Special Business Meeting - 05 Dec 2023


1: Welcome to the Squamish Nation Traditional Territory
2: ADOPTION OF AGENDA
3: STAFF REPORTS
3.i: Financial Plan Feedback Discussion
4: MOTION TO CLOSE
5: TERMINATION
1: Welcome to the Squamish Nation Traditional Territory
0:00:00 (0:06:56)


Armand Hurford
0:06:32 (0:00:24)

hello and welcome to the special business meeting for the District of Squamish for Tuesday December 5th and as always we're gathered to do our work today on the traditional and unseated territory of the SCH homish Nation please be advis this council meeting is being live streamed recorded and will be available to the public to view on the District of Squamish website following the meeting if you have concerns please notify the corporate officer present at the meeting

ADOPTION OF AGENDA
0:06:56 (0:00:29)


Armand Hurford
0:06:56 (0:00:28)

can I have someone move adoption of the agenda please move by coun counc French second by councelor Stoner all in favor any opposed motion carries thank you and just for those of you in the gallery we have councelor green law is participating remotely today and we have her on the screen thank you councelor Greenlaw for a finding way to attend even when you're under the weather appreciate it we're on to

Financial Plan Feedback Discussion
0:07:25 (0:33:05)

Heather Boxer, the General Manager of Financial Services, addressed the council and community members, stating that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the financial plan before it is brought to council for three readings on December 12th. She reminded the public that the district's financial plan cycle began in July 20123 and has included several council workshops and a public engagement event on November 14th. Feedback on the financial plan has been received through various means, including the district's website, print advertisements in the Squamish Chief newspaper, the "Let's Talk Squamish" and "Drop in with the Mayor" events, the "Coffee with Council" series, and the district's online open book visualization platform. Boxer was joined by Roland Russell, Senior Financial Analyst, and several other staff members for the discussion.

The council members, led by Mayor Armand Hurford, discussed various elements of the financial plan. Councilor Andrew Hamilton raised concerns about the allocation of $2. 8 million over the next two years for the Brennan Park concession, questioning how this expenditure was prioritized in light of an 8% tax increase of non-discretionary spending. Boxer responded that capital planning is a long-term process and that lower priority items could be pulled back if necessary. Councilor Jenna Stoner asked for clarification on external third-party agreements, and Councilor Chris Pettingill asked about insurance responsibilities in the event of a catastrophic event. Hamilton later proposed a motion to postpone the allocation for the Brennan Park concession until a clearer vision of the project was provided, which was supported by the council. The council also discussed the ending of the Strengthening Communities program and the impact on the overdose prevention facility.

Armand Hurford
0:07:25 (0:00:16)

item three staff reports I will pass it over to staff introduce themselves on the

SPEAKER_09
0:07:41 (0:01:26)

topic thank you good afternoon Maring Council and members of the community who have joined us today my name is Heather boxer general manager of financial services and my pronouns are she her so I can be addressed accordingly we don't have a presentation for you today the purpose of the meeting is to provide council with the opportunity to ask questions provide some direction or to discuss any elements of the financial plan before it's brought to council for three readings on December 12th so as a reminder to the public that have joined us today the district's financial plan cycle began in July of 20123 with several Council workshops conducted up until today the district conducted a public engagement event on November 14th and has provided information and received feedback on the financial plan through various means of and platforms including the district's website print advertisement in the Squamish Chief newspaper let's talk Squamish the drop in and drop in with the May event the coffee with councils series and the district's online openbook visualization platform so Council received a summary and discussed the feedback provided with Squamish residents at the last week's budget Workshop for today's discussion I am joined by Roland Russell senior Financial analyst and we have several of our staff here today in Chambers or online to help with the discussion so with that I'll hand it over to the mayor thank

Armand Hurford
0:09:08 (0:00:22)

you thank you for that Council who'd like to kick off the discussion here today councelor Hamilton for a brief second I thought there was no questions about the budget but yeah go ahead councelor Hamil thank you

Andrew Hamilton
0:09:30 (0:00:25)

thanks very much and it and perhaps no question about the budget we have been chewing on this for some time right and one item that has been on my mind quite a bit is item the number probably won't do much good but for those of you finding it in a document 845 00103 the Brennan Park

