Friday, November 7, 2014

City Council Timeline, Monday, November 3, 2014

While City Council may be counting down the days to the end of this current mandate, Monday evening provided for a bit of a flurry of activity on a number of issues.

Council members settled in for their final session before the November 15th election, with a range of items to consider for the one hour meeting,

All were in attendance, with the exception of Councillor Judy Carlick-Pearson who having chosen to run for School District in the upcoming election was in attendance at Education forum on Monday, leaving the Mayor and remainder of Council members to consider the range of items for the one hour meeting.

Under consideration on the night, the approval of the Council schedule for 2015, the awarding of a contract for a refit for the Digby Island Ferry, as well as a first look at some plans to allow some development on the old Landfill Site off Wantage Road.

The process of moving the Lot 444 issues further ahead were also under discussion on the night, as well as some commentary provided on the Legacy Corporation, a topic of much interest in the community in recent weeks.

Councillor Ashley offered up a suggestion on a proposal that could help get out the vote on November 15th, while the Mayor introduced the prospect of some potential development in the Cow Bay area in a very intriguing location.

We also learned of an apparently forgotten fact, that the current council will meet one more time after November 15th, with the outgoing class of 2014 to assemble for a session on November 24th.

A night which for some could be there last meeting at Council chambers depending on how the vote totals go in one week's time.

The newly elected council will be sworn in to office on December 8th.

The Mayor brought the November 3rd session to an end with a review of a number of items as part of his regular 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 November 3, 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 November 3, 2014

( 0:00--4:00 ) The Mayor called the meeting to order and commenced with the adoption of the Agenda and past minutes. With the Corporate Administrator adding a pair of items to be added to the nights agenda.

Reports and Recommendations

( 4:00- 4:30 ) Report from the Engineering Coordinator on the Landfill Contract Award, staff recommending that the matter be returned to staff -- Council adopted that motion without further discussion.

(4:30 - 7:30) Report from the Corporate Administrator -- Report to recommend moving of November 17th Council session to November 24th-- Councillor Ashley had a question on the schedule planning for 2015 and the number of meetings set for the summer. Mr. Long advised that the City have an additional meeting at the call of the chair if required, with only one meeting scheduled per month, during the summer months.

 Councillor Thorkelson suggested that Councillor Ashley appeared to be getting ahead of herself on that topic which is up for discussion next, returning to the item related to the November 17th meeting and the request to shift it to the 24th, with Councillor Thorkelson made note that the 24th session would be of the current council, with the newly elected council not to take its seats until the December 8th meeting.

Council moved to adopt the shift in dates to the 24th

(7:30-8:00)  Report from the Corporate Administrator regarding the Schedule for the 2015 Council schedule-- With Councillor Ashley having asked her question previously, Council then adopted the motion.

( 8:00- 12:00 ) Report from the Engineering Coordinator regarding the Digby Island Ferry Refit contract award. -- Council voted to adopt the motion that will see the Prince Rupert Airport Ferry sent to the Ketchikan, Alaska shipyard for its refit.

Councillor Ashley asked for an explanation from City staff as to what replacement option will be in place during refit, she was advised that staff was still working on that issue.

Councillor Thorkelson noted the savings of 30,000 dollars by using the Alaska option but inquired as to where the competing shipyards were located and how they had approached the bidding process, she was advised that they were based in southern BC, one  in Vancouver the other on Vancouver Island.

Councillor Garon stated how she thought it was a good move to do business with Prince Rupert's sister city to the north, making note of the reduced travel time, which would see the ferry returned to service sooner.  Councillor Cunningham said that the decision to use the Alaska option was a no brainer.

Councillor Garon observed that some on Council were familiar with the Ketchikan facility, and how it offers a good option for local residents. Councillor Ashley asked as to the cost of the alternative transportation that will be required, advised that there is an added cost while the ferry is in refit, she then stated that it made sense to use the option that returns the ferry to service sooner.

The motion was adopted.

Bylaws and Development Permits

( 12:00 -- 31:30 )  Report from the City Planner regarding amendments to the Quality of Life Official Community Plan and Zoning amendments for the proposed Prince Rupert Border Extension.  ---

Mayor Mussallem made note that Councillor Garon had left the chamber during this discussion, but did not explain why that was required.

