Come to Council tonight! – Plywood Site Decision – Live Blog

The live blog will have the latest update at the top tonight.

10:51 – I asked the following:
“I found when I looked at the environmental assessment for the plywood site that it appeared that the majority of the contamination was under the water lot, which is Port Authority land, not City. Does that affect how much liability the City has for cleanup? If any cleanup was going to be undertaken is PAPA or the crown prepared to help with that cost?

And Would just like to ask, a question of process to councillor Kerr through the Mayor. Was your intention when you made your motion in the course of the Plywood Site motion, to table?
If it was to table… Then that takes precedence and the advice of the other councillors was incorrect and potentially preempted Councillor Kerr’s motion. It seems to me if that was shut down incorrectly then the vote has the appearance of being invalid.
This is a matter of process. ”

10:50 – question asked about plywood site access. Answer is logging trucks will no longer use the plywood drive access.

10:47 – and now questions. From first. Question on how many bids and what bids were on Zamboni. Also challenged Council process on Councillor Kerr when she is supposed to have been able to move to table a motion.

10:40 – Kerr covers a whole bunch of items…

10:39 – Solda talks about Gyro meeting at McLean mill. And kudos to the uptown businesses that are redoing their storefronts.

10:38 – Councillor Washington talks about donations that McLean Mill is receiving. Plus Our Town is coming.

10:35 – now McLeman on RD and recycling costs and changes in what recycling takes.

10:36 – mayors report – on FCM – watching reaction of other councillors as he talks about meetings in Ottawa with Trudeau and other leaders. Federal funding for EC DEV on the island. Mentions that FCM should maybe have another councillor. Also pumps up ACDC.

10:26 – moving through reports.

10:25 – engineer report on Bainbridge water energy recovery equipment. It is a micro hydro potential. 14 year pay back. Great project! (That payback is likely at current hydro rates… As hydro prices rise, payback time will decrease)

10:10 – now onto travel expenditure report. This is an important issue. There are 3 different documents on travel expenses. They vote to have a special council meeting on it. (That was easier than having a special meeting on the beach issue… Just saying)

10:05 – going fast though other business.

10:01: – making an amendment to the 5 yr plan so that Bainbridge water plant can be upgraded with new treatment requirements.

10:00PM – council votes to extend the time for the meeting.

9:56 – on dry creek loan etc. McLeman brings up concern of debt. Chopra points out this wouldn’t be happening without grants. Chopra brings up interesting point that paper mill might be responsible for some remediation of the river if there are historic changes found. Loan is approved.

Other items are being received as usual.

9:48 – Resilient cities report… Received.

9:44 – 2 person responder. McLeman asked what savings there were. Report received.

9:35 – paramedicine project. Solda asks for Douglas explanation. Council passes.

9:30 – next up Hupacasath request for washrooms at sunset market. Approved.

9:25 – to say there is disappointment in the crowd that there want even a motion to table the motion… Would be an understatement.

9:22 – All but Kerr and Douglas vote in favour to sign the lease.

9:22 – Chopra says they have done work. Wants vote recorded. Kerr says if CAE didn’t work out could PAPA put coal storage there? (No have final say)

9:20 – Douglas supports CAE and spoke with in Niagara. Is very concerned with public consultation process. Brings up issues where hearings were done even when it was not required. Cities are spending millions and billions to redevelop the waterfront. In order to succeed as a transitioning community.. We have to get buyin. Quotes from a letter about public consultation. He will vote either to defeat or table the motion.

9:12 – Kerr wants to be clear. If CAE is not successful. I don’t want to see log sort but can the Port Authority do a log sort. PAPA comes up and states it has no interest in running a log sort. Primary purpose is to facilitate shipping. McLeman asks about log sort on docks. PAPA says it’s not a log sort. Cole asks if logs could be loaded from lot A. no. Cole asks about profits… What is the word for asking a question That benefits the person asking…. Sets up on centennial pier and how great it is.

9:11 – Chopra gives compliment hopes councillors move.

9:09 – McLeman asks when it would start. Within 12 months we would do site preparation. (McLeman says – “doesn’t take much to get much to get to $500,000”).

(councillors Solda and Cole passing notes to each other and smiling….)
9:05 – Douglas asks about WFP discussions on the land. Could you accommodate more space for recreational space. CAE: that would restrict the size of vessels. A further incursion… (Sounds like a no). Would have to look at impact on projects and business plan. Douglas asks if they could be a good neighbour with beach.