Jenna Stoner
0:09:56 (0:00:02)

concession yeah

Andrew Hamilton
0:09:58 (0:01:50)

so the Brennan Park concession is allocated $300,000 for 2024 and $2.5 million for 2025 for a total of $2.8 million over the next two years the my understanding of the project comes from the couple paragraphs the two paragraphs in the budget and the brief response from last week's meeting when asking about that facility so my question to staff and so let me contextualize that so this roughly $3 million expenditure was motivated is motivated by our real estate facilities master plan I absolutely see that this is a facility that needs to be improved and my question is how do we priori ize this rough this $2.8 million spend discretionary spend in light of the 8% tax increase of non-discretionary spending so we have we have an enormous tax rate increase due to non-discretionary spending we have this building that's been identified many years ago as needing replacement but we're in a different situation now so I'd like to understand how staff or whether staff examine items like this in light of the increased non-discretionary spending how do we prioritize these

SPEAKER_09
0:11:49 (0:00:51)

things thank you for the question through the chair so the capital planning is a longer term situation so a lot of the items that make it into the capital planning of going through the rigors of the master plans through the rigors of prioritization in need and also there's the element of the financial planning side of things on in terms of what funding is available now certainly if things are going up in terms of non-discretionary and Council wants to provide staff to pull back on certain items absolutely the more I don't want to say that they're not urgent but the lower priority items can absolutely be pulled back but that is not necessarily a choice of staff that would be something that would that c that staff would require Council

Armand Hurford
0:12:41 (0:00:01)

direction do you have a

Chris Pettingill
0:12:42 (0:00:02)

followup

Armand Hurford
0:12:45 (0:00:05)

you will have another opportunity but if you want to follow up with that you're welcome

Andrew Hamilton
0:12:50 (0:00:14)

too thank you so if an item like that were to be if I were to want to postpone an item like that for a year staff would seek Council direction for that today

SPEAKER_09
0:13:05 (0:00:13)

correct through the chair yes that's correct however staff would like the opportunity to provide the impacts of delaying that project to council so they have the full picture before that decision is

Armand Hurford
0:13:19 (0:00:02)

made thank you councelor

Jenna Stoner
0:13:21 (0:00:54)

stoner thank you through the chair I'm just wondering if staff can clarify what we've committed to for some of our external kind of third-party agreements so our Squamish and downtown Bia Partnerships in particular I know that we had conversations about these earlier in the year and both are displaying as service level changes in 2024 but the r Squamish partnership agreement then shows up again in the general fund for the next out into 2028 but a similar line item isn't shown for downtown Bia so I'm just curious how those pieces are being handled L and what the expectation or Agreements are given that I don't think Council Direction has been set for a 5-year term for any of

SPEAKER_06
0:14:16 (0:01:53)

those thank you through the chair my name is Sarah Morris I'm the manager of arts and culture here at the District of Squamish and I have input these requests into the budget so to give Council some background on this two requests were received this year one from our Squamish one from the Bia we had additional funding left in the grants budget for next year so staff thought it would be a good idea to fund both of those projects from the grants budget for 2024 as there was unallocated funding there Bia submitted a request for a one-year pilot project which is what's reflected in council's budget and our Squamish request was a little bit different so they requested a five-year partnership so that's reflected in the budget as you see it before we enter into that multi-year partnership agreement we're doing some work on the partnership policy and the grants policy in a big review that's happening in 2024 so before staff commit to that multi-year agreement with ramish they will have to go through a process of on boarding for new partners with the district similarly the Bia would have to go through that kind of a process should they want to apply for more funding moving forward so in essence we haven't committed anything to either of these groups yet it was council's direction to put those into the budget for consideration and so that's what you see there I think with the r Squamish in particular that request staff were just forward thinking and wanted to show that to Council in future years so it's in the five-year financial plan we could have done the same thing with the Bia but we just didn't want to preclude or preclude that or predetermine what council's wishes were and what the bia's request was because we don't have that information from them for future

Jenna Stoner
0:16:09 (0:00:14)

years okay that's really helpful and great to hear that that'll be rolled into the forthcoming work around partnership agreement evaluation and that's work that'll come back to Council in 2024 correct yes okay great thank

