Wednesday, May 14, 2014

City Council Timeline, Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday provided for one of the shorter work loads for Council of recent weeks, with Council dispatching of their business in just over an hours time.

With the weighty issues of Financial planning now behind them, Council returned to some of the day to day items that make for their usual routine, with zoning questions and the receiving of reports making for much of the night's work.

Monday's session featured a Public Hearing regarding  the re-development of a property on Sixth Avenue West.

Council also received a report from the City's Financial Officer who outlined the nature of the audited financial statements.

Council also addressed a number of issues brought up by Council members, among them Social Housing concerns, issues regarding the Pinnacle Pellet Plant and concerns over the Taylor Lake recreation site.

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 May 12, 2014

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

Video Archive for May 12, 2014 

( 0:00-20:30 ) The Mayor opened the evening session with a call for the Public Hearing regarding a property on Sixth Avenue West.  City Planner Zeno Krekic outlined the background for the project for those in attendance.  Included in the review, a look at some of the concerns expressed to the City planning department, the bulk of which appeared to be involve parking issues.

Councillor Cunningham inquired as to some of the planned modifications to the building in question.

Councillor Carlick-Pearson offered up some of her observations on the topic and didn't have many concerns over parking issues and heralded the improvement to the neighbourhood that the proponent has already provide for with his other projects.

Following those conversations, the Mayor took the process to the public for further commentary on the amendment bylaw.

Of those who spoke to the issue on the night, concerns over the parking issue dominated the discussion, as participants spoke to worries over congestion in the designated parking areas of the proposed re-development.

Some also added their comments in favour of the project, observing as to the improvements to the neighbourhood from the recent re-developments in the area.

With the public participation phase of the Public Hearing complete, Council moved on to it's regular Agenda for the night.

(20:30 - 24:00 ) The Mayor opened the Regular Session, providing for the adoption of the Agenda and the reading of past minutes into the record.

 Reports and Recommendations

(24:00-- 27:00 ) A Report from the City Financial Officer, providing a review of the 2013 Audited Financial Statement --  Ms. Bomben outlined the main points from the Financial Statement received from the City's auditors, highlighting some of the key items from that review.

She opened her review with an examination of the City's financial balance sheet, with the City benefiting from receipt of 2.1 million dollars in revenue from the Prince Rupert Port Corporation.

She offered up some background on some of the expenses and revenue streams that are included in the Statement.

The Mayor then made some observations on some of the income received by the City and how it indicates improving economic prospects.

Council then was asked to receive the report.


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

( 27:00-28:00 ) Zoning Amendment Bylaw 3346,2014 A conversion project on Sixth Avenue West--  Council gave third reading  and adopted the amendment.

( 28:00-30:30 ) Application for a Development Variance Permit for the Sixth Avenue West proposal -- A review of the requirements of the Variance Permit.

Councillor Thorkelson reviewed some of the concerns from the Public Hearing as to where the parking provisions would be for the property.

Councillor Ashley inquired as to the nature of the Permit under consideration.

Council approved the motion for the Permit.

(30:30-- 31:00 ) Application for a Multi-Family Development Variance Permit for the same property on Sixth Avenue West-- With the recommendation that Council issue the Permit.

Reports, Questions and Inquiries from Members of Council

(31:00--31:30) Councillor Ashley asked that Staff contact the Airport to update their website and the information on it.

( 31:30--46:30 ) Councillor Thorkelson called attention to the issue of Homelessness in the community. Recounting some of her observations on the situation through her work at the Fisherman's Hall. She reviewed the current situation run through the Salvation Army at Raffles and wanted to stress the need to address the issue now, even before many of the high profile development projects have started up.

She reviewed some of the past discussions that Council has had with BC Housing and the provisions for new social housing that they had suggested to Council.  She also reviewed her concerns over the issue of the previous tear downs of social housing by BC Housing.

In addition to that concern, she provided some background on the high profile situation of one wheel chair bound resident, Mr. Gordon who has not been able to find acceptable accommodations.

She suggested that Council needs to impress upon BC Housing as to the need for improved housing for those currently struggling to find accommodation in the community, cautioning that Prince Rupert does not want to find itself in the same kind of situation as what has developed in the Downtown East Side of Vancouver.

The Mayor provided an update on the current status of Mr. Gordon's accommodation status.

Councillor Thorkelson then asked that Council write a sternly worded letter expressing the need for supportive housing and highlighting the loss of low cost housing.  Seeking a meeting with Provincial ministries, BC Housing and CMHC to see what they could provide in the way of low cost and supportive housing in the community.

Councillor Kinney also provided an update and some background on Mr. Gordon's situation.

