Friday, October 24, 2014

City Council Timeline, Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday evening provided the second to last session for the current roster of Prince Rupert Council, an evening that for the most part was turned over to a look at what the Northwest BC Resources Benefit Alliance is all about.

The Council session which went close to two hours, featured a presentation from the Alliance contingent that lasted close to an hour and a half on the theme, including a follow up discussion by Council members on how the City should approach the prospect of joining in on the collective approach.

Other than the extensive review of the Terrace based groups plans for the Northwest, Council made quick time as it handled a few housekeeping items before calling it a night.

Among them a review of the recent PILT settlement announcement between the City and the Prince Rupert Port Authority, which came up as part of Council's adoption of an amendment to the 2014 Five Year Financial Plan.

Council also offered up some thoughts on the recent marine emergency off of Haida Gwaii, as well as concerns over the situation developing at the recently opened 24 Hour recycling station at the Recycling Centre.

The topic of Housing once again was a focus for Council, which reviewed some of the issues that it has addressed in previous council sessions earlier this year.

The Mayor brought the session to an end with a review of a number of items as part of his Mayor's report.

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

The timeline of the Regular public council 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 October 20, 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 October 20, 2014

( 0:00--4:30 ) The Mayor called the meeting to order and commenced with the adoption of the Agenda and past minutes.

Reports and Recommendations

( 4:30- 18:44 ) A Presentation from Dr. Bruce Bidgood, Mr. Andrew Webber and Mr. Bob Marcellin on the Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance  -- An overview of the program was provided for Council Members, as the three members of the Northwest BC Benefits Alliance detailed the nature of the collective approach that their group is taking in seeking financial benefit from the resource sector in the region.

With the Group set up to be advocates for the member communities that make up their Alliance, seeking financial return for local governments when it comes to taxation issues related to development.

Of the full range of items as part of their review, their presentation on the theme of Caps on taxation opportunities to Municipalities, was of particular interest to the Council members. With a number of Councillors making observations and asking questions on the topic and then referencing it to the current caps on assessment in place on Port related industries in Prince Rupert.

Councillor Cunningham approached the topic by asking about the process ahead should the City join the Alliance, and whether the Alliance would look beyond their review on resource development, using the past and current caps in place for Prince Rupert as his focus.

Dr. Bidgood suggested that it could be a topic for the Alliance to review should the City seek out membership and put it forward.

They stressed that they were in Prince Rupert on Monday to learn more about the message from Prince Rupert on the theme of resource development. In particular they expressed an interest as to what the City hopes to achieve when it comes to strategy and revenue sharing as economic development increases in the region.

As the presentation wrapped up, the majority of Council seemed to adopt a wait and see approach as to whether the City will join the Alliance, with Council members to wait for a report from the City Manager before they take any further action on the topic.

Following the review and follow up questions, Council members moved quickly through the remainder of the night's agenda.

Bylaws and Development Permits

( 1:22:00-- 33:00 ) 2014 Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw amendments -- The City's Financial Officer outlined the scope of some of the changes to the Five Year plan and how the City was to address the amendments.

Ms. Bomben reviewed the nature of those changes since the Bylaw was adopted in April. She highlighted such items as the situation to be addressed regarding landfill issues, the increased cost of the retaining wall on 17th Street, the cost of a lease on the Zamboni, as well as the placement of an order for a Fire Truck for the Fire Department.

The CFO also provided background on the nature of the PILT revenue situation and updated the plan for the Fraser Street project which had been postponed for this year, completing her review by outlining how costs of the airport bus service have increased.

Following Ms. Bomben's review, Councillor Thorkelson asked for an explanation from the City Manager, as to how the PILT negotiations were conducted and the nature of the arrangement that the Prince Rupert Port Authority and the City came to.

The Mr. Long provided the overview of the nature of the dispute, explaining the results of the panel review of the initial assessment and what the result of the second assessment provided for.

The situation resulted in the two sides negotiating a settlement for the years of 2007-2012.

Mr. Long also advised that the City and Port have agreed on a process for the years 2013- 2015, which will seek out more conversation with the BC Assessment Authority and the Port, to find an effective way to avoid further conflict and determine the PILT numbers moving forward.

He then offered up his observation that overall he believes that the City received a good settlement agreement, substantially more than the Port had proposed, though not as much as they had hoped to receive through the BC Assessment.

Councillor Thorkelson then asked for Mr. Long to expand on the new process moving forward.

He explained that neither side had given up their positions and both sides have the option to appeal the BC Assessments on related properties under consideration .  He advised how he believes that they have now developed a process which will provide better communication between all of the participants in the process.

He did acknowledge that the most recent totals did not meet the projections that the City had placed on their revenue stream from the PILT, which does put their budgeting for this year behind the eight ball.

Councillor Ashley inquired as to budget levels for this year as a result of the settlement while Councillor Cunningham also had some observations on the PILT discussion, looking for clarification on the percentage that the Port has paid to this point.