Armand Hurford
0:16:23 (0:00:05)

you thank you go ahead councelor penel

Chris Pettingill
0:16:29 (0:00:23)

yeah just one thing and I sort of harped it on it in other context in the past but sort of thinking about all the Investments in the r RCMP building and so on do we know in terms of insurance if there's a catastrophic event for example who is responsible is that our insurance our replacement the RCMP takes care of that or how does that sort of thing get

SPEAKER_13
0:16:53 (0:00:22)

handled thank you through the mayor so as per the Municipal Police Services agreement the district is 100% responsible for providing the building space to the Detachment and also for the jail cells so should something happen to make that building unusable we would continue to be responsible as per the spirit of that

Chris Pettingill
0:17:16 (0:00:46)

agreement okay I'm GNA chew on that a bit it's a bit of a concern for me not having the information I would like from Fortis about the risks there I switching topic I had as I recall the street reach program was a collaboration I think funded by The Province but between our baa and Helping Hands and maybe someone else I understand and I thought that was in our budget funding for that or was flowing through but I don't see that anymore and I've heard that the program has cancelled so I'm wondering if we are aware of that or if that's impacting our bylaw needs or some of our sort of service needs s

SPEAKER_13
0:18:02 (0:01:02)

downtown thank you through the mayor so your corrects the strengthening communities program was funded through ubcm for a two-year period and that funding has not been renewed by The Province they haven't continued with that grant program both Helping Hands and the district have been aware of that for quite some time that the funding would not be renewed so have been working to institutionalize a lot of the activities that were part of that Grant into day-to-day operations there's been a lot of really amazing benefits from that program in particular some of the relationships that have been developed between bylaw and helping hand staff so that will continue with the leadership from both of those agencies and bylaw services will continue to prioritize some of the work that's been happening downtown related to that program through existing resources and we continue to evaluate that over the coming

Armand Hurford
0:19:04 (0:00:02)

years councelor

John French
0:19:06 (0:00:19)

fch thanks mayor and following up on Council councel Penning Gill's question what if any impact does the ending of this program have on the overdose prevention

SPEAKER_13
0:19:26 (0:00:25)

facility through the mayor those are two very separate projects so the overdose prevention site is funded through Vancouver Coastal Health Helping Hands is the operator of that site however it is not connected to the strengthening communities program which was looking at the wider downtown area thank

Armand Hurford
0:19:52 (0:00:21)

you thank you additional questions comments as we're working our way through here councelor greenla I'll just if you could use the electronic hand raise if you if your hand do come off I've been trying to keep track of the screens but so councelor Hamilton go ahead

Andrew Hamilton
0:20:14 (0:00:16)

so if there I just wanted to make sure Council my Council colleagues had a chance to get through any other questions before I propose a motion regarding the Brennan Park concession

Armand Hurford
0:20:31 (0:00:04)

I don't I don't see any other any other hands who welcome to coun

Jenna Stoner
0:20:35 (0:00:32)

stoner I'm gonna entertain a question to staff before a motion goes on the floor from what I heard last week from staff while it's labeled the Brenan Park concession it also folds in work or some space for expanded work for Public Works as well as a few other pieces of infrastructure and so I'm just wondering if staff can REM remind us of the scope of the building and what is planned for 2024 versus

SPEAKER_07
0:21:08 (0:00:56)

2025 Bill Stoner general manager Community Services Cal Bragg is not here today so I'm going to do my best I can to fill in for him I did talk last week with Cal after our presentation and the one thing that we left out is that building is end of life it is not just a replacing and we are looking we do have needs at Brenham Park do it include Parks offices and change room there and yeah and so we are looking to utilize this to fulfill various needs not and a concession I guess that was the one thing that's on there as well so it's not just a concession stand we are looking to fulfill various needs by replacing a building that is in need of a replacement it is as khed said last week a placeholder we do not know exactly how much is going to cost at this point but we do know that some work has to go into replacing that

Jenna Stoner
0:22:05 (0:00:12)

building and just to further clarify as I read the budget there's some preliminary money in there to do kind of that scoping and feasibility work with a broader amount of the spend happening in the following fiscal

