Thursday, January 17, 2019

Mayor Brain offers new update on water situation, observes on some of the current commentary in Prince Rupert

Mayor Lee Brain returned to the discussion on the City's Boil Water situation, providing a report from out of town, by way of another of his Facebook exclusive presentations on Thursday.

In the eleven minute presentation, Mr. Brain provided the latest notes on the water testing from the Shawatlan Lake source and then to offer up another review of the path towards new water infrastructure, as well as some comments on the social media back and forth on the issue in the community.

The most important bit of information comes at the very opening where the Mayor outlines the latest update on the water tests results from Shawatlan Lake.

"We have received multiple clear samples now back from the lab. We are just waiting  for Northern Health now to give us the all clear. They just need a few consistent clear samples to come in and once they're determined that there are enough clear samples then they will lift the notice for us"

The remaining nine minutes of the eleven minute address rehashes much of the information he's delivered through Facebook posts in December and from his past Hays 2.0 presentations.

As well  he provided for a short overview of the work that the City does as part of the grant process for infrastructure projects.

He revisits how the city found itself in the need of a Boil Order notice, observing how the city has successfully been pumping water from the city's secondary source at Shawatlan Lake since 2016 with no concerns and how the current problem arose from a storm surge delivering debris into the water source, which they can't presently treat.

He also offers up his observation that the water is clearing up and how shortly the City should be able to say that the notice is lifted, but reinforcing how it remains in effect at the moment.

He then delivers a  short synopsis of the city's future water supply plans with a focus on the 30 million dollar treatment plant, apparently planned for the Crestview area that will then process the city's water, adding that the city put in its application for funding in August.

The Mayor also delivers some observations from the Monday City Council session that he was not in attendance for, observing as to what he called MLA Jennifer Rice's misunderstanding of Councillor Niesh's comments of Monday about  Facebook comments and the need for the public to put pressure on provincial and federal officials.

To that theme, Mr. Brain adds that the city has further meetings planned with provincial officials later this month to discuss its infrastructure issues.

Mr. Brain also outlines a checklist of the council's work of the past, noting such initiatives as Watson Island, the downtown, housing, new parks, new roads, waterfront development and such, offering his view of the last four years and what may come in the future.

"The community has been in an economic depression for the last eighteen years, OK, and as a thirty three year old who ran for mayor of this community, I'm simply just taking what we inherited and I'm  just getting the stuff done.  That's what we're doing, I'm not going to blame any past council's, there's really nobody to blame here. 

I know that people want to point a finger somewhere but there really isn't. All we're going to do is do what needs to be done. And that's just to fix the stuff that needs to get fixed, raise the money that needs to be raised and to make sure that the community is going to be involved in the process along the way"

From his hotel room, he then  wraps up his commentary with some thoughts on the social media feedback that has made for much of the discussion on the situation to date, as well as to offer his praise for the work of city staff.

Towards the current state of the commentary in the community Mr. Brain  offered one final observation for city residents.

"Let's be kind to each other OK, we don't need to tear each other apart over an issue like this. And, yes emotions are high and I do believe at one point we will all look back at this, and it will be a memory, a distant memory. 

And I'm looking forward to seeing a successful announcement with the last and final phase and what we're trying to do here is leave a long term legacy of new clean water for everybody in the community, one that we are all going to be proud of"

The full video can be viewed below

His commentary came shortly after MLA Rice provided her own response to the Monday Council Session posted to her Facebook page one hour previous to the Mayor's update.

More background on the City's Boil Water Notice can be reviewed from our archive here.

A recap of Monday's City Council Session is available from our Council Timeline and Council archive page.

Further notes on City Council Discussion topics can be explored here.

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

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