/signup


Flood Watch in Cariboo RD Electoral Area 'D'

Culvert Outflow from a creek
north of "Downtown" McLeese Lake
This past Thursday - the Cariboo Regional District activated its' Emergency Operations Centre or EOC as a result of high water stream flow or actual flooding events (Nazko - Electoral Area I) throughout the Region and the CRD's EOC continues to monitor the situation and respond, as appropriate in concert with the BC Ministries of Transportation/Infrastructure & Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations/Rural Development

Within Cariboo RD Electoral Area 'D' - the situation is relatively ok with a number of fields locally flooded but away from any structures (sheds, homes, etc) for the moment.  One property on Forglen Rd in McLeese Lake which is right beside McLeese Creek and also has high stream flow has been in contact with the CRD's EOC and has received sandbags to help keep the water from coming into his basement.  In addition, the local Fire Department at McLeese Lake has provided this gentlemen with a portable gas-fired pump to pump the water away from his property and further down McLeese Creek...

Hawkes Creek, that is located within Electoral Area 'D', is another water stream that is of concern.  This is being monitored by the Xat'sull First Nation (Soda Creek/Deep Creek) and their EOC has been activated and they are keeping in contact with the CRD EOC as appropriate...

Should you need assistance because of flooding issues on your own property, if you are worried about access to your property being cut off/loss of structures or if you need assistance moving pets/livestock, please contact the Cariboo Regional District's EOC Public Information Line at 1-866-759-4977 or click here

~SF

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Cariboo RD EOC Update - 7:30pm, Apr 27th

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District's Emergency Operations Centre:

The Cariboo Regional District’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is actively coordinating and monitoring flooding issues throughout the region in support of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
The CRD’s EOC is providing sandbags to residents as needed. However, it is the homeowner's responsibility to undertake temporary and permanent flood protection works to protect their home and property. If you need sandbags, contact the EOC. Learn more about proper sandbagging techniques: bit.ly/2FldNd1
High stream flows and flooding are expected to continue throughout the weekend. This evening, the BC River Forecast Centre upgraded areas in the Cariboo to a flood watch, including the Nazko River, West Road River, Bonaparte River and tributary rivers around Williams Lake, Quesnel and surrounding areas.
Read the full advisory here: http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/warnings/index.htm
The Cariboo Regional District activated its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) yesterday, April 26, 2018, to respond to flooding issues in the region. The EOC will remain active throughout the weekend from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
If you are experiencing flooding issues that affect your home or business, please contact the CRD’s public information line at 1-866-759-4977 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. For after-hours emergencies, please call the Provincial Emergency Reporting Line at 1-800-663-3456.
Residents are strongly encouraged to register for the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System to receive a text, call or email regarding Evacuation Alerts and Orders or other emergency updates: member.everbridge.net/index/453003085612292#/signup
For more information:

Friday, April 27, 2018

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Apr 30 - May 4

The following local governments of the Cariboo-Chilcotin will be holding meetings next week, as follows:

Quesnel - Meetings as noted below in Quesnel Council Chambers (4th Floor - 410 Kinchant Street)

Policy/Bylaw Review Committee - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, May 1st at 1:15pm.  On the Agenda:

* Social Enterprise - Permissive Tax Exemption
* Master Sign Bylaw
* Review Local Services Policy CF-8
* Master Zone Policy Review - Specific Topics

View the full Agenda here

Municipal Council - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, May 1st at 7pm. On the Agenda:

* Delegation: Early Childhood Education B.C. - Jenna Turner and Lonnie Bidder
* Committee Reports
* Annual Overlay Paving Program
* Larch Avenue Paving Variance
* 2018 Business Fa├žade Program
* 2018 Tax Rates including 2018 School Tax Rates
* 2018 Tax Rates Bylaw - Final Adoption

View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Regular Committee of the Whole Session at 6pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (Basement - 450 Mart Street.  On the Agenda:

* Staff Review of Request from Friday Farmers' Market (from April 10th Council Meeting)
* Central Industrial Area Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw No. 2279, 2018

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District - Meetings as listed below...

