Monday, June 2, 2014

City Council Timeline, Monday, May 26, 2014

It took about a week for the City to post its video account of Monday's session to the newly renovated City Website.

Thus, our accounts of the work of the Mayor and Council for this week is a tad delayed from our usual turn around period.

The most recent archive of city business finally found its way to the city's online portal by Friday afternoon, and with our ability to highlight segments of the council session now available, on with the review.

Council opened up Monday's proceedings with a Committee of the Whole Session, an opportunity for local residents to ask questions of Council on any topic that is of concern to them. Three different topics were explored over the thirty minutes of community participation.

Following the Committee of the Whole Council moved on to its Regular business, with a presentation from Spectra Energy starting things off.

Following that presentation, Council heard details of a donation of equipment by the Prince Rupert Minor Hockey Association to provide a Zamboni for the city's use at the Civic Centre.

Council set up its roster of Elections officers and received a report on the publication of the City's Annual report.

Council also outlined details from its closed door session of the day, reviewing its plans to move some of its newly acquired land by way of the boundary expansion towards industrial use, with the prospect of perhaps developing a parcel across from Seal Cove as an LNG terminal.

The session wrapped up with the City's Councillors outlining some concerns they have heard from the public on a number of topics, with the Mayor delivering his regular report to bring the session to a close.

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 26, 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 26, 2014 

( 0:00-1:30 ) The Mayor opened the Evening Session, providing for the adoption of the Committee of the Whole Agenda and the reading of past minutes into the record.

( 1:30--31:00 ) Committee of the Whole Session -- Participants spoke on the topic of found bicycles in the community and an request that any that are found in Prince Rupert be provided to a non-profit group that would make them available to those in need.

A second topic for the Committee of the Whole was a presentation on the Salmonberry Market which takes place at the Prince Rupert Court House lawn. Representatives of the Market asked for permission to use the power at the Court House for PA purposes on their market day. Mr. Long was tasked to address their request.

Councillor Ashley asked a question how those interested in reaching the Salmonberry Market organizers could do so.

One resident had questions regarding her concerns over the ongoing disappearance of trees in the city's downtown area. During her presentation she called attention to the City Quality of Life aspects of the Community Plan and the need to protect natural areas of the city.

Councillors Ashley, Garon, Thorkelson and Kinney followed up with some comments and questions on the topic. Suggesting that at the moment the concern would probably not be a high priority for council, but suggesting that perhaps consulting with the Heritage Society, or other residents with similar concerns could help in moving the issue forward.

A final approach from a resident addressed a previous request from Council to seek their assistance in order to communicate directly with the Premier on issues of social concern to him. That previous request had been denied by Council, however Councillor Ashely did provide some suggestions as to how he might wish to put those concerns to the Premier by using other communication access points.

Following that presentation Council adjourned the Committee of the Whole session and moved on to its Regular Agenda.

 (31:00--33:00 ) Adoption of Minutes and Agenda for the Regular Session, with an additional resolution and recommendation to be considered.

Presentations to Council

(33:00--49:00 ) A Representative of Spectra Energy with an update on their Natural Gas Transmission project -- Graham Genge, The Community Co-ordiantor for Spectra Energy outlined the progress of the West Coast Connector Gas Transmission project that would serve the BG LNG terminal proposed for Ridley Island.

Included in the review of the latest stages of the pipeline development was an update on the community engagement projects that Spectra is putting in place for the North Coast.

Following the presentation, some members of Council offered up some observations and asked questions.

Leading off was Councillor Ashley who inquired as to what kind of community activities Spectra was looking to provide assistance with in the community.  She also asked if Spectra had any program or opportunities for the City to access funding for community requirements, pointing to the Zamboni issue at the Civic Centre.

Councillor Thorkelson had questions and concerns regarding a transmission corridor and the impact those corridors may have on salmon bearing streams.

Councillor Carlick-Pearson asked for a bit of background on the Spectra website and how community groups could access their grant and funding proposals.

