Wednesday, July 25, 2018

City Council Timeline: Monday, July 23 2018

Monday evening's council session for the most part was Report Night in Prince Rupert, with the City Council members receiving a range of reports on a variety of themes.

With Council having announced last week that they would be moving the start time for the July meeting up to 5:15 they made quick work of their Agenda package, completing the night's work in 27 minutes, allowing for a chance for Council members to enjoy another nice summer evening on the North Coast.

The meeting did have one show from the Agenda on the night, with a scheduled presentation from Ridley Terminals not taking place, that as no representatives from the industrial terminal were in attendance for the early evening meeting, leaving the opportunity to share news of their plans for expansion at RTI for another council session.

As they worked their way through the Agenda, Council moved forward a number of property variance requests, heard details of a contract award for the landfill expansion project and the prospects for application for funding for water supply related initiatives.

Council members also voted to approve a motion to donate any unused civic honorarium money from the late Councillor Nelson Kinney towards a clinic that is to be created in his name.

Council members also received a report on the financial variances from May, as well as to vote against adding a pair of properties to the city's Property tax exemption list.

Council members brought the evening to an end by providing for a few comments, observations and suggestions on a range of topics for further action by the City.

Monday was also a Committee of the Whole Session, which did offer the opportunity for the public to ask questions of Council or raise concerns, with one member of the public coming forward with a pair of items for consideration of the Council members.

Some background on the work of Council on the evening and the various Agenda elements for the July 23rd Council session 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 Monday, July, 23 2018

Mayor Lee Brain -- Present 
Councillor Barry Cunningham-- Present 
Councillor Blair Mirau --  Present
Councillor Wade Niesh -- Present
Councillor Gurvinder Randhawa--  Present 
Councillor Joy Thorkelson -- Present (participated by phone)

Councillor Nelson Kinney passed away on March 24th

Video Archive for July 23, 2018

(0:00 -- 2:30)  Committee of the Whole Session for July 23, 2018  --  Mayor Brain reviewed the list of minutes and agenda items to be noted by Council members, with Council then approving the Agenda.

One member of the public offered comments for Council, with Larry Golden making inquiries related to the recent ammonia leak at the Prince Rupert Civic Centre and asking if any reports on the incident were going to be made public.  The City Manager observed that there was an investigation under way and that a report will be generated, but whether it would be made public however will remain to be seen.

In a follow up question, Mr. Golden suggested that the City may wish to attend, or compile a report related to an Urban Agriculture conference in Vancouver in August.

With no other members of the public coming forward to comment or ask questions, the Mayor brought the public comment portion of the evening to a close and moved on to the Regular Council Agenda.


(2:30 -- 4:00 )   Regular City Council Session for July 23, 2018  --  Mayor Brain reviewed the list of minutes and agenda items to be noted by Council members, including one late addition, with Council then approving the Agenda.

( 4:00 -- 4:30Petitions and Delegations -- Presentation to City Council from representatives of Ridley Terminals   -- The Mayor noted that no representatives from Ridley Terminals were in the council chamber on the evening, observing that if they were to arrive before the meeting concluded the agenda item would be addressed at that time.

4:30 -- 6:00 )   Report from City Planner Zeno Krekic, related to an Application for Development Variance Permit for a property at 1641 Overlook   -- Mr. Krekic provided some details related to the variance request, which is to add  deck space and a raised walkway to the property in question.

Council members vote to approve the variance application, with the process now to go to public notification.

6:00 -- 7:30 )   Report from City Planner Zeno Krekic, related to an Application for Development Variance Permit for a property at 1045 First Avenue West  -- Mr. Krekic provided some background related to the variance request, which is to add a second floor to the property in question.

Council members vote to approve the variance application, with the process now to go to public notification.

7:30 -- 10:00 )   Report from City Planner Zeno Krekic, related to an Application for Development Variance Permit for a property at 1053 First Avenue West  -- Mr. Krekic provided some background related to the variance request, which is to make a variation to the front property setback.

As it was the second time in front of council, calls for public comment were asked for, however no one came forward to provide any comment or concern for the Council members.

Council members vote to approve the variance application.

( 10:00 -- 13:00 Report from the Director of Operations related to the Award of contract for the Prince Rupert Landfill West Berm Expansion  -- Mr. Richard Pucci the City's Director of Operations provided details related to the award of a contract for the Western Landfill Berm Expansion project.

The Director of Operations made note of  the open bid process and how it had provided for two bids. The first came in at $2,992,582 submitted by Broadwater Industries, while a bid from Duadet Creek was listed at $3,086,259.55.

From their deliberations as part of the tender review, the city decided to award the contract to Broadwater.

As part of his review of the contract award, Mr. Pucci also outlined some background on future development for the landfill site. The expansion plans will give the City an additional five years of use for that segment of the landfill site and allow for extra time for City staff and Council to provide for proper planning, cost effective design and construction of a new 35 year plus cell for the site.

In follow up questions on the theme, Councillor Cunningham inquired about the prospects of installing an incinerator disposal unit for the landfill site, asking if the idea was a feasible one, noting that the practice is common in many Europeans cities.

He was advised that there is a study underway towards that concept by a member of city staff, but that the current need for expansion at the landfill site is a priority for the city at the moment.