The Corporate Administrator advised that Council is being asked to rescind previous amendments and then give second reading to the revised proposed amendments. As well, he recommended that City Council hold a public hearing regarding the matter prior to the Council meeting of November 24th.

The motion to rescind was adopted

Councillor Thorkelson outlined how she would also like to see an amendment put in place that would stipulate that the City would not allow for any development of any facility for any oil products including crude and bitumen to be located in that location.

Councillor Thorkelson then asked for a review of what Council is considering as part of the zoning bylaw of the Lot 444, which would be for LNG terminal development only. She asked for clarification on the rules for public engagement.

The Mayor explained how they wanted to change the wording to reflect the desire of council to have the use of the area limited to LNG terminal proposals only, he then outlined the process to move that change forward.

Councillor Thorkelson then reinforced that Council isn't considering rezoning the land at this moment, and will only address that upon further review and engagement from the community.

Councillor Cunningham and the Mayor then engaged in a discussion over the process of moving the amendment forward on the night.

With the amendment then approved, Councillor Cunningham then inquired about the 30 metre setback provisions and how some of those provisions had been changed.

Mr. Long reviewed the process that will take place regarding the area in question, calling attention to the distances between the proposed development area and the city's watershed area.

Council then adopted the amended amendment.

On the third item of concern, Councillor Ashley offered up her advice on the issue. Suggesting that the City hold a public meeting at a venue to be determined by staff on November 25th where the environmental engineer that the city has hired can outline the impacts and mitigations required of the proposed development area.

After that public meeting takes place, Councillor Ashley recommended that a public hearing and possibly a second one, be scheduled for December 3rd and 4th if required, allowing the public to bring their concerns and issues to the newly elected council, with the zoning consideration be put on the agenda of the December 8th Council meeting for the new council to address.

Councillor Thorkelson had a question on the process of Councillor Ashley's proposal, the Mayor outlined the differences between a public meeting and a public hearing.

Councillor Thorkelson then recapped the schedule of upcoming engagement.

Mr. Long was then asked to provide further background on the relationship between the Legacy Corporation and the process, he outlined the steps that the Corporation has taken, hiring an environmental engineer to conduct a review of the situation and what the process of the proposal will look like moving forward.

Councillor Thorkelson then offered up more observations on what topics the public may wish to explore and how they can engage on the process both at the public meeting and hearing.

Councillor Ashley then outlined the need to make sure that any newly elected council members are made aware of the meeting and invited, as well as to advertise the dates and location of the planned meeting.

She then asked a question and recommendation for staff regarding the possibility of recording the public participation session and posting it on line somewhere.

The motion was then adopted

( 31:30-- 41:30 ) A report from the City Planner on amendments to the Community plan and zoning requirement  to accommodate ancillary uses of construction phases of major projects, in regard to the Wantage Road Area. -- The Mayor outlined how Council was to consider and give first and second readings to the issue and call a public meeting for November 24th.

City Manager Robert Long outlined the nature of the request, something he called outside the normal thinking, which would provide for temporary zoning with major developments in mind.

That would allow for the development of such things as work camps and lay down areas that are attributable to the possibility of some major development. Making the city pro-active for those potential developments. Seeking to have the City accommodate those businesses that may be taking part in the major projects of the area.

Suggesting that it would show that community is open and available to house those that are involved with the major projects.  He highlighted how the city would be reusing areas such as the old Wantage area dump location for this kind of project.

Mr. Long explained that once the major projects have been completed a term of perhaps fifteen years, the areas would be returned to the city and then be able to be used for other purposes.

Councillor Thorkelson offered up her thoughts on the topic and asked as to what the notification process would consist of, the Mayor outlined that he believes that the public notification would include everyone on the town side of the area in question, with the radius taking in the areas of 9th Avenue West and the Haysvale Trailer park.

Councillor Thorkelson suggested taking a wider approach in that area as to providing notification of the public hearing.

