Wednesday, July 10, 2013

City Council Timeline, Monday, July 8, 2013

A full council of five councillors and the Mayor were in attendance for their only July appearance and they made quick work of their agenda, with a meeting that went just over an hour.

It was a session that tackled mostly housekeeping issues, a few variance permit decisions and a look at the prospect of using wood chips at the dump for a covering.

Council members did focus on a number of concerns raised by the public, including the heavy truck traffic to and from the container port, skateboarders on the streets and the need to look at housing this fall in anticipation of population growth in the community.

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

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

Minutes from July 8, 2013 (when posted)

In Attendance June 24, 2013

Mayor Jack Mussallem-- Present 
Councillor Anna Ashley-- Present 
Councillor Judy Carlick-Pearson-- Present
Councillor Gina Garon-- Present 
Councillor Nelson Kinney-- Present
Councillor Joy Thorkelson-- Present 

Councillor Jennifer Rice-- Resigned her position on June 10th.

Video Archive for July 8, 2013 
Audio Archive for July 8, 2013 

(0:00 - 1:00) The Mayor opened up the night's proceedings with a Committee of the Whole meeting, Council adopted its agenda and then moved on to seek out comments from the public gallery.

(1:00-4:00) With the chambers open for comment,  one participant inquired as to what funding  procedures are in place regarding the City's participation in the upcoming UBCM meetings in Vancouver, as well as what other sessions the City attends during the year.

He also had an inquiry regarding whether a statement on the money spent to attend those sessions is available to the public. And whether it's part of the Statement of Financial information.

The Mayor advised that they would have City Staff get that information for him.

( 4:00--6:00 )With the Committee of the Whole Meeting then adjourned, the Mayor put forward for adoption the agenda and past minutes for this current Regular Session of Council

Reports and Recommendations

(6:00 - 9:00 )A request and recommendation for a Variance Permit on  8th Avenue East -- Mr Krekic provided his report and outlined the nature of the request  in front of Council. Council had no comments on the request and it was adopted.

( 9:00--21:00) A request and recommendation for a Variance Permit on Edwards Avenue-- Mr. Krekic again provided a report and outlined the nature of the request in front of Council. Council inquired as to a few items of concern regarding the request, but in the end adopted it.

The review of  the application however did lead to a larger discussion on the nature of housing in the community in the future with the prospect of growth in the years to come. Councillor Ashley thanked Mr. Krekic and staff for the report he provided for Council.

Councillor Thorkelson then suggested that Council may wish to have a workshop in the fall or next spring as to where the City is going to go regarding housing in the community, calling to the council's attention the sudden change in the city's vacancy rate.

She outlined how she would like to see council examine what options they may have moving forward on the topic of Housing in the community. She suggested that the City needs to examine what kind of density and style of housing the City may wish to see in the community as the population increases.

Mr. Krekic outlined the nature of some inquiries he has received on the topic of housing developments in the community.

The Mayor advised that staff has been directed to examine in the fall the impact of growth for the community and what Council needs to consider on that theme.

( 21:00 -- 22:00 ) Report from the Deputy Corporate Administrator regarding an appointment to the SQCRD Board -- Mrs. Bomben outlined the nature of the appointment of Mayor Mussallem to the Board and the background of it.

( 22:00-- 25:30) Report from the Engineering Coordinator regarding the proposal to use Chipping Waste at the Landfill site -- Mr. Long provided some background on the issue, providing details on what is involved and some of the issues that have arisen from the proposal.  While staff recommended that a study should go ahead, Mrs. Bomben did advise that a late review of the issue from a consultant did not recommend that the City used that process,  suggesting concerns over  the prospect of spontaneous combustion and other issues should the project move forward. The recommendation was to continue with the current process employed at the landfill site and to not proceed further with the chipping waste proposal. Council then accepted Mr. Long's report and filed it.

Correspondences for Action

( 25:30-26:30) A memo from the Administrative Assistant, that Council advise if they will be attending the UBCM meetings in September in Vancouver.  Councillor Ashley advised that  it would be easier on staff if Council could advise as to their travel arrangements as soon as possible. Councillor Thorkelson advised that she would not be attending those sessions, as she had vacations scheduled at that time.

(26:30 - 27:00Resolutions from Closed Meetings

Mrs. Bomben outlined that a resolution from the Closed meeting outlined that Council had adopted a resolution that the Atlin Avenue property for Transition House be redeveloped as residential use, at a higher density strata subdivision.

Report from the City Manager on Outstanding City Initiatives

27:00-30:30 ) Mr. Long provided an update on a number of initiatives of the Recreation Department, including a number of maintenance projects with the Recreation Department. The finance department has converted to a new banking system, the city is taking over book keeping for Tourism Prince Rupert.

He thanked the city's taxpayers for making their payments by the July 2nd deadline.

The Engineering Department has a number of projects underway, the Liquid Waste Management project of interest to Council and there is some paving taking place in the community. The City is looking to improve front counter service at the customer level, work is taking place at City Hall on the outside walls and work continues on with the 9th Avenue East rehabilitation project, though no actual date for completion could be provided to Council.

He also advised that the Civc Gardening schedule continues to kept up both at City Hall and elsewhere, painting of crosswalks  and yellow lines around town continues as well.

( 30:30 - 38:00 ) Questions from Council - Councillor Ashley asked if Council could inquire if the paving projects by the Ministry will include the intersections in the community that are feeling the brunt of the heavy traffic use in the city. Mr. Long advised that he has had some discussions with the new Regional Manager from the Ministry and would inquire further on the topic.

Councillor Ashley followed up with concerns expressed by the public over the issue of that truck traffic that is rolling through the city, particularly with the current rate of speed that the trucks are travelling on.  She wondered if they could have a special speed limit put in place for trucks driving down the main roads of travel.

