Council declines invite from Enbridge

Downtown road-work completed ahead of schedule and looking good.

Wes Hart was sworn in as a new councillor for the Village of Burns Lake on May 14

Wes Hart was sworn in as a new councillor for the Village of Burns Lake on May 14

In recent Village of Burns Lake news, council declined an offer by Enbridge to fly representatives of Burns Lake to the site of a an oil spill clean-up in the U.S. community of Marshall, Michigan.

Village of Burns Lake council remains neutral with regard to the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal. Regarding the offer, Mayor Luke Strimbold said that village council would like to engage in conversation with other communities affected by pipelines to learn from their experiences, both good and bad.  “In the future we hope that other communities co-host a session with industry, which means we can talk council-to-council,” he said.

At the end of April, the 2012 audited financial statements for the Corporation of the Village of Burns Lake were released by Edmison Meher Chartered Accountants of Smithers. Not only were all accounts in order, but the auditor made note of the high standard of financial controls the Village had maintained over 2012, particularly in light of the difficult circumstances the community was thrust into after the tragedy of the Babine Forest Products Sawmill explosion.

Solid financial controls help to deal with unexpected circumstances, like the recent meltdown of its street sweeper. The flameout, which resulted in no injuries, did enough damage to put the unit out of commission, but not enough damage to warrant an immediate insurance write-off.

Currently, insurance adjusters are considering whether or not it is a complete write-off, which would give the village replacement value to purchase a new street sweeper.  A new street sweeper would cost north of $250,000.

The adjustor has the option of paying for repairs only, in which case, the village would probably opt for a cash buyout based on the repair estimate instead of putting repairs into an already ageing machine worth less than the probable cost of repairs.

Director of Public Works, Rick Martin, reported that a decent uses street sweeper could be purchased for between (approximately) $45000 and $85000. In anticipation of the insurance company choosing to buy-out at the cost of repair rather than to provide full replacement cost, village council voted to set aside $50,000 from capital equipment reserves to add to the insurance settlement, if necessary, to purchase a used street sweeper.

The downtown revitalization project has proceeded well under Martin’s tireless eyes. The night-time work by LB Paving Ltd. of Smithers was anticipated to  be complete by last Friday, well-ahead of schedule. Village offices have received much positive feedback from the project, as well as some notes of concern. In particular, a conversation exists surrounding the placement of the crosswalk at the bend in the road at Gwyn’s Green Grocer.

Carla Fox, Village of Burns Lake director of financial services, has submitted her resignation. Fox and her family are relocating.  A search for her replacement has begun.

The position of economic development officer for the Village of Burns Lake has been filled.

More details to follow.