Monday, March 9, 2015

Lingering questions on the Legacy Corporation

With word last week that the WCC LNG proposal for Tuck Inlet is moving forward into its environmental assessment phase, members of Prince Rupert City Council will no doubt be watching the progress of that application over the next few months.

Keen to keep an eye on the EA process as it moves the project further along and perhaps one day, delivering more financial benefits to the city through its Legacy Corporation mechanism.

The Legacy Corporation provided for a fair amount of comment during the City's Budget presentation of February 23rd, as Ms. Corinne Bomben, the City's Chief Financial Officer made frequent mention of the corporation that the City has in place to foster developments in the Tuck Inlet area.

When it comes to potential LNG development, the Mayor has had a bit of a media tour in recent weeks, offering  up his thoughts on the prospect of LNG development and the impact that it may have on the community.

Though from those two moments in the spotlight, not many details were provided on what the City has planned when it comes to potential LNG projects and how they may relate to City finances.

Mayor says city is ready for LNG boom
Prince Rupert budget (video)

From notes of the weekly newspaper, it was observed that the City has a plan related to the arrival of LNG development should it come, however the Mayor was quoted in the article as explaining that the plan "is not yet being made available publicly."

For the local television station out of Terrace, the Mayor offered up a suggestion that they should have their plan in place by June, with some of the money to deliver the still to be revealed plan coming from the Legacy Corporation.

The media overview came as the City's Budget planning gets underway, and should serve as a bit of a backdrop to tonight's Public Council session at the Lester Centre.

At this evening's session more background on the Budget and process to deliver it will be provided, along with the opportunity for comments from city residents and a new venture to allow the audience to provide input to follow.

Along with her presentation to Council of two weeks ago, the Legacy Corporation appeared in Ms. Bomben's formal report to Council, it's revenue streams found on the spreadsheet items provided (see here).

From the reading of those notes, some of the money received by Legacy Corporation from the Exxon/Mobil Tuck Inlet project appears to be directed towards capital projects.

While the bulk of the money from Legacy is included in an item that is called the Injection for Economic Growth project.

Though to this point, Council has not offered up a firm outline as to what that may mean, or how they plan to direct that Legacy Corporation financial stream towards it.

Something which could make for a helpful question from the audience at tonight's session, seeking a bit more background on the City's Tuck Inlet plans and what benefits the Legacy Corporation may provide to the residents of the city.

When the Legacy Corporation first came up for discussion at a public forum on December 3rd, one of the more impressive take aways from the public input portion was the search for more detail on what the corporation was all about.

Of particular note, was a concern registered that evening by one resident, who expressed some thoughts over the power that three, unelected City Staff members had, when it came to Legacy Corporation issues.

A further observation offered up to Council members at that time, was that the overview from the City regarding the creation and workings of the Legacy Corporation had not been delivered to the public very well.

Three months after that December meeting, some of those same concerns about the Legacy Corporation may still be on the minds of  residents as they take in tonight's event at the Lester Centre.

Not to be forgotten while we're reviewing the financials tonight, such issues as the current status of Watson Island related to civic finances and the reappearance of the need for a new RCMP detachment.

A pair of topics which could provide for further  challenges when it comes to financial planning for the year ahead.

For more items related to City Council Discussions see our archive page here.

No comments:

Post a Comment