GRAND FORKS CITY COUNCIL OCT. 22: Concerns about bears and bins

The green bin food scarps program is underway and some have expressed concerns about bears tampering with bins.

The Grand Forks city council meeting that took place on Oct. 22 began with outgoing city chief administrative officer (CAO) Lynne Burch receiving recognition for her 25 years of service.

Burch will be succeeded by Doug Allin.

Bears and green bins

The City of Grand Forks’ green bin food scraps program is underway and there was discussion during the primary meeting regarding feedback from area residents.

Mayor Brian Taylor said he had heard mixed reaction, with the one complaint relating to green bins being interfered with when they are placed out the night before.

There were some concerns with bears tampering with the bins as well (go here for more).

Coun. Bob Kendel said he had been approached by two residents saying that bears had destroyed the bins and Allin said that there was only one complaint of a bear attacking a can to try to get into it.

A question was asked about whether residents had to replace bins that had been damaged by bears and city staff said that it would be covered through the program.

Council rep for Habitat for Humanity

During the regular meeting, Coun. Michael Wirischagin asked if council had any qualms about if he could act as liaison to Habitat for Humanity Boundary.

“If you’d like to take that on, I’d like to endorse it,” Taylor said.

Online courses

Wirischagin also made a motion, asking for permission to take two online courses – municipal law and community and citizen engagement – from Dalhousie University in the spring to the tune of $1,690.

Taylor said that it would be part of the upcoming budget discussion.

Wirischagin said that the reason he was asking now, as opposed to budget time, was that while the deadline passed, there were still two spots left.

He also said that the particular courses are offered every two years.

Kendel said he was all for furthering education but worried about setting precedent if something were approved at the Oct. 22 meeting and Coun. Neil Krog expressed concern about the fact that Dalhousie was located in Nova Scotia.

“Obviously, the interaction with community course I think, would be an awesome asset but I just wasn’t sure about that municipal law course because it’s Halifax and we’re in British Columbia and our municipal laws are unique to us,” opined Krog.

Wirischagin said that similar courses were offered at other post secondary institutions but they were six-day courses that would require him to be in-house, so the online course would be cheapest. Mayor Taylor asked if council supported Wirischagin taking the two courses and the motion carried.


Greyhound Canada also made an announcement recently that it would be cutting down services to Grand Forks.

Council voted on a resolution to draft a letter expressing the city’s concern at the move and it passed (go here for more).

Area C no longer part of BEDC

As part of his report, Taylor said that the Boundary Economic Development Committee (BEDC) will move on despite Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Area C (Christina Lake) opting out (go here).

“Basically, we’re not looking for a motion on this matter. It was a question of whether or not our Boundary economic development group would be working in sync with the economic development commission,” Taylor explained.“I think we have that commitment from both groups for this coming year. It’s just a one-year commitment we’re looking at again, with a thought to evolving as the future changes within the Boundary,” he went on to say.