Friday, March 31, 2023

Budget Request for Land Purchases, should come with disclosure of current land holdings

One of a number of property lots that the City o Prince Rupert
owned and put up for sale last year

(From City of PR notice)

With a large volume of Budget Requests to work our way through from the extensive documentation offered up on Budget release night last week, residents who have an interest in how the City is crafting it's 2023 Budget may have missed an item of some interest.  

That of the City looking to dedicate some of the budget ahead towards land purchases for future use.

The item of Capital Spending isn't particularly high, with a request to use just 50,000 dollars from Reserve/Surplus towards the City's strategic purchases.

While the City seemingly makes investments year to year, residents rarely hear of how much land the city has amassed, where it is located, or if it generates much in the way of revenues for it.

Something that residents facing a double digit property tax increase may want to hear more about.

We only hear word of some of these pockets of land when they announce that some have been put up for disposition as they did recently related to the Digby Tower location, or as was the case with a large listing of residential lots of last year to try to spur on housing development.

Whether they had any success towards that goal of creating more housing isn't known, as the City hasn't  provided for an update since; though there does not appear to be any kind of housing boom underway to testify in the affirmative.

Providing a list of where the City owns it's land would also give residents a better understanding when it comes to the Strategic Planning that the city has been  putting forward towards commercial, industrial and residential development.

The City has used some of its land in the past, a stretch of Park Avenue offered up for some much needed Supportive housing that went up as part of the Crow's Nest Lodge initiative.

As well, a good case could be made that with the City facing some challenges in their budgeting this year, that selling some additional lots of land may help make for a bridge towards when other initiatives begin to provide more reliable returns.

With a pair of Community engagement sessions ahead (April 11 and 24 Council meetings)  towards Budget preparation, there are a number or areas where Council should be providing more information about and consider whether the current path of investment can continue as it has in the past,  considering the larger issues facing the municipality.

Areas of interest that could make for a conversation starter at those Budget sessions could include such civic assets as CityWest, Watson Island and how the city uses its financial instrument of Legacy Inc.

How much land that they are accumulating and what they are doing with, it is one area where information may help the public better understand the ever evolving tax call ahead.

More notes on the Budget Process ahead can be reviewed here.

Digging Deep on First Avenue as water line work moves towards fourth month

The work site appears to be expanding on the First Avenue Waterline project
contractors began work on the waterline issues in December as 
part of the City's Local State of Emergency

The path of progress for work on the First Avenue East waterlines appears to be down, down, down with a large collection of heavy equipment on the site of one of two items of work from the Local State of Emergency of December.

Contractors are approaching their work from atop the bluffs on First Avenue East and below from the Cow Bay Parking lot, the job one that seems to be more extensive now than just a repair to a waterline.

The First Avenue East site and another area of extensive work on Crestview Drive continue to be closed to through traffic as the work continues, the once daily updates of December now delivered on a more relaxed timeline, if they come at all. 

When it comes to these two projects of the longest duration,  there hasn't been any information since the December Emergency came to an end for Council from Operations, nor have the City Council member asked any questions of their own.

The current state of First and Crestview is just a preview of what the next few years are going to look like for many of the city's streets. 

As we outlined on St. Patrick's Day, Premier David Eby came to town with his own personal Pot of Gold for the community, that by way of a 65 million dollar announcement of funding for the city's waterline woes.

Much needed, but yet not surprisingly, that amount is nowhere near enough to address decades of kicking the infrastructure can down the road amidst some financial challenges for the City and a direction of funding that was in hand, that went towards towards other priorities for Council.

At the end of the March 20th Council Session, Mayor Herb Pond paid thanks to the province for the funding, observing for residents that the next few years will be those of  work to "Renovate Rupert".

To this point however, the city hasn't identified any of their priority list of 26 kilometres high risk areas of concern for the public that they plan to address first.

More notes on Major Projects can be reviewed here, items of interest from the Operations Department can be explored here.

April means Mamma Mia showtime for Prince Rupert!

The Community musical returns to Prince Rupert in April after a five
year absence, as North Coast actors and musicians prepare to
present Mamma Mia!

With rehearsals and set development moving forward with a quicker pace, it's almost show tine for the First Community Musical in half a decade, with the Cast, Musicians, Production and support for Mamma Mia making the push to the finish line.

The three nights of the much anticipated musical featuring many familiar community theatre names and some new ones, will launch on April 20th, the start of the three night run for the celebration of everything Abba.

