Council Live Blog June 23rd!

Newest update will be at top.

And DONE, thanks all.
Chopra asks if we can order someone to appear like Solda suggest… Solda, we are only inviting.
Kerr asks about water main to pier… Watson says it will be done pretty soon.

Solda invites Beaufort folks to come.
Solda bringing up more properties that need cleanup.

Washington has questions for Fire Chief from a constituent on 2 person responder crew.
Fire Chief: All firefighters have the same standard. All firefighters are of varying experienced but are very skilled.

Solda motion… “That council meet as soon as possible to discuss priorities on ICE-T”

Deakin and Douglas met with ICET to talk about what was needed to get funding. Time is short. September is time frame.

Question period:
– Denis Sauve – asking about parks and rec and parking issues. Would council be flexible with the hours for staff on bylaw covering evening so that that can be enforced while a police are very busy,
Also ask about liquor law – concerns about message liquor laws are sending. Is council going to recognize zoning? Seems as though farmers market is not a proper place for liquor.

-Charles Thomas – Want to make sure city aware they need to get parade arrangements ready.

20:43 ACRD Report
Solda and directors got tour of new water system.
July 19-20th 5000 people at lake expected for wake boarding event.
ACRD is renovating the big building on lower 3rd for the new recycling depot.
Went to rail meeting on Friday with ICF. McRae will make a report on Wednesday to ACRD. Will be asking him hard questions based on what she heard with RDN directors last week.
Also big 911 changes coming Wednesday.

McLeman: ACRD will be contributing some advertising money for the AV Bulldogs. Seems it would have been smarter for everyone to join in on the water system. Would have save ACRD and Cherry Creek a lot of money. Notice they also have a boil water advisory.

Washington: Salmon Festival #43 is a go.

Cole: lots of interest and great event at the AC/DC.
Also interesting Salmon Festival meeting with talk of moving to Harbour Quay,

Kerr: grand opening of new Sears. Also saw the CoOp big event! Also attended NIC graduation, great to see all the grads and congrats. Went to 20th anniversary Farmers Market on Saturday huge success.

McLeman: Forest safety council – changing to make it more “responsive”. Safety Council was created because there were 50 killed in forests two years in a row 2002… So far there has only been one in six months… Hope for more success. Toured small town that has all funds come from community forest and pay for many things with it. Had word that Catalyst is renewing sponsorship with Bulldogs. Went and looked at Upnit power, intake had some issues. Thanks to Probyn log for logs to McLean Mill.

Chopra: attended Maritime Society meeting.

Solda: over 1000 people… 600 people fed for free. Great community event. Congratulations to all who make local food possible.

20:25 Mayor Report
Thanks AC/DC event organizers for great event.
Did an interview with the new Island Health CEO about the paramedicine initiative.
Thank the young professionals for the community garden. Great work.
Meeting with ICE-T including Pat Deaking about grants potential coming soon.
Saw NIC grad, need more educational opportunities,
Meeting with Rob English from Canadian Alberni Engineering very positive.
Meeting about community planning will have another one in fall.
Meeting with southern rail, sounds positive. Sounds like late spring starting with southern portion going up to Courtenay in time and talked about what we all want… Rail back to Port Alberni.
Met with Premier at Premier’s dinner, at invitation of Catalyst.
WFP want to donate lumber or whatever they can to the beach project.

20:20: Corporate Services report
– new hire – new sports facilities supervisor (individual confirmed after temp period)

20:15: Economic Development report.
Solda notes that Alberta visitor saw Port Alberni commercial. Great stuff,
Deakin says City partnered with AV Tourism for TV time. Deakin also heard radio ad. TV spots are only 15 seconds. Radio a little longer. Definitely getting message out. TV ads are tourism focused, not as much on affordability but all messaging is good.

Deakin comment on Industrial Heritage Society. Recently EconManager was assigned responsibility to help increase profitability of mill and steam. Kevin Wright brought forward a plan to increase appeal and improvements. Proposals were generally well received by IHS. They are now in the new agreement. Gives community 20% discount on riding and using the train and mill. Hope is it will translate in locals using mill more and getting the word out more locally and with visitors. The Peak radio has exchanged a bunch of radio time and Nichelle portrait studios has exchanged photo time. Will be used across Island to promote the mill.

A strategic plan will start at the end of the current season.

Cole speaks in favour and congratulates in business project. Also asks about the airport improvements,

Deakin says AV committee concluded they would do a business case for a few approaches to improvements and would include Coulson group but also keep it wide open for all potential users and be more accessible for grants funding. He has talked to ICE-T and could be supportive. ACRD Board is discussing it on Wednesday.

Kerr asks about pop up real estate space at train station.
Deakin – there will be space given primarily in main lobby area of train station for sale of Canadiana, McLeman mill gifts, and food and drink (except during Art Rave). In 2015 there will hopefully be a dedicated retail space in the station. In what is now known as “baggage room”.

20:05: Parks and Rec report: Our Town is starting again! Blair park will be first. July 8.

Thanks to Gillian Shearwater and broom busters. Lots of very hard work. Lots of broom busted.

On parking in parks. It is hard to enforce and control. Don’t want them in the park. Big issue in spring when ground is soft. But always hard to enforce. They are talking with baseball association.