SPEAKER_07
0:22:17 (0:00:03)

year that's

Armand Hurford
0:22:20 (0:00:34)

correct and on that same line of questioning what where would the decision around the final decision around supporting the output of the 2024 work around scoping and what that actually looks like where would where does that decision lay and is that in approval of this of this budget line item at this point or is there some future touch point that we should be sort of looking for on the on the

SPEAKER_07
0:22:55 (0:00:08)

horizon again filling in for C's best like can absolutely before we go ahead with anything we would come back to

Armand Hurford
0:23:04 (0:00:03)

council thank you I've got councelor Penning you'll come back to you

Chris Pettingill
0:23:07 (0:00:25)

counc yeah and I'm not sure if we have the people in the room that can this my recollection from last week I guess was also part of the splash park infrastructure was meant to be included in this building and so I was sort of under the impression that at least some sort of construction or work needed to be done this year to get the splash park this year as part of that building is that

SPEAKER_07
0:23:33 (0:00:17)

correct yeah through the mayor thank you councelor Pat Gill and again I think I want to be clear I think he's Mr brag had indicated that may be a possibility that we do put some the spash Park Mechanical into that building but I don't think that's decided

Armand Hurford
0:23:51 (0:00:03)

yet thank you councilor

Andrew Hamilton
0:23:54 (0:00:14)

Hilson so a clarifying question so the 300,000 ,000 that's allocated for 2024 is that 300,000 including any construction of the building or is that just

SPEAKER_07
0:24:09 (0:00:04)

planning through the mayor that's

Andrew Hamilton
0:24:13 (0:00:13)

planning so I want to confirm we've allocated $300,000 to alloc allocate we've allocated $300,000 to plan a 2,000t

SPEAKER_07
0:24:26 (0:00:12)

building that's

Armand Hurford
0:24:39 (0:00:07)

correct coun Anderson was that your hand did I see your hand there no yeah go

Andrew Hamilton
0:24:47 (0:00:29)

ahead I'd like to put a motion on the floor that until the staff bring back a clearer vision for what this building is and what the planning phase of this building is costing and why it is costing so much before it gets included in the 2024

Armand Hurford
0:25:16 (0:00:04)

budget councelor greenw

SPEAKER_00
0:25:21 (0:00:01)

I'm seconding

Armand Hurford
0:25:22 (0:00:03)

second by Council green go ahead counc would speak to

Andrew Hamilton
0:25:26 (0:00:43)

it thanks I'm concerned about adding a $300,000 expenditure for planning a building a 2,000 foot building in our 2024 budget I don't think we have a clear scope for this project and I understand it takes funding to get that scope and I'm hesitant to allocate funding for a building that we don't understand whether it's going to include splash park pieces whether it includes washrooms the fact that it's called a concession but it's more than that I think we need a clearer picture of this spend before we approve it thanks

Armand Hurford
0:26:10 (0:00:03)

thank you councelor soner

Jenna Stoner
0:26:13 (0:00:37)

thank you I'll support the motion on the floor because I think Clarity is good I think that there are a lot of moving pieces as we look at Brennan Park and trying to figure out how we fit all the pieces in including the Overflow for Public Works but I think a simple one pager that outlines what that $300,000 is going to be for as we consider first and second reading next week would be helpful and then we can have a broader debate as to whether that $300,000 is Justified but I think a little bit more detail on just what the vision is for that initial planning phase would be

Armand Hurford
0:26:51 (0:00:03)

helpful thank you Council French

John French
0:26:54 (0:00:48)

thanks chair I'll be supporting the motion and primarily L out of the learning that we got from the AAP process connected to the first iteration of the Public Works building we found ourselves in a situation where there wasn't in the minds of our residents and I think even some counselors enough complete information about that particular project at that time and we heard about that during the AAP process so this is a situation where I think this additional extra information helps us with this project moving

Armand Hurford
0:27:43 (0:00:21)

forward thank you other comments a question to the Mover is the is the intent that the that this information be provided in time for this for our upcoming budget cycle that's your expectation out of this motion yes it is okay councel

