Tuesday, April 15, 2014

City Council Timeline, Monday, April 14, 2014

Prince Rupert Council kept the Monday session to just under the two hour mark, as they once again tackled items of Budget planning, which as events would provide for is a process that appears to have put them back at the starting line.

Before the night would come to an end, Council heard a presentation from the Prince Rupert LNG group, outlining the progress and steps ahead for their LNG project for Lelu Island.

As well Council addressed zoning issues and requests for a letter of support among some of their discussions on  the night.

Of note was Council's work on their Budget planning for 2014, with Council defeating the previously approved motion on the Taxation plan for 2014, with a 3-3 split. A result which sends the process on to a Special Council meeting set for Wednesday.

Prior to the Monday night public session, Council continued on with the common theme of the last year  that of the "closed session" of Council.

With Council once again sitting in a closed session earlier in the evening.

The background of  the evening can found on the Regular Council Agenda of the night.

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

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

In Attendance April 14 , 2014

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

Video Archive for April 14, 2014 (be warned the audio quality is very poor for this meeting)

( 0:00-3:00 ) The Mayor asked for the Regular Session to be convened and the adoption of the agenda for the session and past minutes of previous council sessions. With a correction made to the minutes of the April 1st Special Council Session

Petitions and Delegations from the Regular Council session

( 3:00--18:30 ) A Presentation from Ms.Tessa Gill and Mr. Derek Baker with an overview of the status of the Petronas Pacific Northwest LNG project for Lelu Island. She outlined the timeline process once final go ahead would be given.

Following that, she offered up a review of the Environmental Process, both Federal and Provincial.

From that there was a brief overview of what the LNG plant would look like and some of the changes they have made after consultation with the community.

On the theme of job opportunities, Ms. Gill outlined that not all of the opportunities available will required a trade, with up to half of the potential jobs to be available would be ones which Pacific Northwest Gas would provide training for.

She reviewed the recent open houses that they have held in the community in recent months and the response that those sessions have received. As for Community involvement, Ms. Gill outlined the past contributions to the community and advised that they were seeking further input from the community as to where they could direct those efforts further.

Councillor Ashley inquired as to how community members could apply for funding, she was advised that they should contact the Pacific Northwest Office to learn more about the process.

Councillor Thorkelson asked about the process of providing comments on the Environmental Assessment and where copies of the document could be found.  She was advised to consult their website for links to the EA documentation and that a copy is also available at the Library.

Councillor Thorkelson then inquired about the nature of dredging for the project, stating that it was a concern of many in the community. She was advised of the process involved and the rules that govern it.

Councillor Cunningham inquired about the regulations of marine traffic infrastructure as part of the project.

(18:30--20:15) Unfinished Business -- An update on the circumstances of Watson Island.

The Mayor outlined the city's position on the development of the industrial site and its current status in regard to maintenance issues. He then offered some background on the arrangement with Watson Island Development Company and the circumstances on the recently disclosed end of negotiations for purchase.

The Mayor observed that it was unfortunate that the Watson Island Development Company could not complete their arrangement to purchase Watson Island, and was never able to obtain a remediation plan approved by the Government of British Columbia.

He further advised that the City of Prince Rupert is now talking to other interested parties in purchasing the property and re-developing it.

He went over the City's desire to continue in its objective to sell the property, return it to the tax roll and have it create local employment.

With that he concluded his comments on the theme.

Reports and Recommendations

(20:15--23:45 ) Report from the Engineering Coordinator on an encroachment agreement for a property on Ambrose Avenue-- The City's Engineering coordinator provided a overview of the subject.  Councillor Cunningham inquired if other property owners in the area had an encroachment agreement with the City, he was advised that those are reviewed as they come up. Council passed the motion.

(23:45--26:15 ) Report from the Engineering Coordinator on a request for proposal study on a Raw Water Supply.  With a recommendation to award it to L and M Engineering.  Mr. Pucci, provided some background on the project and the factors that led to staff recommending L and M Engineering for the study.

Councillor Ashley offered some thoughts on the infrastructure involved in the process and the need to move forward on it.  Council passed the motion.

