Despite having been away from the Council Chamber for over a month, Council members knocked off the two items requiring their consideration on the night in rapid succession.
Following a short review of the last two years of operation for the Cow Bay Marina, Council members approved changes to some aspects of fees for the waterfront facility for the upcoming year.
Council also had their first opportunity to welcome to town the newest Manager for the Recreation Department, receiving a report from David Geronazzo to his duties. For his first report for council, he provided background on some housekeeping changes to terminology and rates for use of the Civic Parking lot.
Some background on the items of note on the evening and the various Agenda elements for the Council session can be reviewed here.
Council also met in Closed Session at 5 PM on Monday evening, some background on the reasons provided necessitating the need to Close the doors to the public 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 January 15, 2018
Mayor Lee Brain-- Present
Councillor Barry Cunningham-- Present
Councillor Blair Mirau -- Present
Councillor Wade Niesh -- Present
Councillor Nelson Kinney -- Absent
Councillor Gurvinder Randhawa-- Present
Councillor Joy Thorkelson -- Present
Video Archive for January 15, 2018
( 0:00 -- 1:00 ) Regular City Council Session -- The Mayor reviewed the list of minutes and agenda items to be noted by Council members, with Council then approving the Agenda while the past minutes of previous council meetings were adopted.
( 1:00 -- 14:00 ) Report from the Chief Financial Officer, on behalf of the Manager of Transportation and Economic Development on revisions to fees for use of the Cow Bay Marina -- Corinne Bomben, was pinch hitting for Paul Venditelli on Monday evening, providing the background to the Manager of Transportation and Economic Development's report on the Cow Bay Marina.
During her review, Ms. Bomben noted that since it began operations, the Cow Bay Marina has brought an estimated 2.5 million dollars in economic spin off benefits to Prince Rupert from 2016 to 2017.
As for the proposed changes to the bylaw adopted in 2016, Council passed the first three readings to update a fee category for super yachts creating a new rate to address this growing sector of the boating industry and one which can bring additional revenue to the community.
As well the City plans to increase the monthly moorage rates during the peak summer months of June through August. Ms. Bomben noted that change will enable the city to try to capture a larger share of the itinerant traffic that travels up and down the British Columbia coast. By doing that the City will also be able to reach the original goals and requirements of the grant process that was accessed during the planning for the Marina Facility.
There will also be a fee for marine facility security a fee that had not been contemplated during the creation of the original bylaws.
You can review the full report from the Council Agenda package for January 15th starting on page 10 .
Council members had a few observations and questions on the theme, with Councillor Randhawa inquiring as to potential demand for itinerant vessel visits and the possibility of the city pricing the marina out of the market, he also asked for an update on what kind of forecast the changes might bring towards revenue for the season ahead.
Councillor Niesh offered up his support for the scope of the changes and the new revisions in place.
Councillor Cunningham observed that the Cow Bay Marina costs are in line with what is being charged at other facilities up and down the coast in the province, he also suggested some changes to the wording of the bylaw.
As a follow up to the theme of the Cow Bay Marina, Mr. Cunningham inquired as whether the City has made any progress on his original suggestion of creating a Fish Market for summer weekends at the Dock, he was advised that the City is still working towards that proposal.
Councillor Thorkelson asked for a definition of the term itinerant when it comes to the usage of the facility and what kind of time period that takes in and how it may impact on the rates that are required.
She also inquired as to the nature of the Administrative clean up towards the language of the bylaw and what the city hoped to achieve from those changes.
( 14:00 -- 17:00 ) Report from David Geronazzo, the Director of Recreation and Community Services -- City Manager Robert Long provided the welcome to David Geronazzo the City's new Director of Recreation and Community Services, noting that Mr. Geronazzo had joined the city staff in November of this year.
For his first report to Council, the new Director outlined some minor changes, which he described as housekeeping changes to be made to the Recreation Fees and Charges Bylaw, noting that the current language isn't working as best it could for the city and how the modifications will provide for better flexibility.
The amendment to the Bylaw will see the city reduce the fees for the rental of parking spaces to a lower price point, as well as to cap the charge for table and chair rental rates at Recreation facilities to a maximum of four days.
Councillor Cunningham noted that the the Recreation Commission will need to discuss the proposed rate changes for the parking lot stalls and how that will be different from what the City charges for the Junk in the Trunk garage sale opportunities that they offer at the Civic Centre in the Spring and Summer.
That will be discussed at an upcoming Recreation Commission meeting.
The full report for Council can be reviewed from the Agenda for the January 15th Session starting on page 45.
( 17:00 to 18:00 ) Reports, Questions and Inquires from Council
Mayor Brain provided a brief overview of some recent discussions between City staff and those with the Ministry of Transportation on the theme of safety concerns along the Highway 16 corridor through the city. With the mayor making noting that a future meeting with Council is planned in the coming months to provide for a review potential ways of improving safety on area roads.
Councillor Cunningham inquired if the City had forwarded a correspondence to the CBC yet as requested at the December council session, he was advised that the letter has not been sent as of yet, with plans to forward it to the broadcaster this week.
Those was the only comments of the final portion of the evening, with Council then voting to adjourn the meeting.
You can access the City Council Review for January 15th 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.
Official Minutes of the Regular Council Session from January 15, 2018 (not available yet)
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.
Monday's Council Session was the first of the seventeen Regular Council sessions for 2018, Council members next meet on Monday, January 29th.