Field Community Town Hall Meeting March 9, 2015

Field Community Town Hall Meeting, March 9, 2015

In Attendance: Kim Chapman, Clayton Nylen, Susan Williamson, Deb Bancroft, Karla Gaffney, John Schlichting, Helen Barry, Lloyd Lafrance, Brenda DeMone, Lorraine Zirke, Ginette Therrien, Helen Barry, Marilyn Toulouse, Bruce Bembridge, Patrick Cais, Sophie Cais, Ryan Cameron, Cathy Taerum, Caroline Marion, Sean Coubrough, Craig Chapman, Kathryn Cameron, Sally Watson, Claudia Harding, Jeremy Schmidt

  1. Chair Report

This is Caroline Marion’s last town hall meeting as Townsite Manager. It’s a special night for her. Over her tenure she attended over 100 meetings – Craig stopped counting at 120. Caroline has served 19 years as Townsite Manager. There is a retirement party for her in Canmore this weekend, March 14 and an open house in Field at 6:30 on March 30 at the hostel. Caroline has been a good friend to Field, and although she doesn’t live here she has embraced the community – Christmas Concert, Yoho Blow, basically anything with free food and celebrities she’s here! She has facilitated new infrastructure (new water and sewer lines throughout town, new water and wastewater treatment plants, BC Hydro’s battery storage facility to cover power outages, cell service). But her job hasn’t been all ribbon cutting. Budget cuts have given some challenges. The community thanks Caroline for her commitment to Field and wants to thank her for everything she has accomplished as Townsite Manager.

Caroline: I would have lived here but my husband wouldn’t let me! Working with the community has been the most fulfilling part of my job. I have really enjoyed my time here, especially with the fire department eating up my budget!

Reduction in Post Office Hours: There is continued reduction in service set to take effect, with the Post Office open from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm daily. We encourage anyone who feels strongly about this to please write a letter stating your concerns, or, if there are certain hours of the day that you feel will better serve the community, please let the Post Office know. Post Office wants the building to be open when the mail is delivered and to deliver Express Post, but there may be some leeway within those parameters to offer service to the community that meets the community’s needs. Four hours seem to be set in stone, but maybe one day a week the hours can be met later in the day. Unless there is a sudden boom in the town and our population jumps to 500 people it is doubtful we will receive more service hours each week. Discussion about what hours will best serve the community.  As a consensus, does anyone have a problem with 8:00 am to 12:00 noon? Is one afternoon possible? Maybe as a trial. Mornings probably better for visitors and residents, but perhaps one evening a week will work. Most traffic occurs in morning or right before closing. Who do we direct letters to? Norm Ouellet, contact information will be posted in the minutes and council will send a message about discussion at the meeting

  1. Treasurer’s Report

Motion to accept, Claudia; seconded by Jeremy. Motion passed.

Financial Reports will be sent out as attachments to the minutes.

  1. Townsite Manager’ Report

3rd Quarter Report

Consumption: overall consumption is up 14.6% over the same period in 2013-2014. Residential use is up 18% while commercial use is up 20%.




1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total


2,233 3,238 1,188 6,659


3,085 3,375 2,085 8,545
Total 2013-2014


5,318 6,613 3,273 15,204


2,526 3,582 1,230 7,338



2,879 3,838 3,375 10,092
Total 2014-2015


5,405 7,420 4,605 17,430

Water: revenues are at 72.2%, while expenses are at 69.9% of forecast. The water utility is showing a surplus of $580.

Wastewater: revenues are at 73.9% of forecast, while expenses are at 100.9% of forecast. The wastewater utility is showing a deficit of $24,130. The higher expenses are due to: the need to replace a pump, a mixer, and various electrical components; and double banking of the Manager position to provide an overlap between Darrell and Sheelagh.

