Council Live blog time! – Bike Paths!

Here we go! Newest is at the top. Here is the Agenda.

21:42 – Chopra moves to put $350,000 in a special fund with $100,000 going to general.
21:42 – McLeman removes rest of motions.
21:41 – motion defeated
21:40 – Kerr disagrees with motion as well, operating funds lent to forest should go back to taxpayers.

21:35 – Solda and Washington believe it should go to general revenue so as to pay for other projects.

Cole indicates he would like to have funds earmarked for a specific project and make the fund big enough to have other parties take notice, agrees with McLeman motion.

21:33 – use the $150,000 and $350,000 from the Community Forest to:
– $100,000 of debt payback and $350,000 from the forest be put into one fund for benefit of Alberni Valley (likely a pool)

21:32 – motion on Canal beach. For staff to report to council on cleanup costs and testing at the beach.

21:30 – missed name – speaks in favour of bike and walk bridge on 10th.

21:28 – Ian Thomas – Benches – thinks memory benches like those at harbour quay could be on Johston
10th ave. crossing has been passed a number of time.
Spent $60 million on McLean mill since 1986
Redford Extension bridge – Gary Delong, (sp.) was killed there, would be a good name.

21:26 – Jane Armstrong – interested in motion that was defeated on bike bridge. We have large population under 30 and over 60. We have ongoing health concerns in city.

Solda notes the motion can be brought back.

21:20: councillor reports.

Washington – great work on Our Town. – Salmon Derby will be more expensive but bigger prizes.

Cole – LNG project will be great for port expansion and community. Solda notes there will be an open house on LNG soon.

Chopra – WFP IWA union has 5 year agreement gong to vote soon.

McLeman – compliment on Kevin Wright fixing up his business deck. Sales are coming through at McLean Mill. Also looking for contract from water system.

Kerr – attended air quality council meeting. Bernadette Wyton has retired. Looking for a chair/champion. Working toward a burning bylaw. Funding for wood stove exchange is back this year. Funding opportunities perhaps for chair. Stack test from Catalyst has been low or zero.

21:16 – McLeman report – good reports on wwater connection with Beaver Creek. Also Sproat lake patrol will be an issue on ballot, does support the service.

Cole asks about naming of new Redford extension bridge. Solda – there is a name in the hopper.

21:13 – Solda- Mayors report – City will be sending a letter to AVNews congratulating Wawmeesh on his time and good luck with Masters. Welcome new reporter.
Thanks to Chris Alemany (*blush*) and signers of petition and supporters of Martin Mars. Unfortunate that government has chosen not to listen to public, AVICC and UBCM on issue. Mars could also be used to support or backup for support to Alberta and others.

21:11 – McLean Mill new bridge likely over budget by around $20,000 not necessarily all going to come from City. Kenny is keeping a keen eye on budget.

21:10 – Chopra asks if community can help with access to Klitsa Park.

21:05 – Parks and Rec report – Esso beach is mentioned, lower Johnston, Russel park pole fell over in wind a few weeks ago.

Our Town big success.

Next one is Gyrassic Park at Gyro.

Train Station is open 7 days a week now.

Big work at McLean Mill, new bridge over stream.

21:00 – Police report – patrols increased, port ALBERNI is one of busiest jurisdictions. Priorities: active in community, substance abuse, crime reduction, youth. Detachment is meeting goals so far.

Solda asks about recent 3rd ave. incident with coffee shop.

Police: driver error.

Solda and Kerr: should there be changes in parking.

Police: we go to a lot of collisions related to parking.

Cole: ICBC often tells us we don’t have enough traffic problem for changes to be warranted….

Chopra: accidents happen everyday.

20:58 – Status Report

Solda asks about Tseshaht protocol questions – Manager indicates it hasn’t gone anywhere but is in Tseshahts hands.

20:49 – Council passes agreement with Shaw to provide Wifi for all public.
Kerr brings up concerns about children exposure to wifi signals.

20:31 – Council passes a motion to create the referendum question on a 10th Avenue crossing. The cost is now $14.6 Million. $160 for 25 years.

Chopra: We don’t want to scare people if it is not going to cost $14 million.

Cicon: we endeavour to get the best estimate. Redford connector is only $5 Million, much smaller and much lower bridge than 10th proposal. Had good communication with ministry on costs.

McLeman: brings up point that the vote doesn’t solve anything even if it goes through since a binding referendum would have to take place if council actually went ahead with borrowing.

Manager: last referendum died on a half and half scheme with city/ministry because ministry did not want any cost sharing. Expects that to be the same, no ministry indication they would be willing to help.

Finance : can only borrow up to $2 million this year.

Chopra: why isn’t it binding? Why aren’t we doing a binding referendum.

Clerk Hartwell: this would not be friendly amendment, binding referendum would actually commit City to spending.

Cole: let’s make it binding and end the debate.

Manager: recommends to Council that if they go to binding that they refer back to City because City would have to approve funding, do geotechnical work, etc etc. before a binding referendum could be had.

McLeman: says yes this is why he didn’t vote for the question in the first place.

Solda: starts to say something and then……

Chopra: moves to table the motion. Motion is tabled, discussion ends until next meeting.

McLeman: makes a motion to have a referendum to partner with senior gov to out in a cycling and walk bridge over 10th.

Chopra: is defensive. Doesn’t want a motion that would overtake referendum motion.

McLemans motion for walk bike bridge fails. (I am sure we will hear more next meeting!)

20:26 – resident has problem with a wood-burning furnace that does not comply with city bylaw on emissions. Fire chief recommends that it not be allowed because otherwise the bylaw would have to be rewritten. Council approves recommendation to deny use of the furnace.

