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Village of Pemberton council preview for March 2

First look: Cannabis business licence fee review; Grant application pitches portable ice rink
Cutline: The Village of Pemberton will consider a recommendation to reduce cannabis business licence fees at its Committee of the Whole meeting on March 2.

Here’s a quick look at what you can expect from the Village of Pemberton (VOP) council meeting, held via Zoom, on March 2. The day will begin with Committee of the Whole at 2:30 p.m., where council will hold its third budget session, while the regular council meeting will kick off at 5:30 p.m. Head to the VOP website for more information regarding how join.

Cannabis business licence fee review

Following a pair of letters requesting that the VOP reconsider its cannabis business licence fees, the municipality will do just that during Committee of the Whole following its budgeting session.

The fees, originally established in 2019, are $5,000 for a standard cannabis producer or for a retail business, or $2,500 for a micro producer with a $1,000 approved application processing fee for retail businesses.

However, legislative assistant Gwendolyn Kennedy’s report recommends reducing the licence fees to the standard rate of $150, plus application fees of $1,000 for production facilities and $1,000 plus costs such as advertising and public consultation.

Kennedy’s report noted that fees were high at the outset given that the industry was new and that the VOP hoped to avoid facing a loss while investigating how to help incorporate the businesses into the community.

“Fees were intended to ensure recovery of costs that included establishing the regulatory and administrative frameworks for these new business types, reviewing business licence applications and conducting inspections, ongoing bylaw enforcement of zoning, business licence and smoking bylaws, and any other municipal costs associated with the businesses,” Kennedy’s report reads.

Grant application pitches portable ice rink

A proposed grant application is looking to secure a new floor for the Pemberton Community Barn, but why not try to score a portable ice rink as well?

In communication and grants coordinator Vinka Hutchinson’s report, she stresses that the barn requires a “much-needed upgrade” in the form of a new concrete surface. The application to the federal Canada Healthy Communities Initiative (CHCI) will also request funds for the purchase and installation of a portable 27.4-by-13.7-metre portable ice rink, including chillers and liners.

CHCI funding would cover $250,000 of the estimated $329,000 cost. Hutchinson’s report requests that council tap into the VOP’s COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant for Local Governments to cover the remainder.