The deficit is also attributable to Parks Canada’s decision to freeze the 2014-15 rates at the 2012-2013 rates. Any deficits in both water and sewer will be subsidized by Parks Canada for fiscal years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. In 2015-2016, Parks Canada will increase the ongoing yearly capital subsidy paid to the community of Field to $57,000 from $30,000.

Solid Waste: revenues are at 75% of forecast while expenses are at 86.1% of forecast. The solid waste utility is showing a deficit of $4320. The deficit may be a result of increased solid waste volumes caused by an increase visitation to the community, as suggested by the increase in water and wastewater volumes.

Tree removal from power line between Field and battery storage unit

BC Hydro advised the community in an email on January 23, 2015, that they have reviewed a numbers of items related to the operation of the Emergency Storage Facility (ESF) near Field. Items reviewed included: ongoing vegetation management, and options for system design changes and enhancements. Over the next few months, BC Hydro will identify solutions and work with Parks Canada to implement changes to improve reliability of the ESF.

Emergency Plan – Revise current document to reflect VRC winter closure and determine guidelines for Community Hall use

It has proven difficult to find a date for a meeting in March. Sean Coubrough will schedule the meeting for some time in April, at a time when Caroline’s successor can attend. Members of the FCC, Parks Visitor Experience, Visitor Safety, Law Enforcement, Highways, and the RCMP will be invited to the meeting.

Doll House Release

The successful bidder is in the process of confirming financing.

Stephen Creek Mitigation Update

Following the meeting, Public Works and Government Services Canada advised that installation of the slope monitoring equipment would take place by the end of April 2015. Construction of the mitigation measures on the slope is still expected to begin by mid-May 2015.

Telegraph Building

Members expressed serious concerns about the aesthetics impact of boarding up of the Telegraph Building windows and asked Parks Canada to intercede with CPR to have the boards removed. A proposal has been submitted to CPR to install plexiglass behind the windows inside the building.

New Townsite Manager

Ellen Francis will be assuming the position of Manager of Townsites and Realty when Caroline retires at the end of March. Ellen is no stranger to our Field Unit. In 2000, she worked at the Lake Louise Visitor Centre as an Information Attendant and as the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, Mr. Michel Boivin.   Ellen has a Masters’ Degree in Environmental Design, Environmental Science at the University of Calgary and lived in Alberta for 7 years. The focus of study for her thesis was the Town of Banff’s Environmental Management System. She worked for five years as the Arctic Program Director (in Calgary and Ottawa) for the Pembina Institute, a Canadian environmental non-governmental organization. Following this, she held positions at Health Canada and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, both with a focus on environmental health and sustainability. She is currently working at Natural Resources Canada as a Manager in International Affairs. Ellen has three children and an enthusiastic backcountry skier husband who are all excited to be joining her.  Ellen will assume her new position on March 23rd.

Plastics bin

New stickers have been affixed to bins for better clarify. Need the new bin installed to complete the work. Once the ground thaws the work can be done. The complete line up will need to be moved to accommodate the new bin. In the meantime, we can put our plastic in the tin bin. Suggestion that the stickers be installed on the road side of the bins as well. Sally: Bins in Lake Louise have stickers on drive by side of the bins. No need to reinvent ourselves, the templates already exist. We should use them.

Sean: Agree. Our stickers also include local opportunities for recycling to support local fundraising.

Lake O’Hara Reservations

There are changes to the day use reservation system – will be available online with the Parks Canada Reservation Service starting at 5 am, MDT on April 20, 2015; no change to campground and commercial users reservation system. Information files attached to the minutes.

  1. Highways Report

Brenda DeMone says that spring is here! Feedback from people on winter operations this year seems to be positive, including from school bus driver. New work contingent on budget approval. Centerline and shoulder rumble strips will be built into each new paving contract.

Street sweeping: How can we get Field moved higher on the order of highways? Current schedule is based on when each venue is snow free, where the area is on line painting priority, and if there will be no more anticipated road sanding. Parks Canada owns two sweepers, cost about $300,000 to replace or buy a new one. Parks Canada also has pull behind brooms but the big gravel pick up machines are most effective. Working with provincial highway contractors to see if there are ways to work together to make the process better. Fire hosing/washing the roadways is also an option to reduce dust.