Producer for the show is Chris Armstrong, with Alson O'Toole providing her talents once again as Director.

The cast has 37 performers, some of the city's hardest working musicians and  many more volunteers working behind the scenes. Covering off a range to areas from vocal coaching to set design, technical duties and wardrobe among the many tasks assigned for the show.

The Lester Centre reminds Prince Rupert musical theatre lovers that ticket sales are now just a click away offering up a website portal for theatre goers to secure their seats for what should be another showcase event for Prince Rupert's theatre community.

The Lester Centre has a short synopsis of the three nights available here.

More notes no Arts on the North Coast can be explored here.

Running Notes and Events in the Northwest: 2023 Archive

Our archive of items related to the local running club and marathon events around the Northwest.

Rupert Runners Website

Rupert Runners Facebook page

Events / Results 2022

September 16 -- Cannery Road Race
June 2 -- Skeena River Relay
May  7 -- Glory Days (Not on Schedule for 2023)
April 2 -- Rupert Half Marathon and 8km



Prince Rupert Rotary ready to roll out the Easter Eggs

The Countdown is on for some fun in Pacific Mariner's Memorial Park, with the Prince Rupert Rotary Club in the final days of preparation for next week's Community Easter Egg Hunt.

The Free Community Event is scheduled for Saturday April 8th starting at 11 AM, with Rotarians set to hide the treasured Eggs around the Park overlooking Prince Rupert Harbour.

The popular Mariner's Park Egg Hunt, goes Rain or Shine and offers up some family fun in the middle of the Easter Long Weekend. 

Depending on the weather elements of the week ahead, keeping a good pair rainbows handy for Egg Hunt day may be a wise fashion decision. 

Keep up with any notes on the Hunt from the Rotary Social Media Stream.

More community notes can be explored through our archive page.

City looking to fill post in Stores Department with Operations

The one day home for the City's  of Prince Rupert's
Operations Department at Portage and Saskatoon 

The City of Prince Rupert's latest Career opportunity will be of interest to those with a passion for stock taking and purchasing among other pursuits; with a civic job posting for a Storeskeeper  making the list of job options this week.

Also of some assistance in gaining the post, work as a timekeeper and First Aid experience. 

The Job reports to Operations Management and is a CUPE 105 position with a starting rate as of 2021 at $34.17 with a premium for an OFA 3 ticket. 

That subject to change with a new municpal contract soon to be put in place.

There's close to two other pages of Qualifications and Expectations towards the opportunity, which you can review from the City's Jobs Archive page here

The posting on the City's Jobs page went up this week and has a closing date of April 6th.

Not included in the jobs posting but something that could be an enticement is the chance ahead to work in some new digs. The City's Operations Department is due for a relocation from the Wantage Road facility in the future, with work underway to refurbish the old McCarthy GM dealership on Portage into the new home for the Department. 

There has not been an update in recent months as to how that work is coming along, or when the move in date may be.

More notes on Civic Jobs opportunities can be explored through our archive page.

Terrace River Kings look for Coy Cup final berth with Semi Final play tonight

The week long Coy Cup tournament is almost to a close with Terrace, Dawson Creek and host Quesnel battling it out in early round action over the last three days. 

The Fourth team that had qualified Penticton Silver Bullets, chose to withdraw following the death last week of Morton Johnson, who passed  following a traffic accident just before the team was set to travel to Quesnel.

From the early action, Quesnel has found the most success, their hard work on the ice qualifying earning them a berth in the Saturday night finale to the Coy Cup Championship. 

That after a 6-3 victory over the Dawson Creek Canucks in front of a packed house at the West Fraser Centre.

The sets the stage for tonight when the Canucks and Terrace River Kings are in action for the Coy Cup Semi-final with a 7:30 puck drop.

The River Kings may have the upper hand on their Peace Country rivals, not only have the Canucks just come off a hard hitting affair with the Kangaroos, but the River Kings knocked them off on Wednesday by a score of 6-3.

The Quesnel Kangaroos Social Media stream has featured some of the Coy Cup play through the week, so there may be some live stream snippets to view tonight of the match up.

The Coy Cup wraps up with Saturday's Final which starts at 7:30.

More notes on the Coy Cup and CIHL can be explored through our archive page here.

North Pacific Cannery Historical Site looking for staffers as season approaches

A view of North Pacific Cannery Historical Site
(from NPCHS FB)

The start of hiring season for Port Edward's North Pacific Cannery Historical Site is underway, with the popular attraction on the North Coast posting a call for applications to its Social Media feed on Thursday.