Service Effectiveness/Efficiency Committee - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, May 1st at 9:30am in the CRD Committee Room (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Review Committee's Terms of Reference
* Future Committee Business

Members of the Committee - CRD Directors J. Bruce (Chair); T. Armstrong, J. Massier, S. Forseth, J. Sorley and B. Coakley (CRD Areas A, B, C, D, F and L)

View the full Agenda here

Emergency Preparedness Committee - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, May 1st at 11am in the CRD Boardroom.  On the Agenda:

* 2017 Wildfire and 2014 Mount Polley Reports Recommendations
* Verbal Report of the CAO - 2018 Spring Readiness Meetings

Members of the Committee - CRD Directors M. Wagner (Chair); T. Armstrong, J. Massier, S. Forseth, J. Sorley, A. Richmond and B. Anderson (CRD Areas A, C, D, F, G, H and K)

View the full Agenda here

CCRHD Board - Regular Meeting on Wednesday, May 2nd at 9:30am in the CRD Boardroom (180D 3rd Avenue North, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Hospital Consent Calendar
* Update from Chair on Tour of Tatla Lake Clinic and Attendance at West Chilcotin Health Care Society AGM (Verbal Report from the Chair)
* Discussion Item -- Proportional Funding for Capital Projects throughout the Province

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo RD Board -  Regular Meeting on Wednesday, May 2nd at 9:45am in the CRD Boardroom (180D 3rd Avenue North, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Delegation (11am) -- Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett re: forest service road deactivations in the Cariboo

* 2 Land Use Bylaws for Adoption (Electoral Area 'L')
* 3 DVP's in Electoral Areas 'A/L' for consideration
* 1 ALR application in Electoral Area 'F' (Roger Patenaude)
* NDIT Application – Arts on the Fly (consideration of submission to NDIT for approval)
* Request for Permissive Tax Exemption for Forest Grove Legion
* Consent Calendar
* Recommendations from CRD Committees or Commission for Endorsement
* Requests from Directors Bruce ($1,500 for Public Meetings in Area B), Richmond ($500 to host National Fire Smart meeting at 108 Mile on May 5th), Wagner (Nomination to Northern Medical Programs Trust) and Forseth (Letter to Province: Lack of Consultation in regards to Employer Health Tax/Impact on Local Government Budgets)

View the full Agenda here

Combined Central/South Joint Committee Meeting -- Wednesday, May 2nd at 5pm in the CRD Boardroom.  The entire meeting is to be held In-Camera as per Sections 92/90(1k - negotiations) of the Community Charter

Public Hearings -- As noted below:

May 1st at 7pm -- Alexis Creek Community Hall - Details here (Electoral Area K)
May 3rd at 7pm -- 100 Mile House Community Hall - Details here (Electoral Area L)
May 4th at 9am -- CRD Boardroom in Williams Lake - Details here (All Electoral Areas)

~SF

Special Wells Council Meeting today!

Later today - the District of Wells Municipal Council will hold a Special Meeting to consider Adoption to the 2018 5 Year Financial Plan (as amended) and 2018 Tax Rate Bylaws

View the full Agenda here

~SF

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Caution urged with warm, windy weather in Cariboo Region

Courtesy of the BC Wildfire Service:

The weather throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre is expected to be warm and breezy until the beginning of next week, with dry conditions persisting throughout most of the region.

The Cariboo Fire Centre has experienced several grass fires over the last week, as forest fuels dry out due to limited precipitation in recent days. These conditions will continue as temperatures rise over the weekend.

The public is reminded that Category 3 open burns are currently prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, and within the Tsilhqot'in (Xeni Gwet'in) Declared Title Area. Category 3 open burns include:

any fire larger than two metres high by three metres wide
three or more concurrently burning piles no larger than two metres high by three metres wide
one or more burning windrows
burning of stubble or grass over an area greater than 0.2 hectares

A map of the area affected by the Category 3 open burning prohibition is available at: http://ow.ly/cLgP30jDyW4

Although this prohibition does not apply to campfires or Category 2 fires, the BC Wildfire Service is encouraging members of the public to exercise caution when doing any outdoor burning, given the forecasted warm and windy weather. A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online: http://ow.ly/znny309kJv5

Anyone conducting an open burn must comply with the Wildfire Act and air quality control legislation. If an open burn escapes and causes a wildfire, the person responsible may be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs.