  1. Field Fire and Rescue

Lower number of calls than usual this winter. Good weather and well-maintained highways are contributing factors.

New truck is fantastic, pump works Iike a charm, good addition to the fleet.

New accountability tags have arrived; individually numbered and color-coded to maintain anonymity of members. In line with new Playbook, interior or exterior training, from green through red, so incident commander will be able to see color code and know level of training of members who have responded.

CSRD Spring Training Calendar is posted. Live fire training has changed to reflect the new system: Live 1 now exterior firefighter and Live 2 is interior firefighter. Lots of new recruits; important to get them to training courses. Heavy Vehicle Extrication scheduled for April 24 to 26 in Invermere; 6 members registered. Sean taking risk management training April 25 in Creston; required for new Risk Management Officer position in the Playbook. In-house Auto Extrication course planned. More training requirements before recruits receive their pagers, but training is online so people can work at their own speed.

Emergency Services Ball on April 18. Tickets on sale now; contact Sean to purchase.

New agreement with Parks Canada is in process; minor changes for the upcoming year. Honorarium now in line with CSRD paid on call. Thank you to Parks Canada for meeting this standard. Another requirement in Playbook will include training to interior level, highest level. New tracking system with database, also part of Playbook – means a big time commitment to do this work.

Full time Fire Chief discussion? Better to pursue this when Melanie returns from her acting assignment in Ottawa. It’s too much to expect people in acting superintendent position to make changes or commitments.

Craig: Community very lucky to have such a high level of commitment from our department. Training to interior level will give us what we need, great level for the department and the community.

  1. Catholic Church

Parks Canada approached FRAA to see if we would be interested in taking over the Catholic Church if the lease was surrendered. Preliminary figure of $110,000 to do upgrades for weddings and music nights. Meets institutional zoning of the lot in the Field Community Plan. CBT can meet about 60%, private donations and community fundraising opportunities makes this look quite positive. Year round? Probably not. FHBRO? No, not a parks Canada building, but viewed as a community cultural resource. Church has not been appraised. Accessibility is a fact of life, no other changes to appearance of the building. Room for a washroom. Would be nice to have something in winter, but unless we have big demand that would make it feasible, then no. What about the basement? Structurally sound. Half full basement, and half retaining wall. Some slumping, but no water moving through. We don’t want the building to fall into disrepair and not be used. Community supports moving forward.

Karla: We have two buildings to consider.

Helen: Good segue way into theTelegraph Building discussion.

  1. Telegraph Building

Current state of building not conducive to enhancing interest in town. Broken glass not attractive, security an issue. Council suggested moving boards to inside. Suggested that anyone communicating with CP could share their interest and ideas with the community. What is the end game with theTelegraph Building? General feeling that nothing is going to happen. Friends of Yoho resurrected interest in having building signed over to them. Minutes of FRAA/FCC In Camera meeting took Friends of Yoho by surprise, but the board has not discussed it. From council’s perspective, if we can remedy the current aesthetic issue, then it moves from the front burner. Always suggestions from visitors who are involved with various historical societies. Building location is problematic. Why does CP want from this? Realty wants to extract money from their properties; however, CP is not forthcoming with environment concerns, parking, access to tracks, and long list of bills that could come up. Karla says Friends are in infancy now with their plans.

Susan: Do you feel like you are being sidelined by the council?

Karla: No.

Craig: If you are driving an initiative, be forthcoming.

Debbie: The Telegraph Building has always been a project of interest to the Friends; if it can go forward that would be good. If there is a recognition that it can’t move forward, then can we look at other options?

Craig: Big thing with CP is that you sign on the bottom line even without them assuming any responsibility for contamination. Right now the building is an orphan. All agree that we want it preserved.

