District of Lillooet Council voted June 18 to support a compromise recommended by CAO Grant Loyer for Chris Graham’s proposed commercial development at 696 Main Street.
Loyer’s compromise suggested that council:
approve a proposal for 12 on-site parking spaces
reduce a requirement to approve 12 additional parking spaces down to six additional parking spaces
allow those six additional parking spaces to be located off site and be purchased for a contribution of $5,000 to the District of Lillooet. If Graham does not require all six spaces, based on future use, he would still be required to pay the District a minimum of $1,000.
While Councillor Greg deStrake said he supported the new development on Main Street, he questioned the $5,000 amount, saying it did not reflect the “realistic” cost to the District of providing new parking. DeStrake suggested a figure of $3,000 per space might more closely represent the true cost of developing additional parking.
In response, Loyer suggested council could view parking at Graham’s development as a “site-specific development” which would not prejudice any future options for reviewing parking requirements. “That would allow Mr. Graham to proceed on this with some semblance of certainty.”
After council agreed to proceed with Loyer’s recommendations, Chris Graham asked if he could address council and was given permission to do so.
“We’ve come to a halfway point where I can live with it,” Graham told council. “But I think if it needs any more than 24 total parking spots, that I would be under whatever new bylaws you decide, so it’s not a blank cheque by any means.”
During the discussion on Graham’s project, Acting Mayor Kevin Anderson excused himself from the discussion because of his friendship with Graham.
Water project tender
The tender for Contract #1 - Piping Tender for the water project has been awarded to C.S. Jackson Heavy Equipment, the low bidder on the tender. The contract is for piping that will eventually transport treated water from Cayoosh Creek Campground to the District’s distribution system at Conway Park.
All five of the bids were over budget, but the C.S. Jackson bid was for $383,28.40, which is $59,000 over budget. The highest bid was for $562,794.40. There were no local bids on the tender.
“Based on the fact that the water metering is under budget, the $59,000 overage is covered in the savings realized in the metering component of the project, hence the District is within the overall water project budget,” Director of Public Works Steve Hohner reported to council.
The project is 100 per cent funded by the Gas Tax Grant for Lillooet’s overall water project. Hohner said future financial obligations will be the maintenance of the piping system, which has a life cycle of approximately 70 years.
Staff was directed to prepare a draft resolution for council’s consideration and for possible submission to this fall’s UBCM convention regarding elected officials who resign from office “without any known cause.” Acting Mayor Kevin Anderson raised the issue, based on concerns about the January resignations of former mayor Ted Anchor and former councillor Kevin Taylor. He suggested UBCM should prepare guidelines regarding how elected officials conduct themselves once elected to office.
“Because of the rarity of it and also because the reputation and integrity of council were somewhat compromised, if there are going to be resignations without cause, there should be guidelines under the Community Charter for this,” said Anderson.
Councillor Greg deStrake also noted other municipalities had discussed submitting bills for by-election costs to mayors and councillors who resign without providing substantive reasons.
Railway crossing regulations
While it approves the intent of Transport Canada’s draft safety regulations for Railway-Roadway grade crossing standards, District Council passed a resolution saying it does not support the draft standards proposed in the new regulations. Council, along with other BC municipalities, is concerned the standards and associated policy have “significant cost implications for local government” and would prefer that the standards be “guidelines.”
Long Service Award
The Local Government Management Association of British Columbia has presented a Long Service Award to CAO Grant Loyer for his 25 years of service in local government in Clinton, Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Keremeos and Lillooet.