SUMMING IT UP: Grand Forks City Council

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
February 5th, 2012


Short, on topic council meetings seem to be the trend for the new Grand Forks team and their last meeting was no exception.

City signs

Council renewed their commitment to the Grand Forks Rotary Club’s project to create a welcome sign for the city. After several committee meetings, the design has been re-worked and they sought confirmation of support from the new council.

“I am proposing that mayor and council meet with the Grand Forks Rotary sign committee to investigate the opportunity to build two signs – one for the east end and one for the west end,” suggested Councillor Cher Wyers.

Council accepted the information on the signs that they received at the meeting subject to a meeting and any changes that may come forward.

RDKB report

Mayor Brian Taylor continues as the representative to the Regional District of the Kootenay Boundary (RDKB). In his report back to council he noted that committee membership has been set. Taylor will be chairing the Boundary Economic Development Committee, along with participating in several other administrative committees and the Kettle River Watershed Study committee.

Regional heritage study

The Heritage Conservation Study commissioned by the RDKB in 2010 was received by council for information. The study recommends the development of a heritage service which has cost implications for local government. The information was received but other action was taken by council.

New wildlife protection sought

Several new wildlife habitat areas have been proposed by the Ministry of Lands, Forests and Natural Resources to designate protection for the Williamson’s Sapsucker. One of the habitat areas being proposed is near Phoenix Mountain and within a watershed reserve of the city.

Once in place, the habitat areas will support the key nesting requirements for the bird and will prevent further construction of roads or trails, timber harvesting or salvage, mechanized silviculture treatments between Mar. 1 and Sept. 30 as well as prohibiting the use of pesticides.

The sapsucker is a cavity nesting bird, and it is considered a species at risk.

“The Boundary is actually the most northern point of (the sapsucker’s) breeding area,” commented councillor Gary Smith. “In all of B.C. the only place it breeds is here.”

The information from the Ministry was received and their response to proposal is that the city’s interests are not impacted.

Councillor declares professional services

Councillor Gary Smith provided a declaration under section 107 of the Community Charter regarding professional services he provides to the city. Smith has been providing pest control services for the city for several years, and will continue to do so.

Councillor Micheal Wirischagin raised an objection to the declaration as he felt it should have occurred prior to swearing in of council.

“We live in a small community. We’ve had different council members that supply services but they don’t bring it out during their election campaign,” councillor Neil Krog added.

There is no other pest control provider in the immediate Grand Forks area, so council accepted the declaration.


Freedom of the city was bestowed upon Madeleine MacDougall on her 107th birthday by councillor Bob Kendall.

Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce applied for $10,000 from the City of Grand Forks for their upcoming year. This is the same amount that the city provided last year. The letter was received and referred to the city’s budget process.

The public report on the climate action program for the city was provided to council for information by Wayne Kopan, manager of environmental and building construction services. It contains information of the carbon footprint of the city and summarizes past action taken, as well as proposed activities for the coming year in reducing this impact.

To date the city has not had to buy any carbon credits, but they anticipate that may start in 2012.

Categories: GeneralPolitics