Councillor Ashley spoke in favour of the proposed development area and how she found the repurposing of the land and the ability to get it back in better shape as a positive aspect of the plan.

Councillor Thorkelson then added her request for staff to provide for notice to an extended area of the city side in question.

Councillor Cunningham then observed for Council that some areas such as Omenica and Summit could be affected by noise concerns of the proposed area and should be included in any notification process, the Mayor reminded him that once the notice is published anyone in the community can attend the hearing.

Reports Questions and Inquiries from council

( 41:30 -- 54:00 ) Councillor Ashley recounted some questions she has received regarding how the Prince Rupert Legacy Corporation works and if the City could provide information to the city website outlining the articles of incorporation regarding the corporation.

The Mayor then provided a short overview of what the purpose of the Legacy Corporation is for in regard to development of Lot 444.

Councillor Ashley then raised an item from the Canadian Federation of Municipalities regarding wastewater treatment, calling attention to the need of Prince Rupert to join that organizations efforts to raise the issue with the Federal infrastructure Minister, seeking a dedicated fund for such projects.

She put forward a motion to recommend staff follow up on that process. The motion was adopted.

Councillor Thorkelson also had comments regarding related developments on taxation issues, revenue sharing with First Nations and other issues that may be of interest in the area, with Councillor Thorkelson suggesting that the city distribute copies of the report to members of Council, as it would be helpful in the community to community discussions.

Councillor Kinney took the opportunity to thank everyone involved in this years Halloween Fest. it was recommended that the City send them a letter of thanks.

Councillor Cunningham asked if anyone had ever recognized Glen Saunders for his community work around the city, the Mayor advised that the city has in the past acknowledged his work and that another opportunity to do so may be on the horizon.

Councillor Ashley made another comment to try and get more participation from the public in the municipal election voting, asking for the Corporate Administrator to outline the dates of the advance polls coming up in the week leading up to the November 15th election.

Councillor Ashley followed up on some ideas regarding what other communities are doing to try and increase voting totals, calling attention to the work of Kitimat and Terrace (perhaps she read about it here) She put forward a motion that the City should offer free transit on election day, to encourage residents of the city to vote. Councillor Garon asked if the City had to inform and seek advice of BC Transit on that proposal. That motion was adopted, though it was returned to City Staff to investigate if it was feasible for this year.

The Mayor then asked if there was interest in providing for more commercial space in the Cow Bay area, making use of the old rail bridge foundation (across from Breakers and Cowpuccino's) advising the Council may wish to consider leasing that area towards that prospect.  The Mayor suggested that Staff investigate the opportunity for the proposal further.

Council Garon advised that it was something that she had looked at fifteen years, but council of the day was onboard with the plan. She suggested that she was in favour of such a project, she then asked if that property could be sold, she was advised that as it was over the waterway he wasn't sure it could be sold.

Councillor Thorkelson had one more item for discussion, that of the Electoral Boundaries commission recent visit to the city and the low attendance that the session provided for. She suggested that the City should offer up a correspondence to provide its opinon to the Boundary commission to keep the current provincial electoral boundary as it is.

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

The Mayor attended the CBC's LNG Forum at the Prince Rupert Library.

He attended the train the trainers workshop on Human Trafficking sponsored by North Coast Victims services.

The Prince Rupert Airport Authority has advised that some asphalt patching took place on the Airport Access road at a cost of 40 to 50 thousand dollars.

The Mayor attended a workshop put on by Northern Health regarding Health care and Doctor recruitment in the community. Something he believes is a priority for the region.

He participated in the North and Central Coast Ferry Advisory Committee meeting, reviewing concerns on health travel, wait listing and other issues.

He provided a greeting and welcome on behalf of the City at a NorthWest Labour Market Partnerships conference in the community.

The Mayor provided some information on the issue of affordable housing and other items related to BC Housing providing some reading material regarding that topic.

As a final note on the evening, Councillor Ashley then reminded the audience of the Tuesday night Electoral Forum at the Lester Centre.

You can access the City Council Review page for November 3 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 of the Regular Council Session from November 3, 2014 (not available as of yet)

Council next meets on November 24th.

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