The Cariboo Fire Centre stretches from Loon Lake near Clinton in the south to the Cottonwood River near Quesnel in the north, and from Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the west to Wells Gray Provincial Park in the east.

You can follow the latest wildfire news on:

Twitter at: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo
Facebook at: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca

Cariboo RD's EOC is activated to support flooding issues

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District's Emergency Operations Centre:

The Cariboo Regional District has activated its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to respond to flooding issues in the region. There are several areas in the Cariboo currently experiencing high stream flows and flooding.
 
The CRD is available to provide assistance related to flooding issues:
  • If you are experiencing flooding issues that affect your home or business, please contact the CRD.
  • Sandbags are available through the EOC, if needed. Learn more about proper sandbagging techniques: bit.ly/2FldNd1
  • If your access is cut-off due to flooding, please shelter in place, which means you should stay where you are and stay safe. Contact the CRD if you need assistance.
Call the Cariboo Regional District’s public information line at 1-866-759-4977 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. After hours, please call the Provincial Emergency Reporting Line at 1-800-663-3456.
 
People living near a river or stream can take some precautions to reduce the risk associated with a flood.
  • Prepare personal emergency supply kits for your home, car and work (plan for at least a three-day supply of food and water for each family member)
  • Have a grab-and-go kit ready if you have to leave your home quickly 
  • Keep important papers in watertight containers and have a record of your valuables in a safe place
  • If flooding is likely in your area, pay attention to the local media for information
  • Watch for warning signs: increase in height and intensity of water flows, mudslides, debris in creeks, colour changes in water or leaning trees
  • Know that banks of rivers and streams may be unstable and dangerous 
  • Keep a safe distance away from fast flowing water, especially children 
  • Teach your children about flood safety 
  • Consider arrangements for your pets and any livestock 
Find more information on flood preparedness, current freshet conditions and emergency updates at:
Further information will be issued as it becomes available. Please visit the CRD Emergency Operations Facebook page at facebook.com/CRDEmergencyOperations as well as the CRD website at cariboord.ca.  For more information contact the CRD’s public information line at 1-866-759-4977 (8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. daily).
 
Residents are strongly encouraged to register for the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System to receive a text, call or email regarding Evacuation Alerts and Orders or other emergency updates:
https://member.everbridge.net/index/453003085612292#/signup

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

CC Joint Committee Highlights - Apr 25th mtg

Present from CRD  - Directors S. Forseth, A. Delainey and J. Sorley

Present from City of WL - Mayor W. Cobb; Councillors I. Bonnell, S. Nelson, C. Smith, L. Walters and S. Zacharias

Meeting called to order at 5:30pm by CRD Co-Chair J. Sorley

Meeting Agenda adopted

Minutes of the March 28th CC Joint Committee meeting were received/adopted

Delegation:

1) Jay Morrison, Senior Public Affairs Advisor, and Emma Shea, Community and Indigenous Engagement Consultant, from Enbridge Inc., appeared before the Committee to provide an update on proposed projects in the Central Cariboo

A Question/Answer period ensued

The Chair, on behalf of the Committee, thanked Mr. Morrison/Ms. Shea for their time/information

Resolved - That a letter of support be provided in respect of Enbridge's 150 Mile House Compressor Station Upgrade Project

2) Micheal Kidston from the Mt Timothy Ski Society appeared before the Committee to discuss their request for taxation funding ($300,000) for the Society's activities at Mount Timothy

A Question/Answer period ensued following the presentation

Councillor S. Zacharias left the meeting at 6:42pm

The Chair thanked Mr. Kidston for his presentation

Business:

The Committee discussed the following two items:

a) Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society Grants

The Committee held a general discussion on this item

Resolved - That the item be received

b) Bull Mountain Cross Country Ski Trails

Director S. Forseth reported on this item
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That a letter be forwarded to the Province asking for permission to submit a Rural Dividend/Special Circumstance application on behalf of the WL Cross Country Ski Club for Bull Mountain

Resolved - That representatives of the WL Minor Hockey Association be invited to the next Joint Committee meeting to discuss their concerns around the City of Williams Lake managing the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex

c) Action Page

General discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That the item be received and Action Items #2 and #5 be removed

The Committee adjourned at 7:22pm

CC Rural Caucus Highlights - Apr 25th mtg

Present: Directors S. Forseth, A. Delainey, and J. Sorley (Electoral Areas D, E, F)