Caroline: Parks Canada willing to help out making something more appealing for the windows, before the summer comes. Karen Lassen working on it.

Craig: Map out what our working plans/dreams based on nothing happening behind the KH Lodge, that building as front piece for a brewpub. Venture is huge; we would build the platform, then put it out for investment, shovel ready. Looking at export possibilities, year-round jobs in Field. Creative dreaming really important. Many hoops to move through before anything happens. Friends to keep us posted.

  1. School enrollment

We have been successful as a community keeping the school open with diverse users, but enrollment not looking good. Best case scenarios for the next three years is 5/5/3 but in reality could be 3/0/3. Right now we are potentially at the narrow part of the bar graph. Could realistically be looking at no students in 2016/17. Create awareness, solutions? Alberta students? Provincial law states that students enrolled in a school in BC must have a valid British Columbia address; $150 per year for postal address in Field. One drawback is that Field requires transportation option. Tie in with Lake Louise shuttle? Possible to map it out and send a mail out to Lake Louise? 86 students ride the bus to Banff. Extra curricular activities take place in Banff, so travel for students and parents could be problematic. Sophie suggested opening a preschool here in Field as stepping stone. Money available for preschool. Getting kids here could be a lure to have people continue to bring their children to Field for school. Sees this as part of bigger issue in Field, jobs and housing to attract new residents. Supervised lunch option? Field is on the traditional one parent stays at home or someone provides lunch for your children. Morning and after school care? Daycare. Vision is that we operate a preschool at the school? Two separate programs then preschool at community hall, and morning and after school care and lunch supervision at school. Jeremy participated in a similar program in Manitoba and he loved it. Child care in a hospitality based community means late nights and weekends. Allowing both parents to work through before and after school care possible. Day care is maxing out; 29 kids on waiting list for Banff daycare. Lots of self-employed people with kids who would move here in a heartbeat if the need to reside was relaxed. Underutilized housing is an issue. Parks houses seem to offer the most options, as Parks Canada staff don’t seem to be interested in living in Field. Need to reside has stopped one house sale in the recent past. Seems to be sense within Parks Canada to relax need to reside to include all of Banff National Park.  One suggestion is to meet with Jeff Anderson and present some of our ideas to change course.

Susan: Be careful because the School District is not saying anything. Enrollment falling in Golden as well. More use of the school is also a factor.

Lloyd: After school and before school care would attract new families and keep us from losing families that have kids.

Lorraine: Could Field offer a Montessori School? It is an attractive option.

  1. Train derailments

Can we make a statement of concern through Parks Canada?

Caroline: Yes

Susan: Mark Tataryn, CP Police, is monitoring direct pathway from highway to bunkhouse. Susan investigated, and signage was not clear, and Mark indicated they would be closely watching the illegal crossing.

  1. Round Table

Karla: Who is the contact for garage sale tables? Kim Chapman. Watch for announcements.

Karla: National Geographic magazine spread on Yoho will be out this summer.

Rink is Ready!

The rink is now ready for the 2014/2015 season. Enjoy!

Outage Notification Alert System

We are pleased to advise that the Energy Storage Facility Notification Alert System is now in place. Please see the attached Community Update from BC Hydro. They will be able to test the notification system with the community the next time there is an outage and would be pleased to receive any feedback.

Field Community Update – April 2014

In-Camera Meeting Minutes – February 24, 2014

In Attendance: Sally Watson, Randle Robertson, Steve Christy, Chris Allen, Kathryn Cameron, Helen Dickenson

Excused: Craig Chapman, Matt Morrison, Devon Brook, David Allen

Old Business                                                                                                             Action

1. Media Project – Facebook and website: Chris needs $30 to purchase a Word Press plug-in that will synchronize Facebook and website calendar. Motion by Steve, Randle seconded. Carried. Also ready to do email update option. People can subscribe by going to the website now, and doing the entry. Has pictures of Steve, Craig and Randle, needs photos from the rest of us. Facebook update: ten GB of historic, photos from Amy Krause, Parks Canada, new material for page. 507 likes. People starting to use it to communicate, like where can we recycle in town? Steve says he has heard Facebook is dead, but Chris says it is still valuable and will continue to use it. 

