Wayne Beckett addressed Village of Port Alice Council May 13 to share his experience of being honoured at the British Columbia Community Achievement Awards held at Victoria’s Government House on April 24. Beckett met Minister Coralee Oakes and Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon. Beckett shared a gold medal awarded to him as well as a photo. He was also given a pen and a letter from the Premier. “We are very proud of you Wayne,” said Port Alice Mayor Jan Allen.
Concern Over Potential Logging
A letter from Port Alice residents Edith and Robin Chemago was discussed pertaining to concerns the Chemagos have over the possibility of logging being carried out above their property by Western Forest Products. The Chemagos say that they are confused because they received a letter from the Village in the past year explaining that they live in a region that is classified as unstable and they should not further develop their property without Village approval. They go onto say that they feel the new possibility of Western Forest Products logging in this area could potentially contribute to dangerous land slides. The letter ends with the question of whether or not the Village of Port Alice would be legally responsible if a slide did occur post-logging.
Council said that a consultant is still reviewing the situation and that they will have more information soon. Council also said that it is important to understand that when it comes to Crown Land, they have no authority, even if the land in question lies within the municipality; authority lies with the Ministry of Forests. Council has shared this letter with the Ministry of Forests. In response to the question in the Chemagos’ letter about liability, the courts would have to decide who was legally responsible should an action ever take place. Council finished by re-stating that they are currently letting qualified professionals gather more information on the matter.
Council reviewed a request from Richard and Louise Watson for service from the Port Alice Fire Department if a fire were ever to occur at their Neroutsos Inlet property. Council explained that when a property is outside of their fire protection area, a contract can be entered into. Without an agreement, if the fire department leaves the fire protection area then there is no insurance (i.e. WCB.) Council agreed to start framing a draft agreement, and will seek advice from the Fire Department. The request was received and filed and will be brought back up again in the summer.
2014 Draft Financial Statements
The 2014 Draft Financial Statements audited by BDO were reviewed. In 2014, the Village of Port Alice signed a new Gas Tax Agreement. Auditors recommended that the Village’s unspent gas tax funds be moved from deferred revenue and recognized as revenue for 2014, and then be moved into a reserve account. The recommendations reviewed at the meeting were that Council approve the Draft Village of Port Alice Financial Statements for the year ended Dec. 31, 2014, and that Council approve a transfer of the Gas Tax Funds in the amount of $300,914 into a reserve. Both recommendations were passed.
Council further explained that the Village of Port Alice receives a certain amount of federal money from gas tax collection. This money that comes back to Port Alice can only be used for specific purposes and the Village reports on the spending each year. Past uses for the funds have included expanding water and sewage systems.