The meeting was called to order by the Deputy Corporate Officer/Executive Assistant at 3:05pm

The Deputy Corporate Officer/Executive Assistant called 3 times for nominations for the position of Chair of the Central Cariboo Rural Directors Caucus for the remainder of 2018

Director Sorley nominated Director Forseth.  Director Forseth accepted his nomination

With no further nominations received, Director Forseth was acclaimed Chair of the Central Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus for the remainder of 2018 and he assumed the Chair at 3:05pm

The Chair thanked Caucus for their support, acknowledged the meeting was being held on traditional Shuswap territory, welcomed newly elected Electoral Area 'E' Director Angie Delainey to her first Central Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus meeting

Meeting agenda adopted
Minutes of the Feb 28th Central Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus meeting were received/adopted

Delegations:

1) Interior Roads -- Doina Varzaru appeared before the Committee to provide an update

A Question/Answer period ensued

The Chair thanked Ms. Varzaru for her time/information

Business:

1) Referred Item from Regional Board -- Letter from MOTI re: Campbell and Pigeon Roads (Areas D/F)

The Chair reviewed this matter with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Item received and that a letter be forwarded to Ministry of Transportation, Cariboo District introducing the Central Directors and requesting information on whom to contact with road concerns

2) Funding Request from Cariboo Direct Farm Market Association

The Chair reviewed this item with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved -- Letter received and that a grant of $4,000 be provided to the Cariboo Direct Farm Market Association to be funded from the Area 'D' and 'F' Economic Development Functions

Resolved -- That CRD Board Policy be waived and that a $1,000 grant be provided to the Cariboo Direct Farm Market Association to be funded from the Area 'E' Grant for Assistance (Year Round Intake) Fund

3) Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Area Association AGM Minutes - April 5, 2018

Director A. Delainey reviewed this item with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - AGM Minutes received

4) Funding Request from the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce - Visitor Maps

The Chair reviewed the letter from the WL and District Chamber of Commerce with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved -- Letter received and funding of $1,000 be provided from the NDIT Collaboration Fund or in the alternative, from Areas D/F Economic Development Functions

5) Discussion Item -- Ranch Hay Delivery/Road Restrictions

The Committee held a general discussion on this item
No resolution resulted

The Committee adjourned at 4:20pm

Quesnel City Council Highlights - Apr 24th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

WeeMedical Wellness Center Business Licence Cancellation Reconsideration

Council approved staff’s recommendation to immediately cancel the Business License for WeeMedical Wellness Center due to the business:

Operating in non-compliance their Business Licence and Provincial Court Consent Order that required the business:
Cease from carrying out any business or other activity that is not permitted in that location under the zoning bylaw.
Cease from distributing or selling marihuana or cannabis within the City while sale is unlawful under federal, provincial or local enactments.
Ceasing to consume, possess, keep or store any marihuana or cannabis at the Company’s Quesnel premises.
Denying the request for a City Director and/or Bylaw Officer to inspect the Company’s Quesnel premises.
Marihuana and cannabis sales are prohibited under the zoning bylaw or in close proximity to a residential dwelling.

Proposed Elliott Street Supportive Housing Development

Council has set a Public Hearing date of 6:30 pm, Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at City Hall Council Chambers for BC Housing’s Supportive Housing development that would be located on 6 vacant lots within the 300 Block of Elliott Street. Highlights of the second proposal submitted includes:

Removed the short stay shelter and emergency shelter components of the development.
Will provide support services only to tenants who would reside at the development.
Has 32 units of supportive housing with space for staff, programming and common facilities on the first floor.
Floor plans will continue to be a three storey building, although the footprint may be reduced.
32 residential units will be self-contained one-bedroom units with full washroom and kitchen with shared common laundry rooms.

Next steps include:

Public Hearing – 6:30 pm Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at City Hall Council Chambers.
Once the Operator contract has been awarded, the exact needs for the first floor will be determined and finalized floor plans will be determined and the project form and character will be reviewed through the Development Permit process.