 Reports and Recommendations

49:00-- 50:30  ) Report from the Corporate Administrator regarding an encroachment agreement -- Background on the agreement between the City and a property owner on 10th Avenue East.

(50:30--55:30 ) Report from the Recreation Consultant regarding the purchase of a Zamboni Ice Surfacing machine by the Prince Rupert Minor Hockey Association, which would make it available to the recreation department for use at the Civic Centre.  Mr. Long expanded on the topic.

Councillor Carlick-Pearson inquired as to the terms of the agreement.

The Mayor recommended that the City provide a letter of thanks to the Minor Hockey Association for their generous assistance to the city.

Councillor Thorkelson then asked a number of questions on the troubles regarding the City owned resurfacing machine which was only eight years old. The Mayor provided some background on the ongoing maintenance issues of the machine.

Councillor Ashley also provided some background from information received at the Recreation Commission level about the issues of the machine in question and the trouble in accessing proper mechanical service for it.

She also outlined how the new machine to be purchased by Prince Rupert Minor Hockey would be able to be serviced locally if required.

Councillor Garon asked that staff provide a report on the maintenance problems of the old machine.

Councillor Cunningham asked whether the new machine was electric or propane.

Councillor Carlick-Pearson asked as to the fate of the old machine, the Mayor advised that the eight year old machine would be sold off, leaving the City with its original Zamboni and the one to be purchased by PRMHA.

(55:30--58:30 ) Report from the City's Chief Financial Officer on the Annual Report -- Ms. Bomben provided some background on the features of the 2014 Annual Report. As part of her review she outlined that the date for the annual public meeting regarding the Annual report would take place on June 23rd, with copies of the report available on the city's website and at City Hall.

The Mayor thanked her for her work on the Annual Report and praised the document for its overview of the city's operations.

Councillor Ashley suggested that the document is a good guide for residents to review to see what the city is doing.

The Mayor outlined how members of the public were welcome to attend the June 23rd meeting and provide their comments on the document at that time.

(58:30--59:30) Report from the City's Deputry Chief Election Officer -- Council heard background and a request to receive and file a report on the nature of a failure to declare election financial statements, Council received the report on the status of a former council candidate who has since passed away.

( 59:30--1:00:50 )  Report from the City Manager on the Appointment of Election Officers for the 2014 election
-- Council approved the appointments of Tanya Ostrom and Rory Mandryk to their positions.

Correspondences for Action

(1:00:50--1:01:50 ) A Proclamation request from the SPARC of BC to have the City declare June 7th Access Day in the City of Prince Rupert. Mr. Long provided some background on the topic.

(1:01:50--1:08:30 ) A Letter from Mr. Antonio d'Emanuele, an Art Teacher at Charles Hays Secondary School for a street Art stencil project-- With the request that Council review the letter and direct staff accordingly. Mr. Long provided background on the project which would see the Charles Hays class provide some street art for the skateboard park location.  The Mayor asked Council to decide if they wished to deal with the request or forward it to the Recreation Commission.

Council moved to forward it to the Recreation Commission, with Councillor Thorkelson offering some thoughts on the topic and then her support towards the project.

Councillor Ashley also provided her support for the project, but had concerns over the tight timeline of the project, asking as to the process of the Recreation Commission decision and if it would require another vote by Council.  She recommended that the Recreation commission decision should be the final decision on the issue.

Councillor Garon had concerns about previous work at the skateboard being covered up and asked that concern be looked at.

Councillor Ashley suggested that the topic could be part of the Recreation Commission deliberations on the request.

Councillor Carlick-Pearson outlined a discrepancy in the Recreation Commission calendar and the working date that Council was discussing of the 30th. It was determined that the Recreation Commision would be meeting on the 28th.

Resolutions from the Closed Council Meeting

(1:08:30--1:16:00 )  The City's Corporate Administrator outlined the items that were to be released from the City's Closed council session-- Mr. Mandyrk provided background from the closed session regarding a proposed section of District Lot 444 and released information regarding the proponents proposal.

