Council hears plans

Topics included the Kettle River Museum, a free WIFI access point, Border Place rezoning request and the road rescue unit.

Tannis Killough proposed the museum share costs with the village to fund a full time year-round manager for community facilities such as the museum and arena. “Someone to put ideas into action

Kettle River Museum President Tannis Killough, Casey Bot and Jim Reeves spoke to Midway council on Monday night about their plans going forward following council’s Sept. 23rd decision to support the museum boards’ request for a $1,500 advance on their 2014 grant.

She thanked council for that decision, saying it had gotten them out of a predicament. She explained the board of directors had been surprised by the increase in employee source deductions this year—$2,873 in 2013 compared with $681 last season.

The museum board has decided to cash in a GIC worth $4,000 when it matures in mid-November.

One option mentioned when they came to council in September was opening a line-of-credit with the local credit union, but they had decided to not do that at this time.

Killough also reviewed with council an inventory of physical needs at the museum complex that includes work on the station platform, new roof, floor and steps on the small cabin to the west of the station, repairs to the bunkhouse roof, bunkhouse venting and painting on two sides of the station to address sun-damage.

Killough reminded council of a suggestion that had surfaced at a council meeting earlier this year that the village employ a manager who would be responsible for booking bunkhouse rentals.

She said that Terri Brownell, museum director for the 2013 season, had suggested at the time that the position be expanded to include management of the arena and other facilities.

Killough said the village needs someone to put ideas into action and publicize Midway as a recreation destination for such things as tennis, golf, ball diamond, soccer, hiking and biking.

Councilors Dick Dunsdon and Gary Schierbeck offered that they would like to have that discussion. ‘We have to think outside what exists,” said Dunsdon.

Councilors Marguerite Rotvold and Darrin Metcalf both suggested the museum approach Area E rural director Bill Baird for a grant-in-aid.

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Community Futures Boundary (CFB) Assistant Manager Sandy Elzinga came before council to present a partnering proposal that might see a free WIFI access point in the village.

This follows a similar offer to Greenwood City council last week made by CFB General Manager Wendy McCulloch. The CFB board is prepared to pay upfront hardware costs if the municipalities will cover costs for installation, maintenance and subscription fees with an Internet provider.

Similar partnerships have already seen WIFI access points installed in Grand Forks and Christina Lake.

The east end initiative was spearheaded by Rotary International, with assistance from the Peachland Rotary club president.

Elzinga said the village could expect annual costs in the range of $750 to $1,000 but offered that if done creatively through in-kind and by seeking out other partners the costs could be lower.

The funding is available until March 31, 2014.

Council voted to refer the issue to a later meeting so they could gather more information.

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Resident Barry Poirier has asked council if they would consider a rezoning of his lot at 516 Border Place from residential to its’ earlier class of MHS4 which would allow a single-wide mobile home. He says the unusual shape of the property makes his request a reasonable one.

The property was rezoned when the OCP was revisited two years ago.

On motion the letter was referred to the next meeting.

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Council has given their blessing to an agreement between the province and the Midway Hiking Trails Society that would see the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations responsible for insurance and materials needed for maintenance of the mountain trails south of the river.

The Midway Trails Society would be responsible for organizing the maintenance work itself. The village will continue to be involved in all planning beyond simple annual maintenance.

The village enquiry to see if the river trails might be covered by the same agreement was rebuffed.

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Mayor Randy Kappes reported he had attended a meeting in Grand Forks to discuss the road rescue unit.

He said it was a very good meeting where topics discussed included response issues and the possibility of additional training similar to that given First Responders so the road rescue crews could help with those situations in support of an extrication event. However there is some concern about instituting an actual First Responder capability because of uncertainty over whether the province would be paying turn-out costs.

Kappes said there was also some discussion of the need for communication with the Ministry of Highways and their contractor about who is responsible for flagging outside of extrication events.