Councillor Thorkelson echoed Councillor Ashley's concerns and outlined her own observations on the flow of traffic through the downtown region. Councillor Garon also suggested that pedestrians and other drivers could be more vigilant while on the streets.

The City Manager then outlined his past experience on the theme, suggesting there may be some resistance from the Ministry of Transportation on it, but considering the mix of traffic through the middle of town they may entertain a change in speed.

The Mayor suggested that Council  put forward a motion to have the Ministry of Transportation investigate the issue further and perhaps look for enhanced enforcement.  Councillor Ashley put forward that motion, which was then adopted by Council.

38:00 - 43:30 ) A report from the City Manager on two planning and priorities issues, one the long term planning process on the issue of liquid waste management and the challenges ahead for the community in implementing it.  He outlined that there would be an ongoing dialogue with the Ministry, based on new Federal regulations. It will be a long term planning process and will require a significant financial investment by the community to implement, estimated at 130 million dollars, making it a significant financial burden for the city.

He then discussed the nature of the City's water system and the need for repairs to the aging infrastructure, he advised that current estimates for improving it are estimated to be at 30 million dollars.  Of immediate concern for the city are the water lines, crossings and dam, all of which will require repairs.  That will be something for council to consider moving forward and how the City may wish to finance those infrastructure requirements.

He stressed the importance of working together to bring them into place, the two being perhaps the longest term issues (up to 30 to 40 years) that they will be facing.

Reports, Questions and Inquires from members of Council

(43:30- 50:30) Councillor Ashley raised another issue on safety, in particular a concern from some residents over the nature of youngsters skateboarding in the community, outlining that the current situation could be an accident looking to happen. She suggested having the RCMP provide an informational campaign regarding the situation, though she admitted that it poses an enforcement problems for the RCMP.  She recounted a few instances she has heard of and one of her own that spurred her on to the theme of her issue.

The Mayor suggested that they seek advice from the RCMP, the Recreation Department and the School District as to how best address the issue.

The City Manager relayed some of his thoughts on the issue and the need to re-inforce the need for safe riding for the youngsters of the community.

Councillor Carlick-Pearson recounted some of the observations she made at an ICBC workshop in Victoria last year and what Council might learn from that. She also suggested that Council seek out some sort of funding to provide helmets for children in the community that can't afford them

Council then put forward a motion to ask Staff to talk with the RCMP about a strategy for an educational campaign to create awareness on skateboarders using the roadways.

Council adopted that motion.

(50:30- 52:30 ) Councillor Carlick-Pearson had questions about jurisdiction over Taylor Lake and how the City could approach the District of Port Edward about how to address the issue of a group of regular campers that have taken over that region, mainly at the expense of those seeking a safe location for public family use.

The City Manager said he would investigate it further.

( 52:30--53:30 ) Councillor Kinney asked if the City would contact whoever is responsible regarding the two speed indicator signs  at each end of the city, he recounted complaints from the community that the signs don't always work. The Mayor said that the City Manager would inquire further on that issue

( 53:30--1:05:30 ) Councillor Thorkelson also had an issue on roads to bring to the attention of Council, outlining concerns she has received about the dust on the road to the Pinnacle Pellet Plant. The Mayor advised that the city had made a request that the road be watered in that region to minimize the dust levels, they would inquire again to see if that was taking place.

She then outlined her thoughts on UBCM resolutions, suggesting that the City seek funding or other provincial assistance through the upcoming UBCM meetings in September, to address the many environmental assessments that cities face regarding current development plans.

She recommended that the City make that a resolution for consideration at the September meeting.

Council adopted that motion.

She also had a question if the letter Council recommended be written to the Federal and Provincial governments regarding Environmental Assessment concerns had been mailed, she was advised that it had but that the City has not received a reply as of yet.

She recounted her observations from the BG Group workshop on their proposed LNG project on Ridley Island, she said that it was informative but she had concerns over the scope of the material that the City would be expected to comment on during the course of the proceedings. She took issue with the concept that those sessions are considered consultations.

She did acknowledge that BG has offered to hold a workshop with the City regarding their project, similar to one they have held with Port Edward Council. She suggested that it would be something that the City should take the BG Group up on.

Councillor Carlick-Pearson echoed many of Councillor Thorkelson's concerns over the process involved and recounted some of her thoughts and concerns over the sessions that are being held in the community.

She wondered if the organizers could allow more than one representative from the City to attend the working group sessions for better information gathering on behalf of the City.

Councillor Ashley also had thoughts on the topic, outlining the need for the City to have access to some assistance for these processes, she suggested that the City consult with other groups in the community to seek out a common approach to the working sessions.

The Mayor suggested that perhaps they could approach the regional district to coordinate that aspect of the proposal.

( 1:05:30 - 1:08:00The Mayors Report

The Mayor provided a greeting to cruise ship passengers along with two members of the RCMP.

Supported the Area A crab fishermen at an information session in front of the DFO office. He recounted his concerns over the DFO decisions that have impacted on that fishery and in the community.

He along with Councillor Garon participated in the unveiling of new canning line interpretive signage at the North Pacific Cannery Museum.

He along with the Special Events Society participated in the Canada Day celebrations and provided a greeting on behalf of City Council.

He participated in a July 4th Goodwill trip to Ketchikan along with members of the Prince Rupert Port Authority and Ridley Terminals. In attendance with the delegation were Councillors Kinney and Garon, as well as members of the RCMP and Marine Rescue Group members .

With that the Mayor brought the session to a close.

You can access the City Council Review page for July 8th here, where a number of items regarding the council session, including media coverage of it can be found.

As always, consult with the official minutes from the City, when posted to the website for further review.

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