(26:15--28:00 ) Report from the Economic Development Officer on a request for a letter of support for a Dry Dock proposal--  The Mayor outlined the nature of that request and the reason it was back in front of Council, with that explanation provided, and some background on the thoughts of McLeans shipyard on the issue, Council then voted to provide the letter of support.

( 27:45--32:00 ) Report from the City Administrator on the nature of an invitation to attend a celebratory event in Japan from Prince Rupert's sister city of Owase, Japan. -- Council chose to receive and file the request and to write a letter of regret to the Mayor of Owase outlining why in these economic times, Prince Rupert cannot attend. As well it was suggested that the city provide a small gift of acknowledgement of their celebration. Council passed that motion.

(32:00--45:00 ) Report from the Corporate Administrator a request from Lighthouse Ministries for a Grant in Aid-- Mr. Mandryk provided the review of the situation and the steps that Council should take to address it. Advising that there is no provision to add them to the Grant in Aid process for this year, offering up some of the different options that the City has suggested to the organization.

Council members then discussed the process of the Grant in Aid situation and reviewed some scenarios that they could approach to lend assistance to the Ministry. Sending the issue to city staff to offer further guidance to council.

Correspondences for Action

(45:00--49:30) Proclamation request to declare April 28th a Day of Mourning in the City of Prince Rupert. Councillor Thorkelson offered some background on the importance of the day to the Labour movement. Council adopted the motion to make the proclamation.  Councillor Ashely made some suggestions as to how Council might be able to raise awareness to the issue

(49:30--51:30 ) Proclamation that Council declare April 14th as Cemetery Day in the City of Prince Rupert. Council then discussed some of the need for volunteers to help with the Cemetery clean up project.

Resolulions from Closed Meeting

(51:30--53:30) The Corporate Administrator outlined the names of members of the Prince Rupert Airport Board and the length of their terms.

The Corporate Administrator also outlined the names of the members of the City's Recreation Commission.


Council then moved on to By-Laws for consideration on the evening.

( 53:30--57:00 ) Zoning Amendment Bylaw --- A request for an amendment For a property on Sixth 
Avenue West.  -- Mr. Krekic outlined the background the proposal and some of the main points of consideration for council. Councillor Ashley asked questions regarding parking requirements from the revised plan. Councillor Cunningham outlined some of his findings from talking with the neighbours of the proposal. Council adopted the motion and gave first reading to the bylaw and instructed staff to begin the process of notification.

(57:00--1:24:00 ) Property Tax Bylaw 3347,2014 -- The Mayor asked the City's Financial Officer to provide a review of the Bylaw which Council was about to vote on. She outlined some of the other taxation requirements from the bylaw, such as Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District,  The Hospital District and the Northwest Regional Hospital District.

Council members then spoke to the issue of the Tax Bylaw, with a fair amount of discussion taking place about the nature of taxation provided to the three Regional aspects of the bylaw requirements.

As part of the discussion, Councillor Thorkelson observed  how the City has been making strides to hold their costs down, while some of the Regional aspects have benefited from the City's contributions. She also repeated her position in favour of the Tax Bylaw as developed on April 1st.

The Mayor then reviewed some of the City's recent struggles with a drop in population and revenues but infrastructure concerns that must be addressed. He then touched on the Budget Approval Process and some of his concerns regarding Community Enhancement Grants and how they impact on their planning.

From there he outlined his concerns with the reach of Regional District and the amount of money that the City of Prince Rupert is expected to provide to fund its operation.

He then touched on the concerns that he has heard from city residents regarding property taxation.

Councillor Ashley offered up some review on the developments at Regional District and some of the parameters of their work and the nature of the way it is set up.  She offered up some insight as to the nature of the costs that the organization is deal with and how the process of discussion on those issues takes place.

Following up on some comments from Councillor Cunningham, the Mayor then returned to a theme of past council sessions on the nature of a more regional approach to services, such as the Airport, Transportation and even Regional Policing. Stating that the status quo is not satisfactory.

Councillor Cunningham compared the Regional District situation to that of the Port, which he said was a case of Prince Rupert getting short changed.

