Wednesday, April 10, 2013

City Council Timeline, Monday, April 8 2013

A shorter effort for our elected municipal officials this week with a Monday evening meeting that just barely topped the one hour mark, as Council reviewed a number of agenda items and then, as seems to be the case more often than not these days, went a bit free form at the end of the Council session.

Council received a report from the City Planner on antennae siting in the community, examined another nuisance property in the community and discussed a proposal for an Alcohol policy for the city.

The last half of the meeting provided for much of the discussion points on the day, with reviews of a recent Social Services Meeting in the community, concerns over a program of attracting physicians to northern communities and a proposal to write a letter to Enbridge Northern Gateway to express council's disappointment at the nature of their approach to local issues related to the pipeline hearings.

Council also heard of the latest developments in the quest for the Tsimpsean Access project.

The Mayor also provided for a review of some of the issues surrounding the ongoing Watson Island situation and closed the meeting with a request that council consider creating and staffing a Marine Laboratory to better assist the local seafood industry in the region.

The timeline of all of the council the proceedings can be found in red below, tied in with the City Council video feed archived below.

Further information such as minutes, audio and video archives can be found as they are posted to the city Website.

Minutes from April 8, 2013

In Attendance April 8, 2013

Mayor Jack Mussallem-- Present 
Councillor Anna Ashley-- Present 
Councillor Judy Carlick-Pearson-- Absent
Councillor Gina Garon-- Present 
Councillor Nelson Kinney-- Present 
Councillor Jennifer Rice-- Participated by Telephone from Vancouver
Councillor Joy Thorkelson-- Present

Video Archive for April 8, 2013 
Audio Archive for April 8, 2013 (not available)

The first task of business for Council on the 11th was the usual adoption of the minutes of the sessions of  Council meetings from March 25th. (0:00-2:00)

Reports and Recommendations 

(2:00-14:00) Report from the City Planner on Antennae Siting protocol templates -- Mr. Krekic outlined the background of the request in front of council, to put forward a more consistent procedure for those looking to install antennaes in the community. The City Planner suggested that the city adopt a template, or policy based on the template, a template which would be determined following newspaper advertisements, and an Open House on the topic in early May and a proposal of the amended template presented to Council on May 27th.

Councillor Thorkelson observed on a few items for clarification, inquiring as to exemptions and the wording of agreements on the topic as well as wondering  as to how much leeway the City would have on this subject.

Mr. Rodin offered up his observations on the topic, outlining when the City would be more specific on the protocol, offering up his endorsement of the Open House.

The Mayor asked for any questions from Councillor Rice who was attending by phone from Vancouver, she had no questions on the topic.

The motion was approved

(14:00-16:30) Report from Building Inspector and Corporate Administrator-- The delivery of a report on a property on Ambrose Avenue, with a recommendation that the property be declared a nuisance property.  With consideration that the building and components be demolished within 30 days.

Councillor Ashley inquired if the taxes were up to date on the property.

Councillor Thorkelson inquired as to whether the owners could come and talk to the city within the thirty day period, the answer that was provided was that they could.

The motion was approved.

(16:30-23:30Report from the Corporate Administrator on a Municipal Alcohol Policy program . The Corporate Administrator outlined the proposal for a program, which involves a grant applied for and received. The scope of the program is to set an Alcohol policy, with the suggestion that the City form a committee to review the existing templates across the province. The policy would tighten up the rules through information and bylaw enforcement if required.

Councillor Ashley asked some questions on the theme of the program and inquired if some of the items involved aren't redundant with existing laws.

Councillor Thorkelson observed from her reading of the proposal that it was only to be considered for city owned venues and suggested that it was a good thing to look at the city's policies on alcohol use on city owned venues.

Councillor Rice was asked if she had any questions, she had no concerns over the proposed program review.

The motion was adopted.

(23:30--25:00Correspondence for Action -- Request for a letter of support from Planet Youth for additional funding, with a request that the council write a letter of support for their application for funding.

The motion was adopted

(25:00-30:00Correspondence for Action -- Request for a letter of support from the District of Invermere, seeking support for towns without Council. They asked that the city correspond with the UBCM to help in their cause. Mr. Rodin expanded on the nature of their request and what the District of Invermere is seeking. The Mayor offered up his thoughts on the topic, outlining his points on the topic for Council.

Councillor Ashley expressed a bit of confusion over their request, Mr. Rodin offered up some clarification on the nature of the request and recommended that the City receive the correspondence for informational purposes.

Councillor Thorkelson recommended that the report be received and filed.

Councillor Rice again was asked as to her contribution on the topic and she had nothing to offer as to an opinion on it other that to receive and file.

The recommendation to do that was adopted

(30:00-31:30Request for a Proclamation-- A request that the week of May 19-25 be declared Public Works Week in the City of Prince Rupert.

The motion was adopted.

( 31:00 - 33:30Report from the City Manager on Outstanding City Initiatives-- Mr. Rodin reviewed the current projects that the city is working on, he advised that the city was still working on the Watson Island situation and the Tsimpsean Access project.

The Mayor inquired as to the status of the Tsimpsean Access project, outlining as to the request that the province provide a package of information on the issue. He asked the City manager to inquire with the province as to the status of that report.

Councillor Ashley inquired as to the topic of the waterfront plan, and if there was an update available on strategic priorities. She would like to see some information provided by the next council meeting.