2018 Tax Rates Bylaws

The City has received final assessments from BC Assessment and tax rates from the other taxing authorities such as the Cariboo Regional District, the Municipal. Finance Authority, and BC Assessment with the resulting 2018 Tax Rates:

Average residence in Quesnel (valued at $185,116) will see an increase of $59.32 in the municipal tax portion of their property tax invoice, or $32.05 per $100,000 of assessment.
Commercial properties will an average increase of $101.11 per $100,000 of assessment.
Taxation levels were frozen for major and light industry properties for 2018 as part of the City’s tax framework.
The City is waiting to receive from the Province the 2018 School Taxes that will be added to the 2018 property tax invoices.

Mountain Bike Tourism

Council approved entering into a Community Partnership Agreement with the Cariboo Regional District, Gold Rush Cycling Club and the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium to develop and promote Quesnel as a Mountain Bike destination. Through this agreement, the parties will promote Quesnel as mountain bike tourism destination, engage local businesses and tourism associations to enhance the mountain bike experience, seek funding opportunities to support the growth and development of mountain biking in the area, and promote mountain biking as an economic driver in Quesnel.

Bylaws

1783 – Quesnel Lions Society Housing Agreement (255 McNaughton Avenue) – Final Adoption

1847 – Dakelh Housing Agreement (424 McLean Street) – Final Adoption

1848 – Official Community Plan Amendment – Elliott Street Supportive Housing Development – Set Public Hearing Date – 7 pm Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at City Hall Council Chambers

1849 – Zone Amendment – Elliott Street Supportive Housing Development – Set Public Hearing Date – 7 pm Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at City Hall Council Chambers

1850 – Five Year Financial Plan (2018 to 2022) – Final Adoption

1851 – 2018 Tax Rates – First, Second and Third

Next Meetings

7 pm, May 1 - Regular Council Meeting

7 pm, May 15 - Regular Council Meeting

Prescribed burns to restore Cariboo-Chilcotin grassland - Mayfield Lake

Courtesy of the BC Wildfire Service:

Alkali Resource Management Ltd. and the Esketem’c First Nation, with the assistance of the BC Wildfire Service, plan to conduct a series of prescribed burns near Mayfield Lake between Wednesday, April 25 and May 4, 2018, weather conditions permitting.

This series of prescribed burns will cover about 60 hectares in the Mayfield Lake area, which is about 10 kilometres north of Alkali Lake and west of Dog Creek Road.

Smoke from these fires may be visible from nearby communities. The decision on when to proceed with these burns will depend on weather and site conditions. Such burns are only conducted when conditions are suitable and will allow for quick smoke dissipation. Fire crews will carefully monitor the fires at all times.

A prescribed fire is an intentionally ignited fire that is planned and managed by a certified “burn boss”. The burn boss is responsible for ensuring that the initial burn conditions are favourable and that the fires are extinguished once the prescribed burns are completed.

These prescribed burns will help restore natural grassland ecosystems and are supported by the ministry’s Ecosystem Restoration Program. Historically, grasslands in the Cariboo-Chilcotin were renewed through frequent, low-intensity ground fires. Such fires prevented tree encroachment, rejuvenated understory plants and helped maintained more open grasslands and forests with large trees.

The reintroduction of managed, low-intensity ground fires to these grasslands is intended to restore and maintain the traditional grassland plant communities that are native to these areas. These managed fires also reduce fuel loads (accumulations of flammable materials) to help decrease the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

These resource management fires are part of an ongoing ecosystem restoration program administered by the provincial government through the Cariboo’s Ecosystem Restoration Steering Committee, in consultation with First Nations, local ranchers, local forest licensees, outdoors organizations, the Fraser Basin Council, the B.C. Wildlife Federation and the Cariboo-Chilcotin Conservation Society.

Learn More:

A factsheet about prescribed burns and ecosystem restoration burns is available online: http://ow.ly/7RXg304vw2Z

To learn more about the Cariboo-Chilcotin Ecosystem Restoration Committee, visit: www.ccerc.net

On the Cusp of Change

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Editor's Note -- This week's Quesnel Council Column is written by Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson.  He can be reached via email here

Over the past few months I’ve bumped into people who’ve recently moved to Quesnel from a variety of places and for equally varied reasons. Many are younger couples who’ve discovered that Quesnel is an affordable community to raise a family in. Unlike most of the communities to the south of us, these working couples can afford to buy a home here and put down roots. Most of them tell me that while an affordable home was the major stimulus for them to consider moving to Quesnel, once they got here they quickly realized that our community has so much more to offer them, from our modern and attractive amenities to our ease of access to nature.

