Council highlights

District of Kent council highlights for the month of December

  • Jan. 3, 2017 7:00 p.m.

Manhole identification

Manhole identification has finally been finished. Each man hole had to be registered and identified for WorksafeBC and that has been completed.

Credit Card Acceptance

Staff currently accepts credit cards for business licenses, animal licenses, cemetery, building permits, and other miscellaneous charges including recreation services. District does not currently accept credit card payments for tax and utilities, refundable deposits, or development cost charge payments.

Credit card transactions are currently limited to $1000 per transaction. Council was asked to consider whether or not to raise the limit to match other municipalities, comparable to Agassiz.

According to information presented to staff, there are a lot of municipalities, who don’t accept credit cards at all. On the flip side, there are municipalities like Coquitlam, who accept credit cards for amounts going up to $50,000 and other municipalities that have no limits on transactions.

Mayor Van Laerhoven was not in favour of upping the limit significantly for concerns over fairness to non-credit card users, who would end up picking up the slack, for credit card fees and convenience.

The suggestion was made by Chief Administrative Officer Wallace Mah to raise the limit to $5,000 to match adjacent municipalities like Chilliwack and Abbotsford.

Council decided to up the limit to $5000 maximum per transaction/event.

Grant and aid requests

A request on the agenda regarding the weekend backpack program for students at Kent Elementary was brought to attention by coun. Spaeti.

“This has been brought to Healthy Communities and it has been discussed there — it’s a very good initiative and I know they’re already feeding 50 kids and these children have previously been going home on the weekends with no food. I know they are looking outside for additional funding, so I would like to see $500 from grants and aids go to them.

“I think it’s a very worthy cause, and it’s dealt with, with Community Services also assisting, and they did not request anything this year, so in a way, it’s still helping them, so that is a change I would like to see,” said Spaeti.

The money was taken from the Agassiz Agricultural Association for a one time installment to the program out of a contingency.

Farm vehicle warning signs

The Agricultural Advisory Committee is recommending the installation of new farm vehicle warning signs in additional locations around Agassiz with farmers hoping that more signage will increase awareness.

It would be comparable to the Hey Neighbour, Please Slow Down! campaign with farmers hoping to implement portable signs.

Spray Park location determined

A spray park is in the works for Agassiz as location options were prepared for review by staff. The staff recommendation was to go with option 2, in Centennial Park, on the north side of the Community Recreation and Cultural Centre (CRCC) with approximately 5,000 square feet available for the facility.

Merits for the location included it having the least impact on current and future infrastructure, good visibility for people travelling along Pioneer Avenue, and the potential to connect an indoor/outdoor public washroom to the CRCC, a $200,000 option that would be budgeted into a five year capital budget plan.

It also provides good interaction and possible enhancement to the skate park and basketball court. These areas are intermittently used throughout the year so the presence of a spray park could possibly bring more traffic, according to staff.

Suggestions arose to keep the washrooms in the five year plan with the strategy to apply for grants, with the ability to adjust schedule if need be.

Some councillors thought the $200,000 figure was high for washroom facilities, and other competing locations, such as the baseball diamonds were discussed as favourable options.

“I think it’s a better spray park if there’s an indoor/outdoor washroom attached to it,” said Mayor Van Laerhoven,” who favoured the spray park/washroom combo.

The motion was carried for the park location to be at Centennial Park with the location of the washrooms to be determined at a later date.

The motion was also approved to begin the Request for Proposal process for the design and development of the spray park.

Agassiz Observer