Reports, Questions and Inquiries for Council

(33:30--41:30 ) Councillor Thorkelson updated Council on the status of the ongoing Enbridge Joint Review Panel hearings providing her observations on the nature of the discussion that has taken place at those hearings during its time in Prince Rupert. She provided the timetable going forward for the remainder of the Hearing sessions in the community.

The Mayor asked Ms. Thorkelson as to some of her observations on the hearings and the expertise of those that are providing their contributions to the hearings. The Mayor asked if the hearings had heard from local mariners, Councillor Thorkelson outlined that thus far, they haven't consulted any commercial fisherman as part of their inquiry. She expressed her frustration with this aspect of the hearing process.

This led to Council considering a letter of concern to the Commission, outlining that the City believes that there is some deficiency in their overview of the local situation. She advised that it wouldn't be an unwelcome initiative, but that it most likely would not be put on the official record of the hearings.

She recommended that it should instead be sent to Northern Gateway officials themselves, who she says should be ashamed of themselves for the nature of their review of the local impact of their proposal.

(41:30--45:30)Councillor Kinney reviewed his attendance at the recent Guns N Hoses hockey game at the Civic Centre this past weekend, he also reviewed the Social Services Meeting that he and Councillor Garon attended on behalf of the city.

Councillor Thorkelson asked if there was going to be a report generated from the Social Services meeting, which will be provided.

Councillor Garon recounted her observations from the Social Services meeting for Council. And provided a recommendation that they strike a committee to interact with the various social agencies in the community.

(45:30--46:30) Mr. Rodin directed Council's attention back to their conversation of a letter directed to Northern Gateway officials and asked for a resolution to send that letter. Councillor Thorkelson outlined the nature of the letter she would like to see sent to Enbridge Northern Gateway.

The Mayor asked if Councillor Rice had anything to add to the conversation, she advised she was in favour of the motion

The motion was adopted.

(46:30--47:30) Councillor Kinney returned to the Social Services Meeting and his thoughts that a request be made to BC Transit to consider a Sunday bus for the community, the Mayor tasked Mr. Rodin to investigate further.

(47:30-- 49:30)  Councillor Ashley picked up the theme of Social Services, recounting an interview on CBC radio and the recent announcement of incentive money for norther doctors and how Prince Rupert was not mentioned as one of the target communities for that funding. She would like to see the city write a letter to inquire as to why the City of Prince Rupert was left off that list of target communities. She asked for staff to investigate it further and come back to council with details.

(49:30--51:30) Councillor Kinney provided some background on the topic that Councillor Ashley just mentioned, reviewing what he learned from the most recent Northern Health meetings. Councillor Ashley again asked for staff to investigate further and provide a report to council on the topic. The Mayor added that perhaps the City should as Northern Health as to it's preparations in the community for a potential influx of workers for the major projects proposed for the community.

(51:30--52:30) Councillor Garon reviewed the feedback she has received on the new lighting project in the community as the city replaces the old street lights with LED lights.

(52:30--58:00) Councillor Thorkelson introduced an issue of concern for her,  something for the "to do" list, that being the need for the City not be behind the 8 ball in regard to growth in the city. Looking to have a workshop for items of concern for the city and potential growth in the future. The Mayor offered up the thought that as the city grows to accommodate Port Facilities, that the best way that the city could serve the committee is to put a letter out in the community with the variety service providers in the community to meet in September to discuss issues of note on potential growth.

(58:00 -60:00-  ) Councillor Rice provided for the nature of her absence in City Council chambers as she was attending  the Ferries Advisory Committee meetings in Vancouver, on behalf of the City. She advised that a bit of news was generated from those meetings, with the proposed services cuts for Northern routes to be delayed until March of 2014.

Mayor's Report

(60:00 - 1 hour 11 minutes ) The Mayor attended the recent Council of Forest Industries conference, recounting how industry officials advised that there is currently a strong demand for Canadian forest products for export.

He participated in a Board of Directors meeting of the Western Transportation Advisory Council. Outlining for council the importance of attending the gatherings to get closer to those people that are looking to transport goods out of the city.

The Mayor then discussed the recent developments on Watson Island, recounting some of the recent meetings of late on the topic attended by other members of Council. He discussed the issue of the left over chemicals on the site and the need for remediation of the land there and the desire to have the province become more active on that file.

He discussed the nature of the unpaid taxes legislation and how it has impacted on the city's efforts on Watson Island. He outlined the concerns that the City shared with members of the provincial opposition on the various issues surrounding Watson Island.

He touched on his recent observations that the nature of the maintenance issues on the site could bankrupt the city in thirteen months. Wrapping up his observations with a discussion of the Chattels that are involved with the Watson island site and how the City is looking for some support from the provincial government on the issues of the site.

The Mayor then recounted a recent meeting on the issue between City representatives and the Consul General of China, Vice Counsel and other representatives. The Mayor was hopeful of an opportunity to work with Sun Wave officials to further some progress on the issue. He outlined the nature of the court actions on the issue that are coming up over the summer.

The Mayor also called the council's attention to some meetings with some corporate entities who have inquired about community projects. He asked if the Council would consider the construction and staffing of a Marine Laboratory, to better further the coastal shellfish and other seafood based industry in the community.

With that last item introduced, the session for April 8th was adjourned.

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