For parents with younger children, Quesnel is particularly attractive, as not only can they afford to enroll their children in multiple sports and after school programs they can also move them between venues with ease because everything is so close and they don’t have to fight traffic. They quickly discover Quesnel offers all the sports, arts, and recreation programs you would find in any larger community and that they are much more accessible and affordable here.

Seniors who are new to Quesnel (again, mostly cashing out down south and initially coming here because of our affordable real estate) tell me they are thrilled with the quality of the health care they can access here. They can quickly find a family doctor, and our hospital offers almost the full range of diagnostics and specialists they would expect in a larger center, but they can generally access these services quicker here. Active seniors also find we have everything they need here to maintain their healthy lifestyle: our riverfront trail and indoor walking programs, easy access hiking and biking trails, free tennis and pickle ball courts, curling, lawn bowling, horseshoe pits. You name it, Quesnel’s got it, they say.

Council’s investments in our new branding strategy, a new off leash dog park, marked bike routes, new playgrounds, the revitalization of Reid Street, and our progressive approach toward creating a modern and vibrant community all make absolute sense to these “newcomers.” Someone who just moved here from Whistler with his young family told me he feels Quesnel is on the cusp of being discovered as a preferred destination for visitors and residents alike, and that we are absolutely on the right track to capitalize on that trend with our investments and branding strategy.

Many longtime residents share the same view of Quesnel as these newcomers and are pleased to see their property tax dollars reinvested in the community in ways that will ensure our community remains vibrant and attractive to visitors, new residents, and to investment. These residents applaud Council’s foresight and proactive approach to the challenges our economic transition confronts us with.

But, there is also a faction within our community that resists change and some who see Quesnel through less than rose-colored glasses. This segment of our community often views the issues that every City struggles with (e.g. crime, discarded needles, panhandling, homelessness) as being unique to Quesnel and a major detractor from our City’s more appealing attributes.

This dynamic tension in how people respond to change exists in all communities and can make it difficult for leaders to lead and Council’s to be proactive. But, I believe the majority of our residents are excited with the changes they see in our community.

Laurie Walters bows out of 2018 Local Election

At last night's Williams Lake City Council meeting -- Councillor Laurie Walters advised her Council colleagues and by extension, the community of Williams Lake that she would not seek re-election on October 20th, 2018

First elected in the 2008 local government general election and subsequently re-elected in the 2011 and 2014 local general elections - she primarily held the Community Services Portfolio which dealt with things like Arts/Culture and Parks/Recreation.

I first got the chance to work with her in an official capacity after my appointment as the Cariboo Regional District Area 'D' Alternate Director back in February 2013 and I have enjoyed working with her this term and the comments I have seen on Facebook so far express my own personal feelings -- she will be missed but we all wish her well in her future endeavours

As for why - Councillor Walters told My Cariboo Now:

"Really mixed emotions, but it feels good to actually come forward and say it. I know it’s been in the community and people have been asking. I think that definitely I came in to it to grow arts and culture-a performing arts centre was sort of on my mind and then I realized that there is so much more to being involved with Council.  The pool now that it’s done and the renovations are complete it feels really good, and it feels like a good legacy. But really at the end of the day it’s the small little day to day things that just add up and it feels so good when you move the City forward.”

In addition to Councillor Walters, Councillor Sue Zacharias has also said that she too will not seek re-election on October 20th while Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb and Councillor Craig Smith would both seek re-election on October 20th.  WL City Councillors Ivan Bonnell, Scott Nelson and Jason Ryll have yet to publicly indicate their re-election plans

Local Government Elections in BC will be held on Saturday, October 20th, 2018 to elect new School Trustees, Electoral Area Directors, Mayors and Councillors for the forthcoming 2018-2022 term of local government

~SF

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

WL Council Highlights - April 24th mtg

Present: Mayor W. Cobb; Councillors I. Bonnell, S. Nelson, C. Smith, L. Walters and S. Zacharias

Meeting called to order at 6pm

Meeting agenda adopted/Minutes of the WL City Council Meeting held on April 10th be received/adopted

