At Monday night’s Midway council meeting, council welcomed the news that the Good Sam RV Club has contacted the village office expressing an interest in returning to Midway next June 23-28 for their 2015 Samboree. Council voted to offer them the same rate they paid in 2012.
Council approved a letter of support for the Kettle River Museum application being made to Destination BC that might begin the process of the museum eventually becoming an official Visitor Centre.
According to information given to council from Destination BC (the provincial body that oversees visitor centres) a new centre must first operate as a “Tourism/ Visitor Information Booth” for a minimum of one year before they can become eligible to become a Visitor Centre. Destination BC requires the museum have the written support of the municipality and/or regional district indicating that they have been designated as the official provider of visitor services in the community.
Those wishing to attain Visitor Centre status must also have a community tourism development plan that encompasses tourism infrastructure, marketing and visitor servicing. The info package also stated that Destination BC does not provide start up or ongoing operational funding for a Tourism/ Visitor Information Booth.
The village had been looking at purchasing off-duty insurance coverage for fire department members at a cost of $62 per member per year (30 members totalling $1,860 per year). However, staff informed council that the Municipal Insurance Association (MIA) informed them that if the municipality paid for the individual policies it would change the relationship to one of employer-employee and would void their Volunteer Liability Protection coverage that is provided by the MIA.
Administrator Penny Feist told council the fire department members could pay for it themselves and purchase the policy for those who have contributed. “But we can’t even give them a grant-in-aid to cover the premiums.”
Council is looking at options for correcting drainage problems along the west side of the arena that compromise the foundation and pose a risk management problem of ice build-up near the northwest corner of the building.
Feist told council that after meeting with engineers and contractors it has been recommended that commercial grade gutters be installed the length of the arena and downspouts placed along the west side that will drain underground pipes into catch basins then into dry wells.
Research continues into whether to make the fire chief ’s position a full-time paid position. Village staff polled other small communities in B.C. to determine the status of their fire chief ’s position (whether paid or volunteer).
Five of the eight fire departments polled had volunteer fire chief positions only. All three of the departments with full-time chiefs also had the fire chief handling emergency services.
Two had the chief also handling bylaw enforcement; Hudson’s Hope had their chief handling all that plus building permits and overseeing the contracted animal control person and contracted building inspector.