Friday, July 1, 2016

City Council Timeline for Special Session of June 29, 2016

For the most part, it appears that Wednesday's very short Special Session of Council was called mainly to approve the City's Statement of Financial Information.

A task that is required  under the British Columbia Financial Act.of Council before the deadline of June 30th.

The eleven minute meeting held at 5 PM on Wednesday took care of that requirement with little in the way of a council review, while Council also  received a report on the Variances from the City's financial officer.

Since they were there anyways, Council was asked to give the go ahead to pursue a couple of grant applications that City staff have put forward for consideration.

All items one imagines  that could have been taken care of at Monday's 34 minute Regular Council meeting, but for whatever reason were not added to that Agenda for consideration at that time.

For some background on the evening's items of note, the Agenda for the Regular Council session for June 29, 2016 can be reviewed here.

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 June 29, 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 (by phone)
Councillor Joy Thorkelson -- Present

Video Archive for June 29, 2016

(0:00--0:30 Special Regular Council Session for Monday, June 29, 2016  -- The Mayor reviewed past minutes and the current agenda for the evening. 

Reports to Council

( 0:30--3:30 Report from the Director of Operations regarding the Canada 150 grant  --  Mr. Pucci outlined the nature of a request for a Grant application to the Canada 150 grant, which would seek to access funding for the Airport Ferry Ramp pontoon rehabilitation project. His background information reviewed how the City needs to replace the pontoons to the dock on the Fairview side of the Airport Ferry system.

Councillor Thorkelson had a few questions related to the application, first asking what other kinds of projects were available and why they chose the Airport Ferry work for the grant bid. She was advised that it has been on the radar for a number of years and how the airport ferry is an important part of the transportation infrastructure system and how it has been put off owing to cost.

The City's Financial officer observed that the proposed project was also part of the Capital Budget and with the funding announcement the city will be applying for the funding to cover it.

Council voted to approve the motion to seek the funding.

3:30 --5:30 ) Report from the City Financial Officer providing a variance report  -- Ms. Bomben outlined the nature of the findings from the Variance Report covering a period up to an including May. Her key observations included a review of the level of usage of the ferry to the Prince Rupert airport which has declined with the departure of Hawkair, though she does note that Air Canada recently started a third flight to the city. 

As well, she noted that the Cow Bay Marina is now fully operational and will be contributing to the city's revenue sources. Most departments are on budget this year, with Capital purchases and work underway and taking place through the summer.

Councillor Randhawa offered up one question related to the Cow Bay Marina asking as to the level of interest being found in the new facility, Ms. Bomben noted that the interest has been steady, with the Marina manager reporting that the facility is full and many people are calling to make reservations.

Council voted to receive the report.

5:30 -- 6:30 Report from the City Financial Officer providing a review of the Statement of Financial Information for 2015  -- Ms. Bomben outlined some brief background to the Statement of Financial Information, adding that much of the information from the SOFI is available in the Annual Financial Statement. She noted that by its approval Council will have fulfilled the requirements of the British Columbia Financial Act.  

No members of Council had any questions related to the document or any of its findings.

Council voted to approve the Statement of Financial Information

You can review the full document from the Council Agenda for the evening starting at page 9

Our background pieces related to the SOFI information can be reviewed below:

June 30 -- Suppliers reap $28 million as City increases spending in 2015
June 30 -- Final numbers for 2015 show $1.3 million in Community Grants distributed by the City
June 29 -- Salary and Expenses on the rise from Prince Rupert's 2015 SOFI review

( 6:30 --11:00 Report from the Corporate Administrator providing a review of a proposed Grant Application towards the National Disaster Mitigation Program   --  Mr. Mandryk noted that the city could apply for a grant opportunity hosted by Emergency Management BC to access up to $450,000 for the first phase of the work to involve extensive risk assessments for a possible tsunami event. The program features four phases related to the steps involved in the process.

The cost of stage one would be accessed by the grant funding received by the program, no direct funding will be required by the city, it is anticipated that if successful in its grant award  that it will speak to additional grant funding being provided for the following three stages.

City Staff asked for guidance from Council as to whether to seek out the grant opportunity available.

Councillor Thorkelson raised a number of questions related to the proposed application, asking to the total cost of the work, noting that she has concerns when it comes to applying for funding but if the City doesn't have the amount in its budget to apply for matching funding they have to take it from other areas.

Mr. Mandryk noted that there is no need for matching funding for this proposal, that it is provided by the Federal and provincial governments, the Mayor adding that it is a fully paid grant.

Councillor Cunningham asked if the nature of the first stage of the risk assessment would be part of city staff's regular work or how it was planned to handle such an involved process and how much time would need to be allocated.

Mr. Mandryk explained that the assessment process would fall to the Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief and that city staff would be working in an advisory capacity. He also noted that consultants would be brought in to conduct the actual work related to the assessment project.

Councillor Thorkelson returned to the different stages of the project, asking what kind of commitment the City would have following the first stage. Mr. Mandryk observed that to follow that up with the further stages the City would have to apply for further funding opportunities.

Councillor Cunningham observed that after the risk assessment was complete the City would have a better understanding of how much further planning would be required.

Council voted to approve the motion to seek out the Funding from the program.

(11:00--11:30  ) Reports, Questions and Inquires from Council

With No comments or questions from the Council members, the meeting was then adjourned.

You can access the City Council Review for the Special Session here , where a number of items regarding the council session, including links to local media coverage, if any, 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 June 29th, 2016 (not available yet)

Council members now return to their summer schedule for Regular Council sessions, featuring only one session per month for July, August and September, the next scheduled Council session takes place on July 25th.

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