9:04 – Cole asks about market and confirms support.

9:02 – Solda asks about investment value. First phase would be 2-3 million (first year). 2nd phase brings it up to $6 Million. Solda asks about why now. CAE: Other options are not useful for the federal contracts on table now. Those aren’t only opportunities, but are more long term.

8:56 – Chopra asks about property tax revenue. Chopra speaks in favour. Brings up Community plan and covenants as reasons. People will come if jobs are here. Will receive $1200 plus tax. The PAPA is leaving the fence where it is even though it is on lot A. No one will invest on 5 year lease. Other towns are competing. Squamish, Victoria… Are we open for business or not. Speaks strongly in favour. Let’s move forward.

8:45 – Douglas asks what industrial is. Answer: Watson, says CAE is pre-approved. Others would have to be approved first. The Port Authority could act on their own if they wanted to, including a dry land sort. And points out any $500,000 investment, including only the infrastructure improvements, would qualify. (Ie. It would not necessarily be industrial development)

8:39 – McLeman supports the jobs. The one year principle is important. My concern is jobs. Trying to get benefit of workers. Do not want to see one year window, another log sort. Except the existing one.

8:34 – Watson details the out clauses. $500,000 total in land would include infrastructure. Contamination appears to not be mobile.
Cole is speaking strongly in favour of PAPA lease. We do talk about being open but we aren’t doing that. We have done consultation. We could use our skilled labour. We need to support them. We want a sustainable expansion of our harbour.

Darn I just lost some of the play by play, sorry. Both speakers spoke passiontately in favour of expanded public input.

8:20 – Sandra Gentleman/Canal Beach. Pitches AC/DC event and asks that council wait until the event is over so they can see the potential and potential congestion before final decision is made.

8:17 – Budget rental car owner. We should vote down this beach issue. Need food production, water, housing, and energy. We should focus on local food production. Energy privatization is going the way of Alberta, we need public energy in the city we should be self sufficient. There are other ways to bring along long term development.

8:15 – Denis Sauve asks about environmental concerns and who will pay for cleanup if it goes to beach access. He signed the petition. Next speaker – a forest firefighter speaking in favour of the recreational development. Locking into a 25 year plan for $1200 a month is not a big source of revenue for opportunity for more public discussion and full consideration.

Want Port Alberni to flourish, want to use existing PAPA land and Port Alberni is already a very affordable place and there needs to be something other than industry. People can’t afford a place on Sproat lake. Want more time to think it through.

8:10 – and now, the Lease on the Plywood Site. The public will be allowed to speak.

8:05 – a whole bunch of letters are received for various issues including support for expanded canal beach, sustainable development, site C, island timberlands concerns, Worksafe bc, VIHA and Cancer society on skin cancer, ministers letters, and one on fracking concerns. Chopra speaks on Worksafe and praises city on its handling of WSBC issues. McLeman shares some scepticism about the bill holdom letter. Kerr expresses shared concern on the fracking issue, clean natural gas is anything but clean, and on ISland Timberlands. “If you were proud about what you do (in the forest) you would not ask for confidentiality” ouch.

8:03 – BC Transit informs council there is no further expansion planned for Port Alberni for now.

8:02 – receives a letter from what might be a mining interest inviting them to a meeting at the UBCM next time around. Not too clear who it is… Received.

8:00 – on other correspondence: city has been working on issues brought up by Ian Thomas including some on Jack purdy’s party. Also on closing the Quay for the show and shine on August 8. Manager Kenny mentions that the merchants are generally supportive. Council moves and agrees.

7:57 – council receives some late emails about the issue including one that suggests putting off the decision until after the election. And done, Washington is back.

7:55 – now onto correspondence, Washington excuses himself due to plywood site topics.

7:50 – Chopra asks if there is any revenue to the City. Shaw says Nanaimo and Vancouver have a commercial agreement. But the revenue will not be much, more benefit from general access. Shaw needs permission to be on City property. Shaw needs assurance on how it works. McLeman brings up public concern about wifi electronic emissions effects. Shaw believes going with Wifi will be safest option, safer than cell. Cole asks about blocking access to certain sites.. Shaw says it is very difficult to do technology. Solda asks what Shaw gets out of it. Shaw says it’s all about offering best experience and good competitive advantage. It is about retention and advantage over 3G. Solda brings up concerns about RF again (a member of the public distributed information to all the councillors just before the meeting began).

Done. Information received, no decision at this time.