Chris Pettingill
0:28:05 (0:00:06)

penel sorry can I get the motion again

Andrew Hamilton
0:28:11 (0:00:30)

please that the $300,000 budgeted for the 2024 the 2024 amount sorry let me stare it again that the $300,000 budgeted in 2024 for planning the Bren par concession be postponed until we have a clearer vision until staff can provide a clearer view of what is being proposed at this

Chris Pettingill
0:28:42 (0:00:02)

site so I

Armand Hurford
0:28:44 (0:00:18)

guess I just one second I'm going to go to the we'll go to the minute taker just to see where what we what we have and then we can clarify what it is that we're that we're oh I will pass you my mic

SPEAKER_08
0:29:02 (0:00:11)

thank you so what I have is that staff bring back a Clear Vision for the concession building during the planning phase of the building before it is included in the 2024

Andrew Hamilton
0:29:14 (0:00:29)

budget thanks I think I used the word postpone in my second yeah my intent is not to remove it the this yeah let me speak to my intent my intent is not to remove this building from our budget I do understand that it needs to be replaced what I don't what I'm not comfortable with right now is that it needs to be replaced right now with the with our understanding of our needs at this moment at that

Chris Pettingill
0:29:43 (0:00:47)

place okay clarifying question for staff then because what I've heard and sort of my we've asked some questions around this previously from my perspective and I had comfort that this made sense I would appreciate I think some extra detail and extra due diligence makes sense but I would like to avoid sort of redoing the budget to remove this and then putting it back in trying to get all that done before January so is there a way we can sort of I guess sort of get the information and then once we have that information decide whether it's in or out is there sort of a an effective way to do it that way as opposed to causing it to go in and out and in and out or so I just sort of like to have the information with minimum work

SPEAKER_09
0:30:31 (0:00:25)

thank you through the chair thank you for that question councelor pingale I think the what staff can Endeavor to do is provide that Clarity before three readings of the of the financial plan and should that suffice we can move it forward if it should not suffice we will have to have a motion to remove it and we could bring it back at the spring

Chris Pettingill
0:30:56 (0:00:10)

Amendment would that be staff's interpretation of this resolution if we support this resolution

SPEAKER_09
0:31:06 (0:00:11)

then through the chair that would be staff's interpretation as long as it the word postpone is no longer in the

Chris Pettingill
0:31:17 (0:00:05)

motion okay then I would be able to support the motion thank

Armand Hurford
0:31:23 (0:00:59)

you thank you with that Clarity I'll be supporting the motion look forward to that discussion when we when we have it I will say that around guiding Park in Investments we do have a we do have a Parks master plan proposed in the budget that we have a direction Council po postponed and I think that one of the outputs of that of that work is to provide the community and ourselves that Clarity so I'm having a hard time seeing you know if I think this all the way through postponing a piece of investment that we're looking at doing but not Advan advancing the planning work to better inform that so we it's a challenging there's lots of moving pieces here but I welcome the I'll support the motion to facilitate the conversation at the next touch point for this budget so any other comments yeah go ahead counc

Eric Andersen
0:32:22 (0:00:21)

Anderson last time we discussed this item I brought along the plans for the 19 71 concession stand I will be supporting the motion but it's my anticipation that we have 52 years of new and new functions and realities to address with this facility this important facility for Brennan Park thank

Armand Hurford
0:32:43 (0:00:05)

you councelor

SPEAKER_00
0:32:49 (0:00:27)

Greenlaw I'll also speak in favor of the motion I think I think this could be a really valuable and useful upgrade but I would like to see some of the planning process some of these numbers you know to somebody who's new to these costs in a municipality they're quite astounding so I'd just like to see a bit of a breakdown of what's being spent where and what the ultimate intent to the building is

Armand Hurford
0:33:16 (0:00:27)

thanks thank you so seeing no other hands of color question all in favor any opposed motion carries unanimous thank you any other points of consideration here Council councel

Eric Andersen
0:33:43 (0:01:00)

Anderson last October 17 a motion was passed to that staff bring back the Parks and Recreation master plan for consideration in the 2025 budget with further rationale a clearer scope and understanding of integration with the following three Str four strategies neighborhood parks planning arts and culture strategy Brennan Park and Brennan Park fields and Master Plan I would like to put forward a motion to request a an interterm report from staff somewhat along the lines of the matter we previously discussed a backgrounder how staff might we have had a report that staff have given this some consideration and presumably some strategic thinking around it and I can put forward a motion mayor Herford to that effect and I'll speak to it further if I have a