Solda brings up issue of litter after event (minor softball league mentioned)

19:55: RCMP report.
RCMP talks about Youth Camp in local school districts in July 1 week. There are 11 youth from Port Alberni participating. All together, 40 youth. RCMP is focusing on youth and youth in need. Seeing success with focusing on youth in need in the community, there will be a new school resource officer.

Traffic – complaints have risen with summer season. There will be more resources for season. Will also see bicycle, foot and boat patrols through summer.

Solda asks about busts in marijuana and drugs… RCMP indicates that there have been some successes and it is a continuing focus. Chopra brings up Moncton tragedy and thanks RCMP for their work. Cole also thanks. Kerr asks about parking on top of parks and rec facility. RCMP defers to parks and rec, not something they actively enforce.

19:50: Douglas asks if Council should remove the Raven coal meeting from the current status report for now and once the Raven project does refile it’s application then put it back into the council and rescheduled.

McLeman brings up ship pilots meeting on July 3rd at Council Chambers as it is related to coal, LNG, and transshipment.

Solda moves to remove the coal meeting from the status report until such time the company resubmits it’s application.

19:45: Esso Beach property – Council is directing staff to spend $2500 on wooden stairs. Chopra speaks in favour. Asks if Kenny can explain what Esso conditions were. Kenny says it is a 5 year lease with a 30 day cancellation (hmm…). It is quite likely Esso will do some digging and doing work around site for assessment, City will be spending as little as possible since there is not much that can be done. Solda indicates “it’s all good” glad for work on this, Cole echoes. Kenny says if City does move ahead long term there will be lots of potential but can only be done once a long term lease is secured once Esso is ready. The stairs will be limited to the gravelly beach closest to the marina. McLeman comments that City has been after it for a long time.

19:38: Changes are happening in some places at parks and rec. Most raising 2%. Seniors are still free for some. Minor hockey will be not rise so as to bring more in line with rest of Island.

19:35: we are now onto approving bylaws, most have already been discussed. Sewage connection, 5yr financial plan, parking fines, and election bylaws.
McLeman asks what the change is in election bylaw. City Manager Watson says it is due to Remembrance Day conflicting with traditional advance voting day. (Please vote! )

19:30: on new liquor rules. McLeman asks what are the big changes. Planner Smith says biggest one will be affecting grocery stores with “store within a store”. No new licenses will be issued, so the licenses that exists now, would have to relocate to a grocery store and because of how City zones liquor stores, those relocations would require a rezoning. There are other indications that some types of liquors that might be allowed in stores… There is a lot that they don’t know yet, regulations are not clear. McLeman asks about craft beer and wine (in and out of local) might be allowed at farmers markets (like at Spirit Square). Under current bylaws, Smith believes the vendors at farmers market could potentially sell craft beer and wine… Zoning would not prohibit it explicitly. McLeman asks if we should perhaps start” regulating morality” based on fact that we have and are always reminded we have alcohol problem in Valley and most liquor stores per capita. Smith indicates City staff could look into strategies, some of zoning would make it easier with others.

Solda asks if there is a difference with Cherry creek / Port Alberni Farmers Market, would bylaws be different out there so they could potentially circumvent limits in town? Solda asks if liquor stores could approach farmers market to sell. Smith: no. Only the original manufacturers of the craft beer and wine at least in current form of regulation. Solda asks who made the new laws: Smith indicates provincial mandate through John Yap. Solda also asks about 5km “thing”. Smith says liquor stores licensee can now relocate to other municipalities. He speculates that this might cause license holders to move from small towns like Port Alberni can go to a large centre like Vancouver.

Smith also indicates Council has directed staff that when a liquor store moves away, that the City immediately starts a rezoning process to change the zoning to something else.

Washington asks when this will be implemented. Smith, it’s all over the board now, some now, some next year.

Cole says we shouldn’t restrict too much on private business.

Chopra says this was done after good public input. Council does still have some power.

19:15: Council officially reduces the AV Bulldogs rental fee by 50%. Chopra asks about reduced amount in final two years and monthly payments currently. Scott Kenny indicates yes they will be paying monthly to keep current and this puts them on path to being debt free with City.
McLeman asks about increases over prior terms… Kenny says yes they were being increased 2% a year. McLeman asks if any service reductions have happened already due to reduction. Kenny says they have already made some changes in staffing and concession. Councillor Washington asks if there will be debt fully payed off from before. Kenny says yes, Debt will be cleared at end of this year. City is working to help reduce Bulldogs operating costs, in response to Cole question.

19:10: no delegations tonight!
Correspondence for action includes a gas tax agreement through UBCM to access Gas Tax Funds 2014-2024.

Also correspondence about Shaw Wifi and health effects, Jack and Wendy speak on it. Jack notes that 3G seems to be the biggest issue so no concerned about Wifi. Wendy brings up point that one day we did think that smoking was good for us. Chopra says it’s time to move along, have heard from both sides and we all have electronic devices.

19:03: First up: Jaques Savard – “we are experiencing a bit of mission creep” Emergency Vehicles are creeping into Code 3. It is annoyance to hear sirens.
Also, bullying in the RCMP. Accuses RCMP of bullying when talking about policing through education rather than bullying. In wake of Moncton, police need to be courteous, and compassionate and have public on their side.

Getting ready to go!

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