Wednesday, May 11, 2016

City Council Timeline: Monday, May 9 2016

A nice sunny evening provided for the backdrop and perhaps a bit of incentive to spur the city's Council members on to a quick review of the first agenda for May.

A light agenda provide Council with  a fast pace to civic governance that had the City's Mayor, six councillor and staff members able to head back into the sunny evening within seventeen minutes of the start of the meeting.

The majority of the theme of the night had to do with the release of the Audited Financial Statement for the City of Prince Rupert, which was presented by the City's Financial Officer.

Council also adopted a motion of support for a letter from Joanne Finlay related to a BC Poverty reduction plan.

The evening wrapped up fairly quickly, with no new developments to report from the Mayor on the Housing Committee front and a quick update on the recent trip by some members of Council to the NCLGA gathering in Dawson Creek last week.

As no members of Council had items of note for discussion, the session was wrapped up before the twenty minute mark on the night.

For some background on the evening's scheduled items of note, the Agenda for the Regular Council session for May 9, 2016 can be reviewed here.

Council also had a Closed Session scheduled previous in the evening.

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 May 9, 2016

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 -- Present

Video Archive for may 9, 2016

(0:00--1:15( Regular Council Session for Monday, May 9, 2016  -- The Mayor reviewed past minutes and the current agenda for the evening. 


( 1:15--12:30 Report from the City Financial Officer, providing background on the City's Audited Financial Report --  Ms. Corinne Bomben made note of some of the highlights from this years Financial Statement. Ms. Bomben opened her address by advising the Council that the auditors had declared that the Audited Financial statements present fairly the financial position of the city in accordance with Public Sector

She reviewed some of the key elements to the Financial statement, including the reduction in the city's debt load through the process of two debt retirements for the Museum Loan and Atlin Upland loans from 20015.

The city added to its assets in three areas, with Ms. Bomben making note of the Cow Bay Marina, with ninety percent of that project funded through grants. The City also expanded the active landfill site, 100 per cent through grants. While the Fraser Street reconstruction and road paving in the city was funded through dividends and grants.

When it comes to the city's overall surplus it was decreased by 2.2 million mainly through the dividend paid out through Legacy Inc.

As for the City's General Operating Fund the CFO noted that it had ended the year with a 173,000 deficit, mainly owing to a 100,000 overage on the Ferry refit as a result of delays and impacts on the exchange rate.

Overall the operating departments have operated within budget.

The Utility funds ended the year with modest surpluses mainly due to incomplete projects by years end, which will be finished this year.

As a final note, Ms. Bomben observed that the auditors had provided a management letter noting that the internal controls of the city continue to be strong and that there are no issues that needed to be reported to Mayor and Council.

Following the presentation Council members offered up a few comments and posed a few questions related to the Financial Statement.

Councillor Thorkelson led off the conversation by seeking some clarification related to the financial notes on Legacy Incorporated, asking about differences between the actual budget amount of 2.5 million and the amount of 1.861 million dollar that was actually spent in the area of injection for economic growth.

Ms. Bomben, offered up a short review of some of the spending in that category, making note of such areas as Capital Works at just over 1 million dollars for road paving, with a couple of hundred dollars allocated towards sidewalks.

While 1.3 million dollars from the funding was directed towards planning for major projects for a total of 2.5 million dollars.

As well some funding was put in place towards the dismantling of Watson Island, which was covered through dividends from Legacy Fund.

That did not quite clear up some of Councillor Thorkelson's questions on the financial overview when it comes to the working of the Legacy Fund, with Ms. Thorkelson suggesting that the CFO could look into the topic further and provide the clarification later if required.

Ms. Bomben noted that she would have to review the program further to provide a full overview and she would communicate her findings to the Councillor.

Councillor Randhawa asked if there was a contract in place with the current auditor, or if there is a tender process involved in seeking the presentation of the financial overview.  It was noted that there hasn't been a tender conducted in recent years and typically council has appointed the auditor, however she did note that tenders can be called for from time to time.

Councillor Mirau inquired about the positive receivables and where that had come from asking if that was in relation to the payment received from the option agreement on Lot 444. Ms. Bomben confirmed that was where the positive figures had come from.

Council then voted to receive the Financial Statements, which completes the 2015 Financial Statement process.

You can review the full Financial Statement from the City's Agenda found from pages 10- 47.

( 12:30--15:30 Correspondence for Consideration -- Letter from Joanne Finlay regarding a BC poverty reduction plan -- Mayor Brain outlined some background related to the resolutions.

Councillor Thorkelson expressed her thanks to Ms. Finlay for bringing the letter to the attention of the city

Council then voted to approve the motion

15:30--16:00 ) Report from the Director of Operations -- Road Closure and Removal of Road Dedication Bylaw for a portion of roadway on Chamberlin Avenue. -- Mayor Brain noted that both requests for Road Closures had appeared in front of Council before

Council voted to approve the motion

16:00--16:30 ) Report from the Director of Operations -- Road Closure and Removal of Road Dedication Bylaw for a portion of roadway at Park Avenue and Five Corners.

Council voted to approve the motion

( 16:30--17:00  ) Reports, Questions and Inquires from Council

Mayor Brain noted that he had no new items of interest from the Housing Committee for this session of council.

He did observe that Councillors Cunningham, Niesh and Thorkelson, as well as the City Manager Robert Long had joined him in attendance at the North Central Local Government Association meetings in Dawson Creek last week.

With no other members of Council offering up items of interest or concern, Council adjourned its session for Monday.

You can access the City Council Review for May 9th here, where a number of items regarding the council session, including links to local media coverage, if any, 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.

In addition to the city's official minutes, the City's Video archive provides a helpful record of the events from each public council session.

Official Minutes of the Regular Council Session from May 9, 2016 (not available yet)

Council members now get three weeks away from the public forum portion of their work, with the Regular session set for May 30th  in Council Chambers at City Hall.

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