Included in that review was information that the City instruct the  (newly created) Legacy Corporation, following payment by the LNG proponent into the Legacy Corporation and have the Legacy Corporation hire on behalf of the city and as requested by the city, an environmental engineer to be commissioned by Legacy Corporation, regarding all air and watershed concerns surrounding District Lot 444 and any proposed uses by the proponent.

Councillor Ashley then asked that a summary of the resolutions on the Lot 444 provisions be provided to Council.

City Manager Long then provided that wider overview of the topic for Council:

Explaining how the resolution from Closed session was to advise the community that the Province of British Columbia had included Lot 444 in the municipal boundaries and that as part of the City's overall economic strategy and subsequent zoning for its ultimate use, the City of Prince Rupert has done a number of things with respect to that property.

One would be to transfer the lot in question to a fully city owned company (to be known as the Legacy Corporation) and then to proceed to zone the property for purpose of use of the land, following procedures from the Community Charter which requires all proceeds from the sale of land to go back into the land fund, which is why the City has proposed the independent wholly owned corporation to hold the property.

Subsequently the city is presenting the possibility of using the land with proponents Imperial Oil Resources Ltd. and Exxon Mobil Canada, under an investigative option to determine the suitability for their  intent and purposes.

That process would include, zoning of the parcel, public process that will determine if the proponent can progress, investigations into the potential of an export LNG facility subject to government and regulatory approvals.

At the time of that requested zoning change, the public would be further advised as to the purposes that the proponent wishes to use the land for and the nature of the proponents business.

He outlined that at this time those discussions remain in camera.

Mr. Long further explained that any money that any payments made to the city's wholly owned company for this investigation option, are similar to the process that the province has in place with the proposed LNG parcels at Grassy Point.

Mr. Long also observed that the City continues to pursue alternative methods to garner city revenues, given the present difficulty in raising tax revenues due to provincial tax caps on existing industrial tax assessment on Ridley Island and the Container Port.

The City's economic development strategy is to find alternative revenue sources and new tax revenues to offset the ongoing increase of the operational costs for the city.

To further inform the city's residents on the City's plans on the lot in question, the City will shortly advertise shortly in the newspaper that they will be moving the parcel of land in question DL 444 into the ownership of Prince Rupert Legacy Inc., the wholly owned company created for this purpose.

Following the presentation from the City Manager, Councillor Thorkelson asked for more background as to where the lot in question DL 444 is located.

The Mayor explained that the area is across from Seal Cove and travels up towards Osborne Island, but does not include the eastern side of Lot 444 that partially includes the city's watershed.

Councillor Thorkelson mindful of the background of the two companies that the city has been discussing the issue with and their work in the oil industry, wanted to stress that terminal under discussion was for an LNG facility.

The Mayor reinforced that talking point, highlighting the site as for development as an LNG export terminal development.

Council Thorkelson then offered up her thoughts on the proposal and should it move forward the city would be using some of the money received from the companies to hire an environmental officer. That hire would be tasked to do work for the city to ensure that the city's water and air sheds were looked after and that the City wouldn't be creating problems for ourselves in the future..

The Mayor agreed with her commentary on that aspect of the proposed process.

Reports Questions and Inquiries from Council

(1:16:00--1:17:00 ) Councillor Kinney outlined the nature of an upcoming conference by the Salvation Army to take place at the Civic Centre. He passed along the request from the organizers for a discount on the cost of rental for the facility.  The Mayor advised that the request should be taken to the Recreation Consultant.

( 1:17:00--1:19:00 ) Councillor Garon relayed a number of concerns regarding tree trimming taking place along the highway. The Mayor offered up a review of the process involved and some thoughts on how it has been conducted. Councillor Garon suggested a letter from the City to the Highways Department to express their concern on the situation. Councillor Ashley also added her thoughts to the topic and expressed her concern over the nature of this years work. Council approved the motion to have staff send a letter.