Council then returned to the Bylaw item and adopted the recommendation

Additional Items for Council

( 1:34:00 -- 1:42:00 ) The Mayor provided some thoughts regarding the weekend emergency off the shore of Haida Gwaii involving the Russian vessel, Simushir. He outlined his belief that the issue of Marine Safety is one of regional focus and suggested that the Regional District take the issue on to express concern.

Councillor Ashley reviewed the discussions of Regional District from their Friday session, which highlighted the approach that the SQCRD was taking to expand awareness of the issue.

The Mayor stressed that he thought this was an issue which was beyond just a letter of concern and outlined some more of his idea for Council.

Councillor Garon observed that the Canadian Coast Guard should be included in the City's approach and offered up the suggestion that there should be a Search and Rescue presence required on Haida Gwaii.

Councillor Thorkelson also provided some input on the theme, suggesting that Regional District be asked to put together a report regarding Coast Guard rescue capabilities off of Haida Gwaii, as well as to build alliances with other groups to press the concerns Council has on the issue.

With that review the motion was adopted.

( 1:42:00--1:48:00 )  The Mayor then brought up the concern over the need for assisted housing in the community. Offering up his review as to how the City might wish to approach the issue. Suggesting that Council seek out consultation with community groups as a way of garnering support and then to contact the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Councillor Cunningham recommended reaching out to such local organizations as KAPS, The Salvation Army, Local Ministerial Association and other government agencies. He then suggested that the City could help out by addressing it's P 1 an P 2 lots towards the prospect of developing the kind of housing options that Council is discussing.

Councillor Ashley turned to Mr. Krekic's report of earlier this year and suggested Council focus on the Housing Commission approach that was outlined from that report. She stressed the need to seek out creative solutions, so as not to have the City to have to bear the burden of having to provide that housing.

Further Questions from Members of Council

( 1:48:00 -- 2:00:00 )

Councillor Kinney expressed thanks for an invitation to a recent session on Poverty in the community and then outlined his concerns over the state of the recently opened 24/7 Recycling Station at the Recycling Centre.

Councillor Thorkelson outlined the nature of a request that was made to her to address the upcoming issue of liquor that is soon to be sold in the province's grocery stores.  She wanted to know what the plans of the local grocery stores in the community might have regarding the change in provincial legislation.

Councillor Cunningham reviewed how he understood the current legislation and how it should not impact on the local beer and wine stores currently in operation in the city.

Councillor Thorkelson returned to her concerns over the legislation, with concerns over the portability of licences and how that may impact on the prospect of grocery stores providing for liquor sales.

Councillor Ashley thanked the organizers of the Salmonberry Society for their hosting duties of their recent community event

Councillor Garon also offered her thoughts on the recycling issues at the Kaien Road facility, suggesting that the current set up won't work and how she would have pictured a different approach.  Preferring instead to see the Recycling Centre remain open with longer hours and again returned to her wish to have the dump feature expanded hours.

Councillor Ashley picked up on the theme offered by Councillor Garon and reminded Council that the issues raised to come down to cost and how the City and Region wish to approach the topic.

Councillor Thorkelson came down on the side of Councillor Garon, suggesting that there needs to be a larger discussion on the concerns when it comes to recycling and landfill issues.

The Mayor also provided his final thoughts on the topic, suggesting that there is a need for discussion on a range of issues beyond just recycling between the City and all of the surrounding communities of the region.

Councillor Cunningham asked if the City had heard any feedback from the province on the topic of inceration possibilities that the city raised at UBCM with provincial officials.

( 2:00:30--2:08:00  The Mayor's Report

He along with Councillor Garon attended the launch event of the British Columbia Gas Alliance in the Northwest region.

The Mayor outlined the latest statistics from the Prince Rupert airport Authority highlighting an increase in passenger levels to the end of September as up by 7.98 percent compared to this time last year.

He and Councillor Kinney attended an update session from Pacific NorthWest LNG regarding their proposed Lelu Island project.

The Mayor a local event hosted by the Prince Rupert Self Advocacy Group in the city.

He attended a forum on safe shipping issues related to LNG development.

He, Councillor Cunningham and Kinney attended a luncheon meeting with the Kaien Anti Poverty Society.

The Mayor recounted his attendance at a local photography exhibition hosted by the Prince Rupert Camera Club.

He advised Council of a phone conversation that he had with representatives of Canpotex who recently signed a lease with the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

He offered up a review of the advance polling dates and locations for the upcoming Municipal election.

Councillor Ashley then offered up some commentary on voter turn out and her desire to see a larger volume of voters in the community this November.  Councillor Thorkelson as well provided her thoughts on voter turn out.

She also advised Council about an upcoming forum on LNG hosted by the CBC.

Councillor Cunningham advised of a time conflict  for some Council members regarding that forum and the Recreation Commission meeting schedule that same night

With that the Council session came to an end, with the next public session, the final scheduled meeting for the current Council is to take place on November 3rd.

You can access the City Council Review page for October 20 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 October 20, 2014 (not available as of yet)

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