Chris has created an account in for the secretary position. Kathryn has logged on and had a quick look at the program. Chris plans to create accounts for all council members if they want to have one.



Interested citizens

Sally, Kathryn, Matt, Dave, Devon, Helen







2. Yoho Blow: Big success. Food still to pick up; one sleeve of burgers left: 24 for $20, plus 2 sets of 24 buns – $6 each. Contact Sally if you want to purchase: 250-343-6354. Made just under $2000 over the weekend. Dance paid for itself – very good news. Sally will put the event on a function sheet for analysis and presentation at Town Hall Meeting. Over spent on food; important to keep track of what we used to determine what we need in the future.  



3. Kicking Horse Ski Club Supper: Sold around $700. Breakdown will be presented in financial report at March 24 Town Hall Meeting. Sally
4. Community Policing: Council feels the most important element is getting to know each other. We can help Townsites design a level of service that meets our needs. Agenda item for FUB. FUB


New Business                                                                                                           Action

1. In Camera Meeting Agenda: To be developed by Chair and circulated by Secretary. Steve, Kathryn
2. Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation Development Status: Final Report circulated to council. SFU has estimated $45,000 to $50,000 to do feasibility study. Applying to CBT and GAI to fund study. Area needed for parking is massive so Golden identified for Discovery Centre and Field for Learning Centre. Six to seven months to complete the study. What does Foundation want from council? Involvement in consultation process, yes, mostly keeping us informed. Randle very hopeful this time around. Feels good to have SFU involvement. Randle
3. March and Upcoming Events: Sally going to Australia for 4 weeks leaving on Sunday, March 2. Kirk McLean renting hall April 6 for Emerald Lake staff party. Plans to open event to residents. $300 rental, maybe a dance. Kirk interested in running the bar, rather than FRAA. Liquor sales are an important part of our revenue plan; decided not to outsource bar operation at this time. Discussion about need to develop a rental fee for people running their own bar.  Chris to apply for the license, figure out the liquor order. Sally can be on the license, but will just be getting home from her trip. 

Sally will leave cheque book and keys with Chris. Chris has set up link from website requests for hall bookings to Sally’s iPad so she will continue to handle hall bookings while she is away.


Jordan, thanks for supervising children in the Kid’s Room on February 19.  Really great service so parents could attend the meeting with MP David Wilks.


Yoga rentals in April, May, June and July – lots.


Marla picked up toilet paper and paper towels, supplies; Sally to reimburse.

4. Early Childhood Development Program: Helen negotiating funding questions right now. Will keep us posted. Ready, Set, Learn and ECDC have both provided funding. Outdoor fun with Jane Powell, and Landon, Susan Williamson also providing programming at this point. Sue to provide invoices monthly, hourly rate plus supplies.
5. Field VRC Winter Closure: Received financials from Parks Canada. Analysis composed of November through end of March, but VRC is closed from October 15 to April 30. Council requested numbers for full period of closure to have complete understanding of Parks Canada decision to close. Caroline
6. Highway Maintenance in Winter: Highway, commercial traffic continues west of Lake Louise so some recognition that there is traffic on the TCH west, even though the ski hill traffic stops at Lake Louise. How do we galvanize action? Media? Petition? Could go on website and Facebook to raise awareness. Take photos and send them to David Wilks and Parks Canada. Petition? Steven Lay to be asked to spearhead this initiative. Read through guidelines. Follow directions precisely. Wording is important. Randle and Helen to assist. Steve, Helen, Steve
7. Upcoming Events: Sustainability Discussion and Field Utility Board Meeting: February 26, 2014 –9:30 am to noon, Yoho Admin boardroom