The first of the job opportunities for the 2023 season is for Adult Tour guides who will start work in May and continue through to mid October.

click to enlarge

The link to apply can be found as part of their posting to their Facebook page here.

As we outlined earlier this week, North Pacific Cannery Historical Site has just wrapped up their Strategic Plan to guide the Board and management into the future, at the most recent Port Edward District Council session, Mayor Knut Bjorndal observed that they are anticipating a very successful year ahead for the Historical Site.

You can monitor their Social Media Stream for more updates on employment opportunities and other notes as they get closer to their May opening.

More notes on Tourism across the Northwest can be reviewed here.

Provincial Funding for Emergency Services Support announced

Communities across the Northwest and on Haida Gwaii have a bit of additional funding to put towards their needs for Emergency Services Supports, with the Province delivering 2.2 million dollars provinewide to be put toward support for people who may need to be evacuated from homes during emergencies.

“British Columbians who are forced to evacuate their homes often rely on provincially funded emergency support services that are delivered in partnership with First Nations and local governments. This funding will help communities build up capacity to better deliver these supports to people during very stressful situations as we continue modernizing and improving ESS.” -- Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness.

Prince Rupert's Share of the 2.2 million dollars of provincial funds comes to $3,892 for ESS Capacity and Resourcing Support

On Haida Gwaii, the community of Daajing Giids will receive $29,965 to be put towards ESS Storage and Supplies

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice noted yesterday as to how the funding comes during more frequent climate related issues.

“As we see more frequent climate-related emergencies, it’s important that residents of the North Coast know they can access emergency support services should they need it. As the former Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness, I know this funding is crucial to our communities. Our BC NDP government is taking the steps to be prepared for any type of emergency”

Other communities across the Northwest to receive funding from this funding distribution include:

Bulkley Nechako Regional District -- (Houston, Granisle)  -- $89,238.46
(Regional ESS Exercise and Equipment Acquisition)

Burns Lake -- $29,684
(ESS Team Development)

Kitselas First Nation -- $30,000
(Support Supply project)

Smithers - Regional, Telkwa -- $60,000
(Bulkley ESS Transport, Security and Volunteer Safety project)

You can review the announcement and full province-wide allocation here.

More notes from the British Columbia Legislature can be reviewed here.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Skeena Bulkley Valley MP notes of NDP initiatives in 2023 Federal Budget

The Northwest's Member of Parliament, Taylor Bachrach has been digging into the 2023 Federal Budget just like the rest of us and he's picked out a few items from Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland's wide ranging document of some note.

The Skeena Bulkley Valley MP, used his social media feed to highlight both the NDP work towards ensuring that the Dental Care Plan gained some momentum from the Federal Liberals. 

Mr. Bachrach also noted of the additional supports for air travellers from the Federal Budget, that a topic he's been making a high profile one through his work in the House of Commons.

While the NDP had some success in the 2023 Federal Financial planning document, there's been some lost momentum on a national Pharmacare initiative; something the NDP has been championing in the past and an area that we imagine they will be returning to the spotlight as the House moves forward this Spring.

More notes from the House of Commons can be reviewed here.

A recap on Budget 2023 themes from some of the nation's News services can be explored from our political blog D'Arcy McGee.

Clock ticking down to deadline for Payment of City of Prince Rupert Utility taxes

Just over 24 hours remain for Prince Rupert homeowners to
pay their Utility bills with a discount available

While many residents are perhaps occupied with a review of last week's Budget Presentation and since reduced proposed tax hike of 13.4% (down from the original 15.7% tax call) another tax concern is looming large for those that haven't been watching the calendar.

The City of Prince Rupert today reminded residents of the community that the 2023 Utility Taxes are due for payment by the end of business on Friday, after that your opportunity to take advantage of the discount will be gone.

As we noted earlier this year, the City of Prince Rupert Utility Taxation bills hit the mail in mid February, this year as has been the case in the recent past, bringing another slight increase to the goals for ratepayers for annual Water and Sewer fees. 

The 2023 tax call from the City saw a slight decrease for Garbage/Recycling from 2022, that following last years launch of the Blue Tub program in the city.

Our notes from February, included a bit of a historical timeline towards the Utility Payment requests over the last eight years.

More notes on Taxation and Fees from the City is available here, while our evolving archive of Budget 2023 notes can be examined here.

