The Burns Lake village council holds a meeting on June 25. (Blair McBride photo)

Village council briefs

Village receives 2014-2018 ICBC claim payment numbers

The Village of Burns Lake received a letter from ICBC on June 20 that contained the premium payment amounts for 2014-2018 for postal code V0J1E0. Commenting on the letter during the council’s June 25 meeting, Councillor Darrell Hill said, “They admitted in their introductory letter that they’re overcharging us. I think that’s very important.” During 2014-2018, claim payments varied between $940,000 and $2.3 million. Ann Crosby, Privacy and Freedom Of Information (FOI) Advisor, said in the letter that “effective Sept. 1, 2019, ICBC will implement changes to how basic insurance premiums are determined, which will include updates to the territory factor used to calculate premiums. ICBC has not made changes to these factors since 2010 and they are based on data from 2007.” The council agreed to pass on the information received from ICBC related to the issue of rural communities paying too much for their insurance policies to former Telkwa mayor Darcy Repen. Repen asked in February that northern communities including Burns Lake submit FOI requests to the insurance provider to raise awareness of premiums and claims overpayment.

Recreational, community fees adjusted

Several sets of fees for development, cemetery and recreation services have been adjusted. The council adopted the new Fees and Charges Bylaw 1002 2019, which brings in several fee changes and charge clarifications. The system of dual pricing for adult memberships at the Lakeside Multiplex has been changed, and now non-residents and residents pay the same rates for passes and admissions. The surcharge for special services at cemeteries is now $100 “for internment services outside of normal working hours” year round. Rental rates for canoes and kayaks at Spirit Square have been adjusted so that Multiplex members receive a 40 per cent rate reduction. A half-day pass for those rentals for groups of four people is $105.60 for members, and $176 for non-members. Rates for the Tom Forsyth Memorial Arena have been adjusted, and the youth skating regular hourly rate has decreased from $79.20 to $76.80 and the adult regular hourly rate has increased from $126.50 to $128. The dry floor hourly rate for non-profit and recreational use went down from $44 to $30, and for commercial use from $110 to $75, with daily rate for commercial decreasing from $1,333.20 to $900.

Acting mayor roster

The village approved its roster of acting mayors, in case circumstances pop up that keep mayor Dolores Funk away from her duties. Councillor Henry Wiebe is scheduled to be acting mayor from July 2019 to December 2019, councillor Hill from January 2020 to June 2020 and councillor Kevin White from July 2020 to December 2020.

$77,000 branding bid contract awarded

The Ontario-based eSolutions Group has been awarded the $77,000 contract for the Burns Lake marketing and branding initiative. Out of the eight submissions received for the job, eSolutions met the project criteria. The scheme was approved in the 2019 budget and it will be funded through a Rural Dividend Fund grant and a Northern Development Initiative Trust grant. Economic development officer (EDO) Lorie Watson explained to council how eSolutions will carry out the project. “It will start with a kick off meeting where they’ll take everything that we have, take a look at that and do a slot analysis,” she said. “Look at strengths, look at what was working for the village, what’s not working. They’ll look at visitation analysis, they’ll look at when people come here what do they do? What can we do to attract them? It’s not just a new logo it will be a whole plan. A strategy on how to attract people to stop in Burns Lake and not just drive through. At the end you’ll have a logo and you’ll have a whole strategy to market Burns Lake. You can use that strategy in your advertising, social media campaigns, templates.” Chief administrative officer Sheryl Worthing added that the branding process will focus on outdoor recreation and Indigenous culture and history. The first phase of the project will run from September to October and the second from mid-October until early January of next year.

Podcast on Wildfire Resiliency conference

Council agreed to provide $1,000 from the Community Goodwill donation fund towards the production of a podcast on the Northern Conference for Wildfire Resiliency that was held in Burns Lake on April 24-26. The Bulkley Valley Research Centre (BVRC), which organized the conference requested sponsorship from the village for the post-conference podcast. In a letter to the village, the BVRC outlined some of the topics the podcast would include, such as building community and wildfire resilience, protecting forest values for ecological resilience and post-fire rehabilitation of the land, among others. The podcast will later be shared through email with the conference participants and on social media. “It’s very digestible in a podcast form,” said Funk. “All the presentations are not as easily understood by the layperson and this will break it down and give an overview of lessons learned.” Councillor Hill added that the podcast format can reach a different group of people than traditional media.

Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
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