Presentation:

Mayor W. Cobb presented Volunteer Certificates from Diabetes Canada to Verna Fisher, Warren Williams and Sue Roorda

Business:

1) Council received for information the accounts payable computer cheque listings dated April 10, 12 and 13, 2018

2) Council ratified an email poll approving funding of up to $10,000 from an appropriate City budget line to assist in the planning and delivery of the wildfire recovery community event, in anticipation of expected reimbursement from the Canadian Red Cross Community Partnerships Program

3) Council approved registration, travel and associated expenses for Mayor W. Cobb and Councillors to attend the North Central Local Government Association's 2018 AGM & Convention being held May 7 to 10, 2018 in Fort Nelson, BC

4) Council adopted two Central Cariboo Joint Committee recommendations, as follows:

a) That pursuant to Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee Report #02-2018, City of Williams Lake Councillors Ivan Bonnell and Jason Ryll, and Cariboo Regional District Director Joan Sorley be appointed to form a Committee, along with appropriate City and CRD Staff, to plan for the 2019 NCLGA Convention to be held in Williams Lake.

b) That pursuant to Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee Report #03-2018, the report of the Director of Community Services dated March 20, 2018 regarding grant funding for change room expansion planning of the two arenas in the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex be received and an application be submitted to the NDIT Capital Investment Analysis grant program to help cover the costs of the planning; and further, the Central Cariboo Recreation budget be amended to allocate up to $20,000 to accommodate the development of the design and costing of the project, should it be necessary.


5) Council gave 1st, 2nd and 3rd Readings to Waterworks Amendment Bylaw No. 2278, 2018

6) Council awarded the Pavement Rehabilitation 2018 contract to Peters Bros. Construction for a total tender amount of $1,576,258.50 excluding GST; and further, Council approve allocation of funds from the 2018 budget, in a project total amount of $1,816,258.50 including contingency and engineering.

7) Council received the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification overview and encouraged property owners in the City and Regional District to consider the program when initiating major renovations or upgrade of commercial, multiple family, or public use buildings

8) After hearing from the public -- Council gave 2nd/3rd Readings to Development Cost Charge Bylaw No. 2280, 2018 and agreed to forward the bylaw to the provincial Inspector of Municipalities for approval and Staff report back to Council to concerns raised during the public input session

9) Council gave 1st, 2nd and 3rd Readings to Williams Lake Tax Rate Bylaw No. 2276, 2018

10) Council approved a zoning application for 1411 Borland Road, gave 1st/2nd Readings to Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 2277, directed the usual public notifications take place and that a Public Hearing for this application be held on May 29th at 7pm in Williams Lake Council Chambers

11) Council approved the following two events:

a) All Nation Spring Classic Walk / Run - May 27, 2018
b) 7th Annual Williams Lake Walk for ALS - June 23, 2018

12) Council agreed to provide a letter of support to the 1st Williams Lake Junior Cadets Society for their grant applications toward hosting the 'Mental Health First Aid for Adults that work with Youth' course, a two day program offered through the Mental Health Commission of Canada, in Williams Lake

13) Council received the Meeting Minutes of the March 28th Central Cariboo Joint Committee

14) Council proclaimed the following:

a) "Hospice Palliative Care Awareness Month" - May 2018
b) "National Missing Children's Month and Missing Children's Day" - May 25th, 2018

15) Late Item --  Council appointed a Parcel Tax Review Panel and schedule the date for the Parcel Tax Roll Reviews to be held in Council Chambers, if required, on dates to be determined

16) Council received the "Council Information Package" as follows:

 March 2018 - Boys & Girls Club 'Race for Kids Sake' Registration & Fundraising Information;
 March 28, 2018 - Shaw 'Kindness Sticks' Campaign Information;
 April 13, 2018 - CRD Board Highlights

Members of Council & the Municipal Administrator (M. MacDonald) reported on their recent activities.  Councillor Walters advised that she will not be seeking re-election on October 20th, 2018

Media Question Period -- Development Cost Charge Bylaw; Slumber Lodge/William Inn - Progress Report

Council adjourned at 7:34pm and after a brief recess, Council resumed its' In-Camera Meeting as per Section 90(1a/e - appointment/land) of the Community Charter