Armand Hurford
0:34:44 (0:00:14)

second I think I think I'd welcome a motion to so we clearly understand what it is that you're after and then that'll better facilitate our conversation here as a group

Eric Andersen
0:34:58 (0:00:22)

I would like to move that staff prepare a brief report on the it their cons its consideration regarding postponing a Parks and Recreation Master Plan

Armand Hurford
0:35:21 (0:00:02)

update yeah go ahead councelor Hamilton

Andrew Hamilton
0:35:23 (0:00:09)

question for the Mover what's the your Envision time scale what is the time scale that you would like staff to respond

Eric Andersen
0:35:33 (0:00:12)

the same as our next opportunity prior to third

Armand Hurford
0:35:45 (0:01:07)

reading do we have a seconder for the for this for this motion I will caution Council that we've we have a short turnaround time on this and we need to be very cautious of capacity and perhaps this is something I should have flagged it in the onset of our last discussion as well but you know we can't we need to be very mindful of what we're asking to happen in a very compressed time frame so yeah just we all need to be mindful of that whether we push and this is something that is that is critical and you require this piece of information that's something that we need to consider but this could be quite a lift and if this is the second piece if this is going to be the we can't do this on every on every item or we had prior opportunities to do that on more items we'll say councelor

Andrew Hamilton
0:36:53 (0:00:13)

Hamilton yeah I S another clarifying question for the for the Mover you asked about staff's decision to remove it but it was Council direction to remove

Eric Andersen
0:37:06 (0:00:30)

it that's correct I I'm asking for a brief up review staff have reported that they have given the council's direction of October 17th consideration I am interested and for reasons which I could elaborate on should I have a second or speak to the motion I'm interested a brief report from staff on what their consideration is the implications in Broad terms and in brief terms thank

Armand Hurford
0:37:37 (0:00:02)

you yes Miss

SPEAKER_11
0:37:39 (0:00:13)

fi sorry could I just could I just ask Mr vincus to provide some clarity on whether that would be possible before I imagine this is the

SPEAKER_02
0:37:52 (0:00:27)

12th thank you yes not possible by the time the budget is going to be coming for readings we've essentially have taken council's Direction and are planning to do the all the background their work and bringing Council up to speed and doing a gap analysis in 2024 for this

Armand Hurford
0:38:20 (0:00:03)

project thank you for that Council Anderson

Eric Andersen
0:38:24 (0:00:18)

that's useful information and it's really the kind of information I'm requesting although I would like to press a bit further that is news the motion instructs for 2025 and that you're planning this to be delivered in 2024 is of Interest th this motion of

Armand Hurford
0:38:42 (0:00:37)

or hold on one second there councel I just want to make sure that we are all on the same page and I just I don't what I heard from stf wasn't that it was a deliverable in 2024 but that the work plan has been adjusted to work towards executing this deliverable in 2020 doing the bulk of the work 2025 2024 is Preparatory work Mr velis you want to clarify I there's Pro no that's the that's where we are so the delay the delay in that project has been incorporated into work plans going forward is what we're hearing from

Eric Andersen
0:39:20 (0:00:10)

staff thank you we'll have opportunity in the Strategic plan review to perhaps discuss these this matter and its implications further thank you

Armand Hurford
0:39:31 (0:00:59)

okay thank you thank you for raising I do think it's a important piece of work okay Council other any other considerations questions feedback motions okay so we don't have actually a re a recommended motion besides the Motions that we've that we've provided so unless there's other comments on this we can conclude this topic and move on with our with our agenda it's my version of going once going twice you know when we get to the next stage you want to make sure that we're that we're all confident so okay moving on so thank you very much for being here to all of all of our staff and

MOTION TO CLOSE
0:40:30 (0:00:15)


Armand Hurford
0:40:30 (0:00:16)

I'll be looking for a motion to close please mve by councelor Hamilton second by councelor Stoner all in favor motion carries we'll be in recess until 10 to 3: take 15 minutes