(1:18:00--1:21:00) Councillor Ashley highlighted a conflict on Council's calendar for late June, between a planning session for UBCM and a Recreation Commission.  She was advised by the Corporate Administrator that the conflict has been addressed.

She followed up with a second concern, that of where the City is at with its defence on issues of Watson Island. Mr. Long outlined that the defence would be filed in the next couple of days (as events played out that defence was delivered on Tuesday, May 27, see our item of note on that here)

(1:21:00--1:22:00 ) Councillor Cunningham outlined his participation in McHappy Day and relayed the success of the fundraising efforts on the day. He also provided notice that Pinnacle Pellet would be attending the next session of Council to address some of the issues of concern in the community.

( 1:22:00--1:26:00 )  Councillor Thorkelson recounted the success of the recent Salmon Festival at the Civic Centre, she also highlighted an item from the information package and a request for a commitment towards the BC Ship Building industry. Towards that goal, Councillor Thorkelson recommended that the City write a letter to the provincial government requesting that the province construct vessels in British Columbia. Councillor Ashley added to the conversation by advising council of the moves by Regional District to make the same correspondence.

Council passed the motion to write to the province.

Councillor Thorkelson then called attention of Council to the new accessible sidewalk at Fisherman's Hall.

(1:26:30--1:29:00 )  Councillor Carlick-Pearson called to the attention of Council complaints from residents of the west side regarding speeding drivers on Sloan, Pilsbury and Cassiar streets. She recounted her frustration in bringing the issue to the attention of the RCMP, finding her inquiries forwarded to Prince George. She asked that Council assist her in making the case for better enforcement actions in that part of the city. The Mayor tasked that request to Mr. Long to contact the Detachment.

Councillor Ashley also weighed in on the topic of speed in the community, outlining her concerns about truck traffic travelling through the downtown area of town. She suggested that concern also be passed on to the Detachment.

Councillor Cunningham offered up his observations on the subject as well.

The Mayor left the issues to Mr. Long to address to the local detachment.

( 1:29:00-1:38:00 The Mayor's Report

The Mayor promoted a Health wellness event set to take place at the Seniors Centre in the City on May 27th.

He outlined his participation in a discussion with representatives of BC Ferries on the scheduling issues of the three vessel routes of the North Coast. He provided an overview of that conversation.

He provided an update from Northern Health regarding whooping cough concerns in the region, advising residents to contact their office for more information.

He advised that Tourism Prince Rupert's had decided to place their new office will be located at the Port's Interpretive Centre.

He reviewed his attendance to the Salmon Festival.

He provided some background on a meeting with Provincial Minister Coralee Oakes over a recent funding announcement. He outlined his points on updates to Prince Rupert airport, access to neighbouring First Nations community and a number of infrastructure issues.

As well he highlighted the Ministers attention to issues of potential investment in salmon enhancement and the prospect of developing living accommodations for those attending the Prince Rupert campus of Northwest Community College.

He reviewed his attendance at a Provincial LNG conference. Providing some feedback on some of the interest in Prince Rupert and area.

He offered up a review of his attendance at a meeting to recruit new doctors to the community.

He advised that the free tipping tokens are valid until mid June.

He made mention of the arrival of the first cruise ship of the season and his attendance at that arrival to welcome the guests to the city.

The Mayor outlined the need of volunteers from the Special Events Society, who have a number of positions to fill for the upcoming Seafest celebrations.

He highlighted the upcoming summer recreation guide, advising that it would be delivered by mid June to homes across the region. Making mention of the advertising opportunities that the publication offers to local business and organizations. Suggesting that it's much more than a recreation guide, but a publication that offers up background on community services as well.

He wrapped up his presentation with a review of some opportunities regarding LNG, with two days of workshops planned for the Civic Centre for June 2nd and 3rd. Highlighting some of the activities of the LNG Boot Camps.

With that he brought the Monday session of Council to an end.

You can access the City Council Review page for May 26th 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 26, 2014 

Minutes of the Council of the Whole Meeting from May 26, 2014

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