Prince Rupert Minor Softball season on the horizon, with registration underway now

It won't be long now until Doug Kerr Field is once again home for
Prince Rupert Minor Softball play

The crack of the bat, the race for first base the throw from the field ... the days of Minor Softball are not that far off now with the resurgent youth activity in the community currently taking registration for the 2023 season.

Prince Rupert Minor Softball has Six Divisions set to get underway for 2023 with play available for youngsters from Under 7 to Under 17. The season runs through Spring and into early sumner.

The registration cost per player for U7, U 9 is $75, $125 for all other Divisions.

Minor Softball has seen some strong growth since it retuned to Prince Rupert in 2017, the numbers growing with the merger of Prince Rupert Little League and Minor Softball three years ago.

The Prince Rupert Minor Softball Facebook page has more information towards the upcoming season, including a section for a Swap and Shop of baseball equipment for families looking to play this season.

You can  start your season by registering through the Prime Rupert Minor Softball Association Registration page, you will need to use your login, or create one to move through the site.

More on the season ahead as we hear word of it, can be found from our archive page.

Prince Rupert Minor Softball Association Archive 2023

Our archive of items on the launch of the North Coast Minor softball Association, which will playing through the spring until the end of June.

The Association features the following divisions:

Under 7
Under 9

BC Hydro makes plans for more work around Prince Rupert area into this summer

BC Hydro has a busy to do list ahead for the 
months ahead in Prince Rupert
(image from BC Bid website RFP)

With some of their largest bit of work locally in recent years completed this week.  Work that made for a seven hour overnight blackout for Prince Rupert to allow for it, BC Hydro has a few more projects on the way for the community in the months to come.

An RFP posted to the BC Bid site outlines some of the projects that will be taking place around Prince Rupert, the document posted to the provincial listings notes of Underground work, Duct Bank installations and a 2 phase Voltage Conversion program.

The work will see Hydro employees and contractors working both below the surface and above it at locations found across the City and surrounding region.

The Voltage Conversion program includes replacement of a range of infrastructure across the city, with the documentation towards that work featuring a number of background maps an example of which is noted below:

Much of the work is set to be completed before the end of this coming summer.

The Deadline for submissions to the RFP is set for April 18th.

The full documentation for the work ahead can be reviewed from the BC Bid Website

More notes on BC Hydro in the Prince Rupert area can be reviewed here.

Northern Health introduces new phone number for Regional Lab Call Centre for use by Prince Rupert and area residents

Those with tests to take, or samples to provide through the Labs at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital now have a new number to call to address all their scheduling needs.

The new initiative which is known as the Regional Lab Call Centre was introduced to the public on Wednesday, with Northern Health observing how it will make booking, cancelling or rescheduling a lab appointment easier for residents of the North Coast.

The update to services was shared through the Northern Health Facebook page that is dedicated towards Prince Rupert area topics.

The Prince Rupert lab, which has had somewhat of a gypsy life over the last few years following a fire at the Hospital in May of 2021, has once again returned to their main floor home.

The move back comes with a significant amount of the equipment replaced since the fire. The renovation to the space came in at around 7 million dollars.

A change to the booking system to free up staff was part of the presentation last August by Northern Health officials related to a range of issues towards Prince Rupert Regional Hospital.

Northern Health had conducted a patient survey in July of 2021, to learn more about how residents of Prince Rupert viewed their laboratory experiences.

To access the new Regional Lab Call Centre phone 1-888-223-1530

More notes on Health Care in Prince Rupert can be reviewed through our archive page.

Paved Roads ... and lines to go with them! City of Prince Rupert posts RFP for upcoming line painting

Yesterday we made note of some pothole repairs and street sweeping that has city crews at work around the city, as well as a Capital Request in the 2023 Budget for some road paving planning for the year ahead.

And should that paving program move forward, as it most likely will, the next step will be to put some lines down on the streets of Prince Rupert so motorists have a guide to lanes, crosswalks and such.

The City delivered its Request for Proposals to the BC Bid website for that work on Wednesday, outlining the scope of their expectations for the successful contractor that will gain the contract.

The Deadline for proposals is set for April 14th with contractors to deliver their submission to Mark Seidel at City Hall. 

The Notice of Award will come in mid April, with the work to be completed by late September.

The documentation with BC Bid includes a number of maps of areas around the city that will see attention this year.

In past years, Yellowhead Pavement Marking from Prince George has been awarded the contract for the work, they appear to be the only company in the reach of the Northwest that offers the service.