Councillor Cunningham offered up his observations on the topic and suggested that the once again seek out further background from BC Housing on what the City needs to do to improve the situation.

Councillor Ashley provided some thoughts on the theme as well, exploring some of the concerns regarding the current process of accessing social housing for the community.  Suggesting that Council put together a resolution for the Fall UBCM meeting, asking that they look at a new formula for how BC Housing creates units for local government.

The Mayor provided some background on how social and supportive housing is accessed in other parts of the Country.

Councillor Ashley then drew attention to the Province having sold land to LNG companies for development and suggested that some of those funds should be put towards these types of social issues in the community.

Councillor Thorkelson suggested that Council try to reinforce on BC Housing officials as to what the requirements in Prince Rupert are when it comes to Non-Profit Housing, wondering why they could tear down units as they have and not replace them.

(46:30--47:30 ) Councillor Carlick-Pearson had a question for staff as to the status of the Patty Hutcheon Memorial.   Ms. Bomben advised that the topic had been handed over to the Recreation Department for further action.

(47:30 -- 55:00 ) Councillor Cunningham raised the issue of the Pinnacle Pellet Plant and the ongoing complaints from those living in proximity to it. Highlighting the concerns of six particular complaints in the last 48 hours.  Calling the "poster project of the Port" a nightmare.  He observed that residents have become very frustrated with the process of approaching the company with their concerns.

He recommended that Pinnacle Pellet Officals be called to Council to address the issue, or hold a public forum on the topic. He expressed his thoughts on how the company believes it is above everyone and stated that it was time to bring the issue to a resolution.

Council voted to invited Pinnacle Pellet to make a presentation to Council and to address the concerns of the residents of the area.

Councillor Ashley also suggested that the company answer questions from the gallery, the Mayor suggested that the two parties might be better served with a private meeting following their presentation.

Councillor Cunningham again stressed his thought that a public meeting may be required, as residents in the area are getting more and more frustrated on the issue.

The Mayor recounted some of his discussions with the Port on the topic of Pinnacle Pellet.

Councillor Thorkelson reminded council as to some of the proposals for observation on the plant that the Port had said that they would put in place. She suggested that the Port also be asked as to the status of those monitoring options that they were planning to make use of.

The Mayor passed along some of his observations on the nature of the concerns in the area and how it could be part of the commissioning phase of the development.

Councillor Thorkelson returned to her thoughts on the need for more oversight on the project when it comes to the concerns of the community.

Councillor Ashley then suggested that perhaps any residents that have concerns that they e mail the Council members with those concerns and council could perhaps provide that feedback at the presentation session.

The motion was adopted

( 55:00--56:00 ) Councillor Kinney had a question regarding some pothole remediation on Fraser Street near the Senior's Centre.  The City Administrator provided an update on the timetable for that project.

( 56:00--59:30 )  Councillor Carlick-Pearson offered up some thoughts on the status of the Taylor Lake park area and the use of the recreation area by RV users.  She suggested that Council approach Port Edward to seek out some relief on the issue.

The Mayor suggested a motion to both Port Edward and the Province, asking that there be no overnight stays allowed at that particular recreation site. If required, a session with Port Edward Council could be asked for to discuss the issue further.

Councillor Ashley also suggested that it may be a larger issue should the economy improve, with those looking to move to the community perhaps making use of that area on a semi-permanent basis, the move to limit the use there could be pre-emptive for that prospect.

( 59:30-- 1:04:00 The Mayor's Report

The Mayor attended the National Aboriginal Business Opportunities Conference held in the city.  He outlined some of the background on the event.

He and Councillor Ashley both participated in the first meeting of the newly Formed Recreation Commission.

He participated in the Cemetery Day Clean Up operation with a work party of 10-12 volunteers.

He outlined some background on the All Native Basketball Tournament and the financial impact that it has for the city.

He and Councillor Cunningham outlined his attendance at the Seniors Pancake Breakfast.

The Mayor provided an overview of the North Central Local Government Association convention, providing some background on the three day event and the Prince Rupert delegation's participation in it. Councillors Garon, Ashley and Kinney also attended the convention with the Mayor.

On behalf of Councillor Cunningham, the Mayor attended the Northwest Regional Hospital District meeting where an update on the Haida Gwaii hospital project at Queen Charlotte City. The Mayor also outlined discussions on the planned repairs of the floor for the MRI unit at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital.

The Mayor also advised that he would be approaching the local medical community, in consideration of seeking out more medical professionals for Prince Rupert.

With that Council adjourned their meeting for the night.

You can access the City Council Review page for May 12th 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 May 12, 2014 

Minutes of Public Hearing from May 12, 2013

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