Council voted to approve the contract award for Broadwater.

13:00 -- 14:30 Report from the Direction of Operations, Re: Funding application for Sub-line replacement and Water Treatment System -- Council heard some background from Mr. Pucci related to a grant funding opportunity for Green infrastructure through the Province towards the City's submarine line and water treatment plans.

The Director of Operations noted that the City had been unsuccessful on their previous attempt in accessing funding in the last round that was available, adding that the new round of funding opportunities would cover off sixty six percent of the costs. Mr. Pucci also noted that if they were approved for funding they don't have to accept it, should they not be able to come up with the required commitment money.

He added that it would be a good idea to put forward the application and to make sure that the city is in the pot for the money.

Council then voted pass the resolution of support for staff's application for the fund.

14:30 -- 17:45 Memorandum from the Chief Financial Officer -- Re: Contribution of Councillor Kinney Honorarium toward donation to the fund for a COPD clinic in Councillor Kinney's name --  Council members offered up no questions or comments related to the memorandum from the City's Financial officer.

However as part of the discussion on the theme of the proposed clinic, Councillor Cunningham observed that any public donations could be directed to the North Coast Health Improvement Society, he also noted for the Nelson Kinney Lung Memorial Fund.

As well, Mr. Cunningham noted that Judy Fraser is also collecting donations for the fund, with the target for donations set at 20,000 dollars. Mr. Cunningham explained how the mandate for the clinic had expanded from it's original concept of being limited to COPD, with plans for the funding to be used to create a clinic will provide for respiratory therapy for a range of medical issues.

Councillor Cunningham  observed that Mr. Kinney had been looking for ways to create the clinic for the community prior to his passing earlier this year and that the City's motion would be a nice gesture to make.

Councillor Thorkelson joined in on the conversation, observing that it was a fitting memorial and credited Councillor Cunningham for bringing the idea forward, adding that the clinic will help people in Prince Rupert and on the North Coast.

Council then voted to approve the allocation of the outstanding honorarium to be directed towards the fundraising efforts.

Ms. Bomben's memorandum, which is available on page 44 of the Agenda package for the night noted that the value of the unspent honorarium that Council wishes to donate was listed at $8,246.96.

17:45 -- 18:15 )Report from the Chief Financial Officer -- May 2018 Financial Variance Report -- Council received a report for consideration from the City's CFO Corinne Bomben, with Council accepting the report with no comments or questions.

18:15 -- 19:00 )Report from the Chief Financial Office -- Re: Permissive Property Tax Exemption -- The Mayor observed that he had reviewed the report from staff related to requests for additional properties to be added to the Tax Exempt listings, observing that in fairness to other property owners he recommended that Council  not grant the permissive tax applications.

Council members then voted to follow his lead, reaching the decision not to add the requested properties to the tax exempt listings.


( 19:00 --19:45 ) Vehicle for Hire Regulation Amendment Bylaw  -- With Councillor Randhawa excusing himself from the conversation due to conflict of interest, Council members reviewed the proposed change to the bylaw which adjusts the period of licensing. With no comments or concerns expressed in relation to the byalw proposal, Council voted to give third reading and to approve the amendment.

( 19:45 -- 27:00 ) Reports and Comments from Council members

Councillor Niesh expressed condolences to the family of Chris Green, the longtime Prince Rupert cub and Scout leader recently passed away.

Councillor Cunningham outlined some concerns that he has received about the parking situation in the Cow Bay area, noting that one commercial operation that contributed over 20,000 dollars to meet the required parking bylaw, is now facing parking fines as there is not enough parking available for their staff members.

Mr. Cunnnigham noted how this is a double whammy for those businesses that have followed the city's guidelines related to Cow Bay parking, suggesting that there is a need to address that situation.

Councillor Randhawa raised issues related to the speed limits in the vicinity of the McKay Street Park with no speed limits signs on a road on one side of the park.

He also raised a concern over the lack of ICBC services in the community, calling for a return of an ICBC office either on a part time basis, or preferably in the form of a full time reinstatement. Mr. Randhawa outlined the nature of the current situation, where residents with claims for ICBC must make contact by phone for further action from out of town offices.

Councillor Thorkelson inquired as to why the ICBC office had been downsized, with Mr. Randhawa noted that the Prince Rupert office had been closed when ICBC had decided to centralize the operations in Terrace.

The Mayor suggested that the city conduct some research on the topic and then forward a letter to ICBC to address the situation in Prince Rupert.

Councillor Thorkelson also suggested that Regional District be contacted to see if the same situation exists on Haida Gwaii.

Councillor Thorkelson then provided a short update on the North Coast Fishing season into late July noting that a commercial opening was set to take place this week and that things were looking good for the season at this point.

Councillor Cunningham made note of complaints that he had received about the nature of the city's street signs were hard to read as they are very dirty, suggesting that as the city has some summer students working that they could perhaps be tasked to address the issue.

With no other comments offered up for the final portion of the evening, Council then voted to adjourn the meeting.

You can access the City Council Review for July 23rd herewhere a number of items regarding the council session, including links to local media coverage, can also 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 July 23, 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.

As part of their reduced schedule of work for the summer, Council members next meet on Monday, August, 20 2018

To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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