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May 09 2017 Regular Council Meeting

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Chelsea Werrun, Nicola Valley Arts Council President addressed Council in relation to item 8.1 – Nicola Valley Arts Council.  Ms. Werrun asked that Council to consider approving their Extraordinary Grant request and explained that the funding would be used for “Art Walk” activities and the wrap-up event showcasing local talent. 

GENERAL MATTERS - Delegations and Recognitions

Ms. Quinn presented the following to Council in relation to the Merritt & District Tennis Club request:
• Membership – twenty-four (24) paid members
• Courts were built in 1989 by volunteers
• Facility is maintained by members
• Club encourages public use of the facility
• No drop-in fees for users (was informed by the City that they could not charge user fees)
• The City donated ten thousand ($10,000) dollars in 2007 toward resurfacing of the courts
• Surface is now in disrepair due to plugged drain and land movement
• Club has raised twenty-three thousand ($23,000) dollars to be used toward resurfacing.
• Entire repair of the courts is approximately thirty-two thousand ($32,000) dollars
• Currently pursuing a “Gaming Grant” for additional funding

Ask: Merritt & District Tennis Club requested a ten thousand ($10,000) dollar financial grant to help cover the cost of resurfacing the courts

Staff was directed to bring back a report to Council outlining funding options and clarification on whether the City did not allow the Merritt & District Tennis Club to charge a user fee for drop-in users.

Mr. Dafoe presented the following to Council:
• Pickle Ball Club has a growing membership
• Goal is to keep seniors enjoying activities in Merritt
• Issues with standing water in the Sports-Box (surface is slippery when wet)
• Cannot play unless it is sunny and the surface is completely dry
• They are the only user group that pays a user fee to the City for use of the Sports-Box
• The club charges a small user fee for drop-in Pickle-Ball players
• Conflicts with others wanting to use the Sports-Box when it’s being used by the Pickle Ball Club
• IPFA court needed to host tournaments
• Was advised by the former Director of Recreation & Facilities to prepare a business plan outlining options to remedy the issues.
• Resurfacing of the six (6) Sports-Box courts would cost approximately ninety thousand six hundred thirteen ($90,613) dollars
• Creation of a new facility at N’Kwala Park would cost approximately one hundred thirty-five thousand seven hundred thirteen ($135,713) dollars for a six (6) court facility and ninety thousand four hundred seventy-five ($90,475) dollars for a four (4) court facility

Ask: Requesting to obtain a location with permanent nets and proper surfacing with washroom accessibility

Staff was directed to bring back a report to Council outlining options for a permanent location for the Pickle-Ball Club.


THAT Council appoint one (1) member of Council to the Heritage Commission in accordance with City of Merritt Community Heritage Establishment Bylaw No. 1816, 2002;
AND THAT staff be directed to advertise for two (2) members from the Greater Merritt community at large and contact the Nicola Valley Heritage Society, Merritt Senior Citizens Association, and Nicola Valley Museum Archives Society to inquire about membership interest


THAT Council approve the Extraordinary Grant Application in the amount of one thousand ($1,000) dollars for the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council (NVCAC) to assist with expenses related to the 2017 Art Walk (July 01-31), New Gallery Showing (August 01-31) and Wrap Up Party (August 03) to be funded through the Community Initiative Fund;
AND THAT Council direct staff to include a request for the NVCAC to apply during the fall Grant in Aid intake for future requests of this nature
Voting opposed: Councillors Baker and Brown


THAT City of Merritt 2017-2021 Five-Year Financial Plan Bylaw No. 2220, 2017 be adopted  Voting opposed: Councillor Brown

THAT Council rescind third reading of City of Merritt 2017 Annual Property Taxes Bylaw No. 2221, 2017

THAT Council amend City of Merritt 2017 Annual Property Taxes Bylaw No. 2221, 2017 Tax Rate Schedule by deleting Multiples for General Purposes for Property Class 2 Utilities in the amount of 7.625 and replacing with 7.513 

THAT City of Merritt 2017 Annual Property Taxes Bylaw No. 2221, 2017 be read a third time as amended


Councillor Prowal made the following Notice of Motion: THAT staff prepare recommendations for an “Empty House Tax” and  “Reporting Protocol” similar to the City of Vancouver’s for Council consideration

Councillor Prowal made the following Notice of Motion:

THAT the speed limit be decreased to 30km from 50km on Voght Street for the length of Central Park


  • Councillor Brown attended a “Home Based Business” event, dance and music events sponsored by SD58, Southern Interior Local Government Association (SILGA) Conference, Comfort Inn Grand Opening event, and a Policy Review Committee meeting.
  • Councillor Goetz provided the latest Gas Buddy prices and attended the SILGA Conference
  • Councillor Norgaard attended the SILGA Conference, Comfort Inn Grand Opening event, Food Security Round Table meeting, volunteered for McHappy Day at McDonald’s, and advised that the Kengard Manor Donation Centre will be closing by the end of the month.
  • Councillor Baker thanked Council for conducting business over the course of his absence, sent condolences to Cache Creek regarding the loss of their Fire Chief, congratulated Darrell Finnigan on his new employment, congratulated Graham Whitecross for receiving the Citizen of the Year Award, and will be attending the 3rd annual City of Merritt Business Walk.
  • Councillor Prowal attended the SILGA Conference, Logging Show meeting, Tourism & Economic Development meeting, “Poetic Language of Landscaping” event at the old Court House Art Gallery, sent condolences to Cache Creek regarding the loss of their Fire Chief, and thanked City crews for protecting the roads from flooding. 
  • Councillor Christopherson attended the SILGA Conference; Canada 150 event sponsored by SD58, Community Band choral evening event, art event at the old Court House, volunteered at Gillis House, volunteered with sandbagging efforts, and will be attending the Theatre Society’s AGM.
  • Mayor Menard attended the SILGA Conference, Comfort Inn Grand Opening event, Canadian Tire Grand Opening event, “Poker-Putt” meeting with Richard Howes, Local Government Police Committee meeting in Surrey BC, Mayor’s Drop-In meetings, BC Housing meeting, Nicola Valley Search & Rescue meeting, TNRD meetings, and volunteered for McHappy Day at McDonald’s.

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