Councillor Thorkelson then provided some background an information sheet on access for tax deferments and assistance. It was suggested that the website be included in the city's tax package that is delivered to homes.

Councillor Garon outlined why she was in favour of the current tax bylaw as outlined previous.

With that the vote was taken, with a split of 3-3.

From there Mr. Long advised that the motion did not pass and that Council would have to reconvene in session to find a compromise by the deadline.

The issue would be revisited on Wednesday, where first, second and third reading would take place. That would then require a subsequent meeting to take place to pass the Bylaw.

Councillor Ashley suggested that staff make contact with the vacationing Councillor Carlick-Pearson to try and attend by phone for Wednesday's meeting, offering up the opinion that it would be best if all seven council members were to participate in the session.

Reports, Questions and Inquiries from Members of Council

(1:24:00--1:30:00 ) Councillor Thorkelson offered up some more background on Housing grants that could be available to the community and asked that the information be posted to the city's website.

(1:30:00--1:30:30 ) Councillor Cunningham requested that a representative of CityWest come to Council to address some concerns he has heard about Internet service in the community.

(1:30:30--1:31:00 )  Councillor Cunningham then asked if staff had made any progress on his request for information on the Seal Cove Apartments.

(1:31:00--1:33:00 ) Councillor Garon inquired about work to be done on 17th Street and what the timeline may be for completion.

(1:33:00--1:34:00 )  Councillor Cunningham asked if Staff could keep Council informed on the nature of these large scale civic projects.

(1:34:00--1:34:30) Councillor Ashley asked if the Outdoor Tennis courts were in operation now.

( 1:34:30--1:37:00 ) Councillor Garon echoed Councillor Cunningham's request for more information regarding city projects and the progress of them. Mr. Long outlined that they are hoping to have a computer based program in place to help Council members stay up to date on projects. Councillor Cunningham suggested that it is a case of the transparency that council hears so much about and that it would be an assist to council to have more access to project development timelines.

(1:37:00--1:38:00 ) Councillor Ashley then returned to the theme of their Budget Planning ahead following the Wednesday session,  with the second opportunity to be Tuesday the 22nd for the follow up session.

( 1:38:00-- 1:47:00 The Mayor's Report

The Mayor attended a meeting with Consul General of Japan and other representatives, who were visiting the city.

The Mayor outlined that Transport Canada has approved a 10 million dollar runway improvement project for the Airport. He also outlined that passenger numbers have increased from last year.

He attended a Western Transportation Advisory Council meeting.

He attended a meeting forecasting marine use of Prince Rupert Harbour and other issues regarding transportation issues in the harbour.

He attended an Open House held by BG Group on their proposed development in the city and the Environmental Assessment issues process that is ahead for it.

He attended a recognition service for the Princess Patricia Light Infantry Regiment.

He outlined that the Airport had received approval for their 7 million dollar improvement project loan.

The Mayor advised that residents will be able to use their Spring Clean up coupon for landfill tipping as of May 1st. The access to the landfill with the coupon is good until mid June.

The Mayor met with representatives of Woodside Energy who are considering development of an LNG facility, they were visiting the region to look over their recently acquired property at Grassy Point.

The Mayor attended an Alaska Marine Highway Scheduling meeting.

He attended another LNG Open House, this one hosted by Pacific Northwest LNG.

H hosted a tour group of 100 railway hobbyists who were here to commemorate the completion of the the Grand Trunk Railroad.

He attended a tour of Lelu Island hosted by Pacific Northwest LNG, as well as taking a tour of the Railroad Utility corridor on Ridley Island.

He attended the opening of a business Central office facility, which offers business facilities on a rental basis.

He provided a greeting to the City of Terrace celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the arrival of railway trains in the region.

The Mayor outlined how the City of Prince Rupert Recreation Department is looking to partner with local businesses with advertising opportunities through their recreation guide.

The Mayor then outlined how Pacific Northwest LNG is seeking local residents to register with their office for potential job opportunities with their organization.

You can access the City Council Review page for April 14th here, where a number of items regarding the council session, including links to 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.

Minutes Regular Council Session from April 14, 2014 

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