A regular meeting of the Village of Burns Lake was held in council chambers on Feb. 10, 2015. Present at the meeting were acting mayor Christopher Beach, councillors John Illes and Susan Schienbein, as well as chief administrative officer Sheryl Worthing, clerk Cameron Hart and two other members of village staff.
During the meeting, councillors discussed their remuneration increase.
In 2011, a remuneration review committee was established to review council remuneration amounts and to recommend changes if necessary. The committee recommended that the mayor’s annual remuneration be increased to $17,500 over a three year period ($833.33 per year); and that councillors’ annual remuneration be increased to $8250 over a three year period ($250 per year). The financial implication of this change would be an additional $1083.33 per year. The current annual remuneration for the mayor is $15,000, and $7500 for councillors.
Committee members at that time stated that it was “difficult to find a balance between what the community is able to pay due to a small tax base and the value of the position to the community.”
Councillors passed a motion to bring this topic back to discussion during the next budget meeting of Feb. 17, 2015.
Councillors also decided to postpone a decision to support phase two of the Ignite the North initiative. Supporting phase two of the project could cost the village between $1000 and $1500, so councillors decided to wait until the next budget meeting to see if there will be enough money in the budget to contribute toward this project. There was no cost for the village on phase one because the Omineca Beetle Action Coalition contributed $120,000. Phase two of the Ignite the North project will be teaching communities “how to take the momentum of new ideas and get the foundational work that is needed to get things started.”
In early February, council attended a meeting with the Burns Lake Curling Club to hear their complaints and gather all facts in order to make a well-informed budget decision. The curling club had asked village council for a five-year rent free agreement for their upstairs lounge.
“It was good to attend that meeting and hear what club members had to say,” said Schienbein.
However, councillors did not discuss the curling club’s request during the council meeting. Instead, mayor Luke Strimbold told Lakes District News that a report regarding this issue “will be coming to council soon.”
A motion was carried for staff to submit an application on behalf of the Partnering for Healthier Communities committee for 2015 funding. Worthing explained that a committee member from Partnering for Healthier Communities has resigned, and the committee no longer has the capacity to apply for this funding.
The Partnering for Healthier Communities (P4HC) grant is Northern Health community granting process that aims to support P4HC committees, as well as enable the emergence of P4HC committees and partnerships across the north.
The Dick Schritt Ball Park, a park/recreational site in Burns Lake owned by CN Rail, was also on the agenda of the meeting. The Burns Lake Rotary Club leased the property for several years. In the beginning, the cost was a symbolic payment of $1 every three years, but the lease cost kept increasing over the years, reaching $2500 in 2015. So at a Jan. 13, 2015, meeting, the rotary club passed a motion to discontinue their lease agreement with CN Rail for the site. Now the Village of Burns Lake wants to take over and negotiate a no cost lease with CN Rail.
Council passed a motion directing staff to negotiate a no cost lease for the site.