Kicking Horse Ski Club Guided Ski: March 9, 2014 – 10 am, Natural Bridge

Field Town Hall Meeting: March 10, 2014 – 7 pm Field Community Hall

Kicking Horse Ski Club Full Moon Ski: March 14, 2014 – 8 pm, Emerald Lake

FRAA Easter Planning Meeting: March 18, 2014 – 8 pm, Cameron residence

FCC/FRAA In Camera Meeting: March 24, 2014 – 7:00 pm, Community Hall

Food Coop Meeting: March 25, 2014 – 11 am, The Siding

Steve, Randle, Chris, Kathryn, Craig, Sally

Town Meeting Minutes – January 20, 2014

In Attendance:

Parks Canada – Caroline Marion, Elaine Lemieux, Melanie Kwong, Michael St-Denis, Michael Vanderveen;

FRAA/FCC – Sally Watson, Steve Christie, Craig Chapman, Kathryn Cameron, Chris Allen, Helen Dickinson, Devon Brook;

Public – 15 Members

Motion to approve agenda by Craig. Motion carried.

1. FRAA report: Recap of FRAA/FCC Meeting January 13, 2014

  1. Christmas report: thank you to Santa and volunteers;
  2. Trying to meet with MP Wilks to discuss highway issues and levels of service;
  3. Working on constitution and bylaws update;
  4. Media project: Facebook page with 421 likes/followers, website now live with lots of good information;
  5. Recognition by National Geographic as secret ski destination, Parks Canada Promotions Officer Karin Smith involved in project, thank you to Karin;
  6. Field HIP: fresh paint, new floor, paint on walls; final report press release to be sent to local media;
  7. CBT grant proposals for further improvements: don’t limit yourself, we need people to present ideas, commit to involvement and drive the machine;
  8. Upcoming events: ukulele choir practice Thursday, January 23 at 7pm, Cameron residence; Yoho Blow this weekend, events, dance, pot luck supper; lots of Hall rentals booked over the next few months; Kicking Horse Ski Club supper scheduled for February 22 – dinner and social evening, no silent auction; sustainability workshop agenda development to figure out larger event February 26, 2014 as precursor to Field Utility Board Meeting;
  9. Sean Coubrough will start Field kids hockey this Friday at 4:30;
  10. Chamber of Commerce organizational meeting date in process, maybe first week in February.
  11. Skating room note: 95% of users are not cleaning up after they use the room; return skates to the shelf after use, leave equipment at your own peril, please respect the common use of the facility.

2. Treasurers report: see files attached to this message.

Helen Dickinson reported that Sue Williamson will offer the Early Childhood Development program. There will be some flexibility in scheduling because Sue is on call with School District Number 6 in Golden.
Kathryn will give receipts for Canada Day cakes and Christmas potatoes to Sally immediately.

Motion by Kathryn to accept Treasurer’s Report as presented, Craig seconded. Motion carried

3. Parks Canada Reports – Townsite Manager – Ms. Caroline Marion 

1. Dumping of Large Items at Line-up:  Residents are reminded that any large items left at the solid waste bins will either be removed by the Highway Service Centre or a contractor and that the costs of this extra removal will be charged to ratepayers.  The HSC is not equipped to pick up large items such as mattresses or old TVs.  The Town of Golden has facilities that will accept this type of material.

2. Plastic Recycling Bin: This spring, a plastics recycling bin will be added to the line-up.

3. 2nd Quarter Report: The 2013-2014 water and sewer rate was frozen at the 2012-2013 rate, 30% lower than required to cost-recover the 2013-2014 budget for water and sewer services.  Parks Canada will subsidize any deficit for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

Consumption is up 4.5% from the same period last year, from 11,415 cubic meters to 11,931 cubic meters.  Residential consumption is up 2.4% while non-residential consumption is up 7.2%.

Water expenses are at 51.6% of forecast to the 2nd Quarter, Sewer expenses are at 54.2% of forecast, and solid waste expenses are at 46.4% of forecast.