7:45 – Councillors are starting to nod off…. (Not really, but the gentleman is fairly wordy). Shaw Wifi network was used to good effect in Calgary during flooding when other communications were disrupted. This is non exclusive, any other company can do the same at the same time and that is fine. Would provide both resident access and city staff access. Has done this type of thing with 40 municipalities.

7:33 – Shaw presentation on non exclusive access to wifi throughout the City and in municipal areas plus giving people access to that. Shaw is the major internet provider in Port Alverni. Have 70 businesses in Port Alberni that are broadcasting Shaw GoWifi. Have 30,000 location in western Canada.

Want to cover “3rd places” where a lot of people are in frequently and people look for connectivity like municipal buildings.

7:15 – Delegation on the use of firearms in the Ducks Unlimited area and estuary to control Canada Geese. Populations of Canada Geese are skyrocketing. They are not native to here but they have hybridized and are much more common and have created conflict with agriculture, parks, damaging natural estuaries and the like. DU bought the property in 2001. The introductions probably weren’t the best idea. DU will be and has been consulting with FN. There is hunting allowed in RD area, but not in city limits. Areas have be safe for hunting, proper distance from populated areas. DU rep asks from September to September. This is not open hunting. It is only with permission and in designated areas and with proper sight lines.

Council agrees to do what is suggested.

7:12 – Mayor asks if we should allow more speakers. Kerr makes the motion to allow more people. Cole seconds as long as there are new people. Chopra suggests asking for and against in order. McLeman asks if there will be the same opportunity to speak for all at the time of the motion on the contract.

They choose to do the latter. Item G1 will allow public input. You should come down here.

7:12 – I support the previous speaker (especially the first one). The jobs are at very low rental rate. What are the plans for the grassy area.

7:11 – business community, down at Canal Beach what we have. Lots A and B should be expanded to “Port Alberni”. “Port” is important. Russel industries can support. Dollars for tax revenue could be good. This is an opporturnity that shouldn’t be ignored.

7:10 – another member of the public brings up the contamination on the land.

7:07 – I managed to get up first on public input. My statement was below.

I highly recommend folks come to City Council tonight to either hear or be heard.  The decision tonight on the lease for the north end of the Plywood Site could last 25 years or more.

I will also be speaking to council tonight during the 3 minute input period.  For the record, here is my statement to Council tonight.


Chris Alemany – 3854 Sixth Avenue. Good evening councillors.

First, I’d like to ask the audience.

If there was enough time and space for people to speak, raise your hands if you would speak about the Plywood issue tonight?

Thank you.

Also, here in my hand I have a petition that was not initiated by me, but that I’ve signed and I’ve agreed to use my time here tonight to present to council. The petition statement is.

“I support a future vision of the entire plywood mill site as expanded Beach Park for people”

____ people have signed this petition.

Next I’d like to remind Council that the 2007 Waterfront study included public consultation. I have been reminded of this when I’ve asked for a public hearing on this issue. So what did that public consultation say?

Well, one question they asked was “What Land Uses at the Plywood Site south of APD Mill do you Support”.

They gave two general options… one full industrial use and one mixed use or full re-development of the site.

Only 12% supported full industrial use of the entire plywood site. 12%. All the rest supported some sort of redevelopment.

The largest agreed option at 44% stated: QUOTE
“Market condos stepping down over the shoreline slope at the south end of the site. Market water lots for a private marina development – serving both the upland condos and public. And a marina development to the south in association with First Nations.”

That is the option that got the most support.

The other options were all under the redevelopment heading evenly split around small or large boat storage with a vessel lift, a public boat ramp, and seawalk, and redeveloping the pier for a waterfront pub,fishing boats and other private craft.

No industrial use.

So again, 7 years ago, the public overwhelming supported redevelopment of the entire site for a mix of public, residential, and commercial use over heavy industry. Today we have another demonstration of that public support here in council chambers and in this petition. The Canal Beach vision is in line with those kinds of options.

Nowhere in the reports or the public consultation has it been recommended that Council enter into 25 year, open ended contracts with the Port Authority that would prevent any development other than industrial on the north side of the property.

I ask Council. Are you willing to listen to the public?

Thank You.

Here is the question I refer to in my statement and a picture of the redevelopment from that report.  You can find a link to the report and tons of other information on this issue on my Beach post here (or scroll down the page).  And a general statement about my feelings about our Working Harbour here.

See you at Council!
(I will also live blog it once I’m done talking)
Backup Plan Plywood Site waterfrontconsult2007plywood

Discover more from Murkyview

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading