Wednesday, March 16, 2022

City of Prince Rupert explores more property options as part of Budget proposals

The city made a bit of news on Monday announcing plans to take over the
space that once was home to the GM dealership in town, with the new use
to be that of a facility for the city's public works department

The City of Prince Rupert has announced another surprise proposal towards property use, with Monday's Budget presentation confirming a much repeated rumour of the city's interest in the old MacCarthy GM dealership on Portage Avenue.

The car dealership which closed its doors in January of 2021 has sat empty since, seemingly tweaking the interest of the City's Operations Department, which now has plans to use the facility for the city's public works crews.

The introduction of that proposal was made as part of Monday's Council session, with the City's Chief Financial Officer Corrine Bomben making mention of the city's need for leasehold upgrades to the MacCarthy dealership, the required work on the structure to be funded through a dividend from  Legacy Inc.

In follow up documentation from the city's social media stream, it was noted that the current facilities on Wantage Road are leaking and/or have been determined to be unsafe.

The announcement of the plans on Monday made for the first public mention of the concept, with the topic not raised previous in an public session of Council.

The 2022 Budget proposal will include the need for
150,000 dollars in roof improvements for the city's interests
in the Canfisco Warehouse in the Rushbrook Floats area

The evolution of the MacCarthy building announcement, mirrors a previous arrangement that the city entered into with Canadian Fish back in 2020, when the City eventually announced that they were leasing out space in the Canfisco Warehouse.

As it is for the apparent use for the MacCarthy facility, there were no previous discussion at a Public Council session in  2019/2020 by Council towards the new path that had in mind for their Canfisco plans.

In somewhat ironic timing, the Canfisco project also made some news as part of Mondays Budget planning reveal, with Ms. Bomben noting that Roof improvements for the property will require an estimated 150,000 dollar, once again to be funded through the city's favoured instrument of Legacy Inc.

Hopefully Council members will find their voices during the Budget consultation to share some thoughts on the plan towards the MacCarthy facility,  that in order to provide additional background on the initiative and how that option may have bene preferable to repairs to the Wantage Road structures.

Council may also want to provide for an expansive overview as to just how they have been using the Legacy Inc. monies over the last few years, a topic that rarely brings few updates from Council.  

An update that perhaps could outline just how much of that pool of money may be left from that 18 million dollar windfall that had come out of the final year of the Jack Mussallem era on Council.

More notes on Monday's Council Session can be reviewed from our Council Timeline Feature.


  1. I watched part of Mondays council meeting. They were debating a new bylaw to ensure landlords keep their buildings up to an acceptable level. Why not debate the city properties.

    Now I see by this article the city in not maintaining the taxpayers property. City staff says no problem we will just rent one. Council should be asking questions as to why our building are allowed to deteriorate to the point we have to vacate the property. This is a little nuts. When buildings start to go you make plans to repair or build new. That plan should have been worked on five years ago. Now we rent for $300,000 a year (the rumor) then renovate for another $750,000. The cost doesn’t seem to be a problem we can raise taxes. Oh by the way weren’t we giving tax cuts a few months ago.

    1. this is a purposefully ignorant comment. the plan for a new public works building should have been done decades ago. another inherited problem finally being dealth with in a creative way by Lee.

  2. Why are my taxes going up and we are helping out Jimmy Pattison by putting a new roof on his building?

    1. your taxes are going up because the port is not paying its fair share. the tax cap means your house went up in value by 30% but they will pay less taxes than last year

  3. to somehow try to give Jack Mussallem credit for the $18 million is just plain ridiculous. he and his council delayed and dithered to the point that they couldnt even vote before they handily lost the election. they were too afraid to make any big decisions so no credit where no credit is due

  4. why do you think the city staff would be dumb enough to let councillors negotiate building leases at a public meeting?

    theres a reason certain deals like these need to be negoitated in private. taxpyaers deserve the best possible deal, and that doesnt happen by dropping your metaphorical pants for the world to see

  5. have you been back to take a photo of the public works yard? yikes. well past time something was done.

  6. There is no denying that a new facility is needed for a works yard.

    But to use taxpayer dollars to lease/purchase an empty car dealership lot instead of utilizing and upgrading existing city owned space at Watson Island for a public works yard would be another example of a poor fiscal decision from City Hall.

    1. seriously? and pay all 100+ public works staff a half hour every single day for driving city equipment back and forth? what a poorly thought out suggestion

  7. Well the councilors and the city did the taxpayers a fine piece of work when they negotiated the lease of the CN Building to Wheel House Brew Pub. The lease for the pub was done behind closed doors. Transparency might of helped the taxpayer.

    Compare the rate the city is paying for the car lot then the lease amount for the CN Building. Oh by the way the city is responsible for renos to the car lot.

    How did the city works yard get that way, poor management is coming home to roost.

    1. poor management indeed, thanks Pete Lester & Jack Mussallem!