The news of the work ahead will be welcomed  by motorists, pedestrians and perhaps some of the more traffic aware deer who use city crosswalks.

Also likely to give a thank you to the Operations staff will be a few of the Council members who have raised the issue of the lack of line painting in some areas of the city over the last few years.

October 2021 -- Road marking concerns raised once again at City Council Session
March 2021 -- City Council members see red over white lines 
March 2018 -- Councillor Cunningham seeks report on city's pavement marking program 

More notes on the City's RFP can be reviewed from the BC Bid website.

A look at some of the past Bids and Contracts from the City can be explored here.

CityWest plans for Haida Gwaii Resiliency project outlined in correspondence to District of Port Edward

Prince Rupert based CityWest is seeking CRTC funding for a proposed
project towards Resiliency for Haida Gwaii
( map above from 
correspondence to District of Port Edward)

Port Edward residents got a heads up on some future CityWest plans this month, with the Northwest Communication company providing some background to their plans to develop Broadband Internet infrastructure, with Haida Gwaii the subject of their focus.

The details of the plan were relayed earlier this month, that through a correspondence from Lee Brain, Vice President of Community and Stakeholder Relations for the City of Prince Rupert owned City West.

As Mr. Brain explains it to Port Edward officials: 

CityWest is planning to propose the project Resiliency for Haida Gwaii, seeking funding from the CRTC's Broadband Fund.

If CityWest is selected for the the funding, the proposed project would provide a redundant subsea fibre link to Haida Gwaii as part of the Connect Coast network. 

In addition to Haida Gwaii, the proposed link would also enhance resiliency for other north coast communities such as Kitkatla, Oona River, Lax Kw'alaams, Prince Rupert (and strengthen the entire highway 16 telecom corridor) by providing an alternative network path in the event of damage to Connected Coast between Oona River and Hartley Bay.

The background to the project was part of a request for a letter of support from Port Edward towards the proposed project

The full correspondence was included as part March 14th Agenda items for the District of Port Edward, you can review it below:

click on above items to enlarge

More notes on the Connected Coast initiative can be reviewed from their website.

The Connected Coast Winter update is available here.

A look at past CityWest themes can be explored further through our archive page.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Street Sweeping and Pot Hole repairs on the to do list today for City Crews

Signs of the Season

Those travelling around the city today have probably at some point had to make a detour, with City works crews busy in a range of places tending to pot holes, while the city's street sweeping work moves forward to remove the last remnants of our winter.

The City posted a number of advisories today towards that work, advising of closures of roads for Conrad and the Industrial Park road.

The City's Pothole work should be such that it will be some full time work for weeks if not months ahead, the winter seemingly a rougher one that normal for the city's long suffering roads.

This year could see some new asphalt for a number of areas, with a 65 million dollar top up for waterline work courtesy of Premier David Eby, once the City has put together its list, a number of roads will see a
complete overhaul both above and below the ground.

Last Week's Budget Prevention also included a range of Capital spending requests, included in that was one for 1 million dollars to be put towards the city's annual paving program.

More notes on Civic Operations can be explored through our archive page.

Following success of February and March, Lax Kw'alaams extends ferry Schedule trial runs into April

The Staging area on the Prince Rupert Side of Tuck Inlet
for Lax Kw'alaams Ferry

Travellers heading to either Lax Kw'alaams or Prince Rupert have benefitted from some additional runs on the Lax Kw'alaams Ferry in February and March, part of a trial run by the Band Council, a project that has now been extended into April.

The additional runs were put onto the Monday, Wednesday and Friday schedules and have seemingly been well received by travellers.

The extension was announced this morning the Schedule for April is provided below:

For more notes on the Ferry plans and other community themes see the Lax Kw'alaams Social Media Feed here.

Other items of interest can be reviewed through our archive page here.

Strategic Plan now in place for North Pacific Cannery Historical site

Port Edward Mayor Knut Bjorndal in the summer of 2022
taking MP Taylor Bachrach on a tour of the popular historical site
(From Port Edward FB page)

For the first time in a number of years, the Board of the Port Edward Historical Society and the management and staff at the North Pacific Cannery Historical Site have a new blueprint for the work ahead for one of the top tourism draws in the region.

The completion of a new Strategic Plan was noted by District of Port Edward Mayor Knut Bjorndal as part of his March update for residents, the Mayor having attended a recent Strategic Planning workshop related to the popular North Coast attraction.

Mr Bjorndal did not divulge much in the way of information for residents from his update, with only a few tidbits of information to share.