4. Field Sustainability: A preliminary meeting will take place with council on February 26 to discuss next steps with respect to sustainability discussions for the community, including how to engage the larger community in future discussions.

5. Highways – Ms. Melanie Kwong and Mr. Michael Vanderveen: Melanie thanked the community for taking the time to let us know about concerns about snow removal in Field, for your patience as we worked things out, and for your appreciation of the work of Highway Service Centre staff.

Melanie thanked the community for moving cars to enable us to complete the cleanup.  The recent snow events included a perfect storm of staff shortages, equipment failure, avalanches, and storms in multiple locations in the Mountain Parks.   The Highway Service Centre, which services all the mountain parks, has now been able to relocate staff temporarily to help in our field unit while we continue to recruit operators. An as and when contract has also now been set up with Gottler Brothers to deal with circumstances where HSC staff are not able to maintain emergency access in the community in the event of competing priorities during storm events. Townsites will be paying for the cost of Gottler coming into town to do snow removal. Parks unable to confirm a time frame as to when Gottler could be called. Sean Coubrough will advise Parks as to what is required.

We hope these initiatives will go a long way to improving things.  Please continue to contact Elaine Lemieux or Caroline Marion to advise of unusual issues in the community, such as failure of the mail truck or suppliers to enter town because of snow removal issues.

FCC Response: Thanks Melanie, from Steve. We appreciate the work Parks Canada has done to solve problem in the short term. There is still a lingering feeling that the department is underfunded to provide adequate service. Service levels really went downhill when Boulder Creek compound was closed. The landscape here demands greater level of service than currently offered. Emerald Lake area really suffered this Christmas. Boulder Creek Highway Maintenance was closed as part of consolidation and forming new Field Unit. Budget cuts have really impacted service standards. At last meeting in November Miguel noted that level of traffic drops off drastically west of Lake Louise, but this is not a realistic view. Visitors and residents still need service so people can get around. Sally stated that we did not have any service in town from the cold snap at the beginning of December until we started to complain just before New Years. There was a 3 week period where we had continual small accumulations of snow and no service whatsoever. It was not until December 30th after numerous complaints that we see any action. Sally also addressed school bus issues and concerns. People in west deserve same level of service as received in the east. Every year we discuss and talk about it, not because people are not doing their jobs but because the whole situation is under resourced.

Melanie shared that Parks Canada is not in a position to reopen the Boulder Creek Highways facility and made a distinction between reopening the compound and having additional capacity for snow removal in Yoho National Park.

Michael shared that although the HSC strives to meets its guidelines, a storm which dumped 60 cm of snow in the area means that the guidelines are not being met anywhere. Staff are doing the best with the resources they have – the Trans Canada Highway is always the priority, followed by the hills up to the Chateau Lake Louise and the Lake Louise Ski Area.  Crews are directed to the highest problem areas on any given day.

The HSC is having trouble recruiting staff, which other jurisdictions are also experiencing.  2 people were hired out of a process that interviewed 14 candidates for example.  The perception that Lake Louise residential areas are addressed first is inaccurate – 75 to 80% of the time Highways crews are Field before we get to Lake Louise.

Michael shared that the HSC continues to look at its boundaries:  Banff crews are now coming further west and Kootenay crews are going all the way to Castle Mountain, in an effort to take some of the pressure off the Lake Louise crews.

Michael added that Field is not designed well for snow removal or access by large vehicles such as mail trucks.  We do have a snow map which indicates where snow will go – most of the time that works except when operators are quickly going through town to open up emergency access.

FCC Response: Craig noted that nothing has changed in terms of a long term solution.

6. Visitor Experience:  Mr. Michael St-Denis

Michael was pleased to hear that Steve and Kent from Radium Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce had connected with respect to Field’s interest in potentially setting up a local business association or Chamber of Commerce.  Michael added that he looks forward to supporting the community in that initiative.   Karin Smith, Promotions Officer, remains willing to host a workshop on how Parks works with a chamber of Commerce, at the request of council.

