Wednesday, September 11, 2019

They may not like it; but they signed off on it ... Prince Rupert's Ridley Tax Sharing payment to Port Edward hits the $1.25 million mark

Corinne Bomben, the City's Financial Officer provided for a short financial review as part of Monday's only Regular Council Session for September, making note of the city's Financial Variance Report for July and observing on just one item from the range of material that was the focus of the notes in the Agenda.

The item selected however, was an important one, with the City's CFO advising council that the annual payment as part of the Ridley Island Tax Agreement had been delivered to Port Edward, with a total of $1.25 million being forwarded to the financial coffers at the Port Edward municipal hall.

That is just shy of $125,00 more than the city delivered to Port Edward one year previous.

"The only variance of note is compared to this time last year is in the fiscal expenditures, which includes the Ridley Island Tax Sharing Agreement payment to Port Edward. So, this year we paid  Port Edward 1.25 million dollars, whereas last year we paid 878,000 dollars. This increase was budgeted for at the beginning of this year" -- City of Prince Rupert CFO Corinne Bomben

The full variance report for July can be explored from the City's agenda page for the Monday night session.

Ms. Bomben's very short update can be reviewed from the city's video archive starting at the 53 minute mark.

After a few seconds of a silent pause, perhaps to let those numbers sink in, Council members moved on to other issues.

Once again, letting slide by another opportunity to update the community on some of the past issues raised by the City related to their dispute with the District over the nature of that financial agreement and the city's concerns related to it.

What could have been helpful for the public on a Monday night where Council really didn't have much to discuss,  might have been some notes on whether the city has had any progress with the province in having that agreement reviewed, as they have been seeking for the last few years.

We also might have wanted to hear more on the province's response to the City's request for the de-incorporation of Port Edward, an approach that the city council has never really explained in public session.

Then there's the disagreement over the delivery of water to the city's Watson Island Trade and Logistics Park with the District of Port Edward reportedly in May set to terminate water service  to that site as part of the latest flash point in the ongoing dispute.

Since that latest note on the troubles list first popped up, the City of Prince Rupert has not made mention of it, nor on how they may have provided for a work around the issue.

As well an update on the state of the mutual aid agreement between the Prince Rupert and Port Edward Fire Rescue departments would have been welcome, with the last that we had heard on that finding the long standing agreement to be in some kind of limbo

Considering all the heated rhetoric that the city's generated when it came to the nature of the agreement last fall, it would have been nice for the city's Council members to let us know what became of it all.

For more items of note from Monday's City Council session see our Council Timeline Feature here, as well more items of interest on City Council discussion themes can be found on our Council Discussion page.

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