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Village of Pemberton council preview for Sept. 15

First look: Mountain Bike Skills Park; Development Procedure Bylaw; Committee of the Whole
skillspark091420
A map of the proposed usage for the Pemberton Farm Road East recreation site, including a mountain bike skills park. Screenshot from Village of Pemberton council package

HERE'S A QUICK LOOK at what you can expect at the Village of Pemberton (VOP) council meeting on Sept. 15 starting at 9 a.m.

Mountain Bike Skills Park grant opportunity

Council will ponder a proposal to proceed with a mountain bike skills park.

The Pemberton Off-Road Cycling Association (PORCA) first pitched the project to the VOP in 2016, and landed a $25,000 Whistler Blackcomb Foundation grant last year.

The project was most recently before council in January when council agreed to assist PORCA in finding a suitable location, with staff now recommending that the park be built at the Pemberton Recreation Site on Pemberton Farm Road East.

To help the project move forward, council will consider a Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Fund application to design and construct a pump track, dirt jumps and skills features. The program funds up to 73.33 per cent of a project’s total cost, and with the price tag estimated at just over $619,000, the applicants are responsible for roughly $165,000. Once the $25,000 Whistler Blackcomb Foundation grant and the nearly $27,000 from the Community Amenity Contribution Funds are considered, that number drops to just over $113,000 for the Village’s backstop amount.

The report by senior community partnerships and communications coordinator Jill Brooksbank posits that council could consider either short-term borrowing or tapping boardwalk reserves and road reserves for the amount. There is also consideration for scaling down the project. The report notes that PORCA is also willing to fundraise to reduce the applicant’s share.

Development Procedures Bylaw

The other major item on the regular meeting agenda will be the development procedures bylaw, which came to council in draft form at the Sept. 1 Committee of the Whole meeting.

The updated bylaw includes changing fees, prioritizes affordable housing, and defining between minor and major development permit applications in order to streamline processes. In this case, council will delegate minor applications to Manager of Development Services Lisa Pedrini, while major applications will still come before council.

For the full regular meeting agenda, visit https://www.pemberton.ca/public/download/files/138464.

Sturdy to present to Committee of the Whole

Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting, meanwhile, will commence at 1 p.m.

Local MLA Jordan Sturdy will present on provincial initiatives, though no further information was available on the agenda as of Sept. 14.

Council will also hear the Social Planning and Research Council of BC’s (SPARC BC) report on childcare, which was commissioned by the Sea to Sky Putting Children First Initiative and received funding from the Pemberton Valley Utility and Services Committee.

Among SPARC BC’s findings are that Pemberton has just 12.5 childcare spaces for every 100 children, below the provincial average of 18.4. From a questionnaire that received 116 responses, 90 per cent of respondents communicating that childcare availability is inadequate and 60 per cent of respondents opining that childcare is unaffordable. As well, 50 per cent of children that aren’t currently in childcare are on a waiting list.

The report found that while there are far too few spots available to serve the community, the community also struggles to attract early childhood educators to help create more spots.

As well, the report provides three strategic directions and laundry lists of recommended actions and potential partners under each. The three strategic directions are: enhancing availability and viability; improving accessibility and inclusion; and strengthening collaboration.

For the full report, click on the agenda at https://www.pemberton.ca/public/download/files/138446 and head to Page 5.




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