North Pacific Cannery had a good year and the Board prepared a new Strategic Plan, the first in a long while. There are plans for more community events, repair and maintenance of the facility and an effort to secure stable funding for the future. 

The Port Edward Mayor concluded his observations with a note that he anticipates that 2023 will be another banner year for the site.

So far the Board of Directors at the Port Edward Historical Society has not released any background to their Strategic Plan or what is in the works for the 2023 tourism season just ahead.

While we're getting closer to the arrival of what could be a large volume of visitors for 2023, the employment page at the Historical site's online portal has yet to issue a call for workers for the season ahead. 

You can keep up with developments and career opportunities at the Historical site through their website and social media stream.

More notes on Tourism on the North Coast can be explored through our archive page.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach calls for assistance for Houston in House of Commons statement

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach
speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday
calling for assistance for Houston over forestry cuts

Taylor Bachrach brought a topic from his own constituency to the floor of the House of Commons on Tuesday, with the Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP, speaking out on behalf of residents of Houston who are facing uncertain tines with the plans by Canfor to close their sawmill, with its future still in flux.

“There are few things more devastating for a rural community than learning that its major employer is closing its doors. It’s going to put 300 mill employees out of work -- that's 10 percent of the populations. 

And it will affect hundreds more who work for contractors and local businesses.”  -- Skeena Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach

The MP who represents residents in the Houston area observe how the closure of the mill will have repercussions for the community well beyond the workers to be laid off, but will impact on secondary industries and the District of Houston as well.

As part of his call for assistance Bachrach emphasized that despite solutions brought forward by the Mayor of Houston, the local forestry industry, and the Steelworkers Union -- including federal job creation and re-instatement of EI flexibility -- the Liberal government has taken no action. 

The Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP noting how the province has already steeped up to provide some assistance and how the Federal government is missing when it comes to addressing the situation.

 "The BC government is already on the ground, working with the people of Houston to find solutions. We need the federal government to step up and play a role as well," 

You can review his full presentation to the House of Commons Below.

More notes from the Federal scene can be reviewed through our archive page here.

Some of the challenges facing the forestry sector can be reviewed here.

Prince Rupert RCMP seek public's help on Wanted Warrants File

The Prince Rupert detachment of the RCMP is asking for the assistance of the public in locating the subject of multiple warrants from Prince Rupert files from 2022.

Wanted by the RCMP is Garnet Romeo Hill, among the charges the 47 year old faces are Assault, Breach of Probation and Theft under 5,000 dollars.

Hill is described as follows:

Indigenous Male
183 cm (6 foot tall)
84 kilograms (186 pounds)
He has black hair and brown eyes

The Mounties note for the public that he should not be approached and if you have information related to his whereabouts to contact the Prince Rupert RCMP at 250-624-2136 or through CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8577)

The Detachment notice can be reviewed here.

More notes on the work of Emergency Responders in the Northwest can be explored through our archive page.

City of Prince Rupert revises proposed tax hike, reducing the potential increase to 13.4%

Those that are following the City of Prince Rupert's online Budget consultation process will have noted an important change to the proposed tax hike of 15.7% that was outlined last week, with the City's Finance office providing for a short update to the online portal's information page.

 **UPDATE: "Please note that thanks to the March 27th funding announcement from CityWest, the proposed tax increase has been reduced from 15.7% to 13.4% after accounting for new revenues. 

Our Budget Simulation Tool has been updated to account for this change, but the Budget Document will still retain the draft increase. 

This year’s draft budget now includes a proposed 13.4% increase to the tax rate for all non-capped rates in order to retain the community's existing level of service. Staff understand that in Prince Rupert and beyond, we are experiencing a period of increased inflation, driven by factors outside municipal control. 

Knowing that our residents and businesses are feeling these impacts across all different categories of their budgets, every effort has been made to keep the recommended increase to the tax rate to only what is necessary to maintain services at existing levels."

As we outlined earlier today, the CityWest announcement, is one that normally would be considered a distribution payment towards loan repayments on an outstanding loan from the days of the Monarch Cable purchase which set CityWest off on their now expansive ways.

The City's engagement portal Rupert Talks offers more information on the 2023 Budget process and includes your opportunity to provide comment towards the city's evolving plan for taxation, spending and provision of civic services.

Residents will also have two opportunities to offer guidance in person, with two Budget engagement sessions to come as part of the Regular City Council Sessions of April  11 and 24.

More notes on the Civic Budget process can be reviewed from our archive page here.