In Attendance by Skype: Flint Palmer, Sally Watson, Sonya Leenders, Paulina O’Brien, Kathryn Cameron
Excused: Greg Dowman
1. Covid-19: Community health discussion – where we’re at, where other people are at, who needs support, options
We’re in a unique situation in Field – so close to the Alberta/British Columbia border, and on Federal Land. Provincial authority governs public health guidelines here; the FRAA recognizes that British Columbia authority guides our decisions. Communication from Parks Canada on March 16, 2020 also recognizes the Public Health Officer of British Columbia as the lead authority on managing the pandemic in our area.
Field has a well-established bubble now, but as restrictions ease in Alberta and British Columbia there will be more traffic to the community. Last weekend the parking lot at Field VRC was full. Mothers Day is this weekend, and the Victoria Day long weekend is just over a week away. There may be some anxiety about increased traffic in Field and Yoho National Park and the bubble isn’t as well defined. Seeing an increase in traffic from the Calgary area, a Covid-19 hot spot in Alberta, is a concern.
Golden RCMP Traffic Division is fully staffed, so able to do more patrols in this area. Greater presence noted in Field and Yoho National Park.
Field residents walk a fine line. We travel for groceries and supplies to other communities, who feel the same way we do regarding “outsiders” entering their space. It’s critical to recognize the dichotomy we face at the moment.
General feeling is that residents are patiently riding out the travel and physical distance restrictions (like everyone else on the planet!), demonstrating confidence in leadership, and resiliency. Good work everyone! Stay the course. Wash your hands, keep your distance and be calm.
2. Meeting Schedule Review
Field Utility Board Meeting – May 6, 2020: Postponed. Kathryn will send questions pertinent to current operations to Alex Kolesch, Interim Townsite Manager.
Town Hall Meeting – May 11, 2020: Postponed. Questions or concerns? Please talk to one of the Board Members or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next Board Meeting – May 11, 2020 will be held outside on the rink at Community Hall, 3:30 pm.
3. Event Schedule Review
Spring Fling – June 3, 2020 and Canada Day – July 1, 2020: Cancelled Guidelines from British Columbia’s Public Health Officer will determine how and when the FRAA will proceed with programs and events in the future. We anticipate information from Premier Horgan on May 6, 2020 on easing restrictions.
FRAA Board is exploring possibility of hosting a Social Distancing Party, following group gathering guidelines. We’re being cautious.
4. Financial Report
No money coming in. Invoices sent to Parks Canada in late October/early November for public washroom billing 2018/2109 and Honorarium still outstanding. Both FRAA and Parks Canada have signed the two-year contribution agreement that paves the way for the Honorarium. Reminder to be sent to Parks Canada re: outstanding invoices.
Six-month contract has been signed. Both the Golden Fire Department and Lake Louise Fire and Rescue declined requests from Parks Canada to provide road rescue service to Yoho National Park at this time.
6. St. Joseph Project
- Discussions with neighbours (re: setback variance, garage access) are in process. Once we have agreement in place the FRAA will communicate with designer Alasdair Russell to go ahead with engineered drawings.
- Helen Irwin has sent the FRAA a revised Basic Impact Analysis.
- Owls appear to be nesting in the belfry again this spring. Ongoing monitoring by residents is in process for the duration. Record your observations and send the information to email@example.com. Bruce Bembridge is keeping a journal and some residents have passed their observations on to him. He’s fine with that!
- Little brown bats are also a species of interest. They are generally active just before dark until just before dawn. If you see any bat activity near the church, please send the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Grants Announcement
Field Recreation Advisory Association received both grants we applied for in February: St. Joseph Project for cost of Engineered Drawings and Architectural review (requested $45,625.00), and; to purchase gym equipment (requested $9450). Thank you to Golden and District Foundation Selection Committee for choosing our projects to receive financial support from Columbia Basin Trust. Press release to be drafted and sent May 6, 2020.
8. Parks Canada Seasonal Operations: Concerns to Communicate to Parks Canada in Lieu of Field Utility Board Meeting May 6, 2020
- As we all know, it was a snowy winter with lots of gravel deposited on the streets to mitigate icy driving conditions, followed by a very dry, windy spring giving us high dust levels in Field. Mike Vanderveen has indicated we’ll have the street sweeper in town in the “next few weeks”. Given the current conditions, the FRAA feels that we need the street sweeper here sooner rather than later. We need an imminent date for Field to be cleaned up. Good work to all who have been sweeping in front of their property. Thanks.
- The landscape contract has expired. What is the plan to put the landscape contract out for bid?
- The normal date to open the public washroom at Field Community Hall is June 1. With anticipated lifting restrictions on businesses opening again, and the role the public washroom plays in reducing use of washrooms in The Siding and Truffle Pigs, will Parks Canada go ahead with opening the public washroom at the community Hall on June 1, 2020? The FRAA supports opening the public washroom on that date.
- What is the status of installing a traffic light at the Field Intersection on the TransCanada Highway this summer?
- Can Parks Canada post signs at the border to direct travellers to visit the Public Health Office website for Provincial orders for the destination province (westbound for BC; eastbound for Alberta)?
9. Hall Clean Up and Maintenance Plan
- Weekly building walk-through to check for issues continue. Good work all who have kept an eye on the health of the Community Hall!
- Padlocks on the outside storage sheds have been replaced. Ice rink equipment has been put away for the summer. Thanks rink people!
- Pickleball won’t be set up until we can figure out how to sanitize the paddles and balls between users. Any suggestions?
- Kathryn and Sally to meet at Community Hall on May 6, 2020 to draw up plan for cleaning and maintenance plan for hall (inside and outside) to prepare for eventual use for programs and meetings. Board members to select cleaning duties and do the work.
10. Round Table
No spring bins this year. People are using their time at home to clean out; the Golden landfill is open. That’s the option for disposal this year.
Sonya will update the community bulletin board to showcase the St. Joseph Project, and promote to Health and Safety in the community, including social and sexual health in addition to information on Covid-19. Concerns expressed that when people consume alcohol, good judgement on maintaining physical distancing can also be impaired.
Paulina to draft a letter by Friday, May 8, 2020 to CP Rail about malfunction of the new safety system at the crossing; the gates come down when there are no trains or when the crews are changing at the crossing. People are not only driving around the gates in the absence of trains, but report that crews have waved them around on occasion. The FRAA is very concerned that there will be a collision between a vehicle and a train at some point unless the malfunctions are repaired immediately. The whole purpose of the gates, lights and bells is for safety but has served to create less safety.
Flint announced that Field Summer Music Festival for 2020 will not go ahead. Planning now focussed on 2021. For details, please visit the Field Summer Music Festival Facebook page.
For more information on current Covid-19 guidelines in British Columbia, please visit British Columbia Centre for Disease Control website: www.bccdc.ca.