Thursday, September 3, 2015

City Council Timeline, Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Considering the significant length of some of the recent council sessions, Tuesday evenings gathering of City Council moved along at warp speed, with the proceedings concluded within forty two minutes of the first bang of the gavel by Mayor Lee Brain.

Perhaps the absence of the normally loquacious Councillor Thorkelson had something to do with the speed of events, with little in the way of follow up discussion making its way into the introduction of agenda issues on the evening.

Or perhaps, Council members had talked themselves out during the Closed to the Public Special session of earlier in the evening, regardless of the reason, when it came to getting the agenda out of the way, Tuesday's session was a fast moving thing to watch.

A number of zoning issues, a report from the City's Financial Officer and even a short update on the usually lengthy observations on housing passed with little follow up commentary and none of the divisiveness of recent council sessions.

Council also sent a proposed re-purposing of a portion of the Masonic Hall for storage use on to Public Hearing for the next Council session of September 14th.

As well, Council added one more destination to the Mayor's travel itinerary this fall, with approval for a trip to the Cities Fit for Children Summit this November in Vernon.

For some background on the evening's scheduled items of note, see the Regular Council Agenda for September 1  here.

Council also had a Special closed Session earlier in the day at 5:00 PM.

Further information from our overview and placement in the video archive can be found below, with the permanent record of the minutes added as they are posted to the city website.

In attendance September 1, 2015

Mayor Lee Brain-- Present
Councillor Barry Cunningham-- Present
Councillor Blair Mirau -- Present
Councillor Wade Niesh -- Present
Councillor Nelson Kinney-- Present
Councillor Gurvinder Randhawa--  Present
Councillor Joy Thorkelson -- Absent

Video Archive for September 1, 2015

( 0:00 - - 1:30 )  Adoption of Past Minutes and Agenda for the evening. -- Council reviewed a number of past minutes and accepted the Agenda for the evening's session.

Petitions and Delegations

( 1:30 -- 4:00 ) Report from the City Planner related to property on Piggot Place  -- Mr. Krekic provided some background on the proposal to rebuild an existing garage on an existing footprint and add a room above. He noted that the City had not received any comments from the public related to the proposed project.

Council voted to carry the motion.

( 4:00 -- 7:15 ) Report from the City Planner related to a property on Atlin Avenue -- Mr. Krekic provided a review of the proposed plan to add to the height of a property on Atlin Avenue. Highlighting some of the factors that are to be considered with the development variance application under consideration.

Council voted to carry the motion and moved the process forward to public notification.

( 7:15 -- 10:15  ) Report from the Chief Financial Officer related to the July Monthly Financial report  ---- The City's CFO Corinne Bomben provided background on a number of highlights related to the July Financial report. Noting increases in revenues at the Recreation Department, declines with Prince Rupert Transit and from 911 phone collection fees.

She also noted that the City has received the payment from the Port related to the PILT process, an amount that leaves the city with a shortfall of 130,000.

As well Council was advised as to an increased cost for the recent refit of the Digby Island Ferry owing to a change in the exchange rate and a requirement to use a barge service longer than anticipated.

Council received the report for informational purposes

( 10:15 -- 13:30) Report from the  Chief Financial Officer regarding the permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw-- Ms. Bomben outlined that staff is looking for direction from Council for the 2016 Permissible Tax, seeking a tax bylaw to be adopted by Council  by October 31st of this year. Noting that this council's cycle is of a four year period, it was recommended that Council make the new bylaw to cover that amount of time.

Ms. Bomben outlined the options and process ahead for Council to put the Tax Exemption Bylaw into effect.

Following her presentation, councillor Mirau strongly recommended for a 100 per cent exemption for the four year cycle, noting that it would allow for those organizations to have more certainty for their requirements.

Council voted to receive the report.

( 13:30 -- 16:25  ) Report from the Corporate Administrator on the Cities fit for Children conference in Vernon this fall -- Mr. Mandryk recounted the Events of the August Council session where the topic of the Cities Fit for Children was first addressed, noting that the cost to the city of attendance for that conference in Vernon would be 1,892 dollars per person attending. He then asked Council to advise staff which members would be planning to attend.

Councillor Kinney suggested that only Mayor Brain should attend the Vernon conference this November, Councillor Cunningham concurred with the recommendation from Councillor Kinney, noting that one representative could bring back the required information.

Councillor Randhawa asked if there was any money in the budget for that trip, he was advised that there is still money available for the Mayor to make that trip.

Council then received the report for informational purposes and noted that Mayor Brain would be attending the the conference on behalf of the City.

Mayor Brain noted that the proposal for the city to attend the conference was brought to Council by the Success by Six organization, he then offered up some of his thoughts on the nature of the conference and what could be realized from it.

( 16:25 -- 35:30 ) Report from the City Planner related to a rezoning request for a portion of the Masonic Hall -- Mr. Krekic provided a review of the history of the proposal to turn a portion of the Masonic Hall into a storage area for a local retailer. Highlighting for Council one of the areas lacking in the community is industrial land space, particularly for light and heavy industrial uses.

Noting that at the moment, developers are not interested in developing industrial land, requiring the city to take a look at how they will be addressing the needs at the moment in the community.

He outlined the required changes to the zoning requirements to address the request from the Masonic Hall. And observed that the applicant had hosted a public meeting related to their request and that it had been well attended, providing a review of some of the comments made during that session.

Mr. Krekic also advised that the City had received two letters related to the proposed rezoning prior to the Council meeting.

Councillor Mirau inquired as to the nature of the covenant that would be associated with the land, while Mayor Brain asked if the City had been advised as to the hours of operation for the storage unit site.  He was advised that the City had not been given an indication at this point as to those hours.

Councillor Cunningham noted some of the feedback he had received from residents of the area, with most of those related to potential noise and safety issues in the neighbourhood adjacent to the site.

Following the Presentation, Council voted to give second reading to the motion and send the process to Public Hearing to take place at the next City Council session of September 14th. Councillor Mirau made note what the city is hoping to achieve with the rezoning process as well as to address the concerns of those in the neighbourhood.

( 35:30-- 36:00 ) Update on the Housing Committee -- The Mayor provided a short update on the status of the Housing committee, noting that with summer over, many involved in the housing issues were returning to the normal routines.

( 36:00 -- 41:00) Reports, Questions and Inquires from Council

Councillor Cunningham called Council's attention to the success of a local youth in a recent competition held at Good Times Games in the community, with Tyler Winther now heading to Japan for a larger world wide competition.

Mayor Brain followed that up with a review of the work that Good Times does in the community to provide for activities for youth in the area and the reputation that their local operation has found across Canada.

Councillor Kinney offered up a request from Staff to find out the cost of removal of the trees in front of the Shopping Centre area of the city.

Mayor Brain provided some background on the Small Town Love initiative which is offering a marketing presence for small businesses in the community, which provides advertising and assistance to local businesses for a 100 dollar charge. For more information local business operators can contact the city's economic development officer.

Councillor Cunningham asked if the City could contact the local Highway's maintenance operator to address a road concern at the entrance to the airport ferry location.

And with that the council session came to an end for the evening.

You can access the City Council Review for September 1 here, where a number of items regarding the council session, including links to media coverage of it can be found.

As always, our Council Timeline is only a reflection of our observations from the Council session of the night. Be sure to consult with the official minutes from the City, when posted to their website for further review.

Minutes of the Regular Council Session from September 1, 2015

Council next meets in Regular session on September 1st  in Council Chambers at City Hall.

1 comment:

  1. I guess that's why we like Joy Thorkelson in on council to talk not just sit on their hands. At least she does her job.