Karin was instrumental in getting Kim Grey out to Emerald Lake to do a piece on Yoho National Park.  Kim is an award-winning travel blogger.

This week, Michael will provide council with revenue and expense numbers on the Field VRC Centre. A formula in the spreadsheet was incorrect and needs to be repaired.

Melanie added that she intends to increase Parks Canada’s connections with tourism organizations in BC and will share any opportunities to connect with the Field community as they become available.

Community Response: Tree removal at Natural Bridge, along the Yoho Valley Road and in Kicking Horse Campground was not communicated to residents or visitors. Project has big impact on experiences available like skiing and snowshoeing, and people need to know what is happening, when and why. Is the contractor responsible for clean-up? Can we count on better communication in the future?
7. Law Enforcement:

Not able to attend, too short notice. Community policing:  Melanie indicated the conversation is well-timed as Field Unit is working on service agreement. Please give specifics to Caroline so this can be included in the discussion. Craig noted that the next meeting Town Hall Meeting will be on March 10. Jim has been asked for report on what Law Enforcement personnel have observed, discuss trends in the community and provide general explanation of structure of law enforcement operation. To be added as agenda item for Field Utility Board.

4. Friends of Yoho: Helen Barry reported that while Deb is on holiday, Mike is filling in and really enjoying it!  Spiral Tunnel Model not yet complete. The contractor was here before Christmas and cleaned up the pack rat mess but hasn’t returned to finish the electrical work and join the two sections together. No new projects this year; the Friends want to finish the Spiral Tunnel Model before starting anything else.

5. Field Fire and Rescue:

  1. 25 call outs since November 1, lower than during same time period last year but same number of hours due to flagging responsibilities waiting for contractors to arrive.
  2. Tender closed for leased vehicle to replace vehicle damaged in October 31 incident; short term contract, looking at long term fix, chassis was written off but tank still operational to some point. Need to do pump test by professional.
  3. Looking at new equipment.
  4. Hazmat operations course this past weekend at school with success.
  5. STARS originally scheduled to come out tomorrow to show off a new helicopter but it has been grounded because of a chipped windshield. Orientation with BC Ambulance Service to take place when STARS able to come out.
  6. Received resignation from Tom Tovey. Field Fire and Rescue wants to thank him for years of dedication.
  7. Fire and Rescue concerned about snow removal. 2nd avenue not accessible to fire truck. Thanks to Water Crew for keeping the hydrants clear.
  8. Christmas was quiet this year.
  9. Helen Barry asked if semis get charged for the cost of Fire and Rescue time when they are at fault.  Sean: Depends on RCMP and if they attend, if chain up sign is on, driving to conditions, many factors to consider.
  10. Bruce Bembridge noted that after the accidents the towing companies shut down the highway to retrieve the wrecks and asked if there is a protocol that dictates when they can or cannot close the highway, i.e. time frame that doesn’t interfere with when people are coming home and get held up for long time. Mike Vanderveen says RCMP can put tow ban in place. If RCMP lay charges, they don’t necessarily let other organizations know because there is a criminal investigation going on.
  11. Kim Chapman asked if there is a police report for the October 31, 2013 crash. Sean Coubrough said he has received a copy of the report and will share it.
  12. Helen Barry noted that where the new divided highway ends there isn’t sufficient signage. Mike Vanderveen agreed and said a project review recognizes it is inadequate and new signs are in the works. Helen commented that the one small sign is definitely inadequate. Mike Vanderveen said new signs, including end of divided highway sign, will definitely be in place by summer. Helen expressed that summer is too late; days are short now and visibility is poor – definite safety issue that needs to be addressed sooner than summer.

6. Round Table: Come to Yoho Blow!

PDF Version – Town Meeting Minutes – January 20, 2014

Financial Report

FRAA Financial Report – January 2014