20:25 – Kerr moves that the city investigate what is needed to include bike provisions into development bylaws for new buildings. Passed.

20:05 – City Engineer makes one point – report does not fix any timing or expenditures on Council. Plan is only an outline of a number of areas that Council can move forward on creating a more walkable and cyclable city.

Cole – is there one action that we could take that would be a best move for our dollars?

Cicon – Engineering would like to have direction from Council on where it would like to move. Report is a broad report detailing network and development, education, and health.

Engineer mentions a spine down 10th Avenue but emphasizes there needs to be direction from Council.

McLeman – asks what it cost.

Cicon – first line of the report $20,000

McLeman – Says there should be a group of cyclists to create recommendations to make it more cycle friendly. We have to sit down as council with cyclists and do it. Accept the report and then take the next step.

Chopra – Has concern that they are approving the report without knowing.

Manager – City needs to have this report in hopper in order to use document for application for grant funding to actually do any recommendations.

Chopra – concerned that there were no public reps. on report creation.

Kerr notes, Bill Brown, John Mayba and David Gilbert were members of public that provided input.

Kerr – maybe we really need to do some stuff now… 1983 would have been good too. Build into bylaws for new buildings having bike space provided. Asks for report on city facilities that have, or not, bike parking.

Manager – zoning bylaw would be where biking requirements would be put. Parks and Rec will provide info on existing facilities.

Washington – Johnson and River Road are provincial highways so Minister should be informed.

Solda – countdowns would definitely be useful for some high traffic areas. Sidewalks are an ongoing issue, asks Cicon when sidewalks are meant to be repaired and maintained.

Cicon – we can focus on let downs, wheelchair ramping, for corners at intersections on sidewalks. Various parts of the City do not have sidewalks that would be good for walking. Currently sidewalks are done only as needed. Not much sidewalk budget.

Solda – Notes that 10 years ago there was push to get sidewalks along empty Johnston side. Cut due to cutbacks. Trails – would be good to have connection from one side of town to the other. Speaks in favour of more let downs for accessibility.

Benches – need to install more along major corridors.

Cicon – bus benches (not necessarily on bus route) can be requested by public. They are placed for maximum practical and advertising potential.

Solda – Had meeting with Transport Minister, talked about new Redford bridge.

Manager – New bridge will only have shoulders for bike and walk. Will also be trail system under bridge along River,

Solda – also asks about Carbon and Gas tax whether it can be used.

Manager – Yes – Cicon – ICBC as well.

McLeman asks if City can pass bylaw to allow bikes on sidewalks (comment: NO. UGGH, there is a reason why wheeled transport is not on sidewalks, it is dangerous. We have the widest roads in the country, let’s use them!)

Cicon – notes that the “hardcore” cyclists were definitely consulted.

Council moves to adopt the report.

20:00 – The Active Transportation Plan! Bike and walking paths!

19:58 – Council approves some variances to development plan for a property on Ian Ave.

19:56 – Council receives 2013 Comprehensive Annual Finance report and also Financial Information for 2013.

19:55 – Council receives the Annual Report. No substantive questions or comments from public or council.

19:45 – Cycling Bill Brown – letter received on Bike paths. Rob Cole says we need to figure out what plan is more so than just adopt it. Lots of other plans that demand work too… They receive the letter.

19:43 – issues brought to council About Victoria Quay. Noise issues and other complaints.

19:38 – Rob Cole speaks not in favour of the City being on a committee instead be more supportive of sports fishing in general. McLeman suggests, with Chopra, that a City rep be on the committee so that the City has a better idea. City passes a motion to request that Councillor Cole be put on committee (round table) for local sockeye fishery.

19:37 – August 30th Heritage society will be doing a truck and heritage stuff day at the old Arena (beside the Curling rink)

19:35 – the Esso property might provide some opportunity to include pedestrian. Manager notes that the Harbour road there is a private road, not city owned, so all four partners (WFP, City, PAPA, Catalyst) would need to involved and on same page. Motion carried to talk to Discovery Centre.

19:35 – Discovery Centre request – to make the walking space from Quay to Discovery Centre lighthouse more friendly for pedestrians.

19:30 – after a question from Chopra, Manager notes that the Community Forest is a for-profit venture that gives 100% to the City as sole owner. McLeman notes that the legacy committee was formed to take all funds received and invest into a project that benefits the entire Valley. The Council has passed the motion to change the community forest committee from a Select (temporary) to a Standing (permanent) committee.

19:25 – delegations all done. Now doing some more housekeeping for the Community Forest.

19:22 – McLeman speaks favourably of the committee. Gives local control of our forests. Notes the ministry doesn’t like him saying the city would like more, but the city does. It is a success for the City. Chopra reiterates that it is a success… Makes the city money.

19:20 – Handing over 2 cheques $150,000 to clear last of the debt of startup fund and $350,000 dividend revenue.
19:18 – Jim Sears – 5 year cut period is now done and starting on an inventory to assess the resources and see what harvest option are. Continuing on trail building program. Taylor Block has old growth high up. Have put out RFP for both Taylor and Sproat blocks. Also working with ADSS.

19:17- Next up Community Forest report
19:16 – Council accepts the report.
19:13 – McLeman asks why we have an auditor. Auditor explains it is part of the law and that they test as best they can to ensure the books are solid.
19:11 – Cash has increased slightly as well as funds (reserves etc) managed by municipal finance has decreased slightly. Community Forest provides 1.5 Million in assets value.
19:10 – Chopra makes comment that balance looks good. Revenues are healthy and expenses are not rising fast.
19:08 – Grants were 10% of revenue! taxes were 58% protective services (police and fire) decreased substantially but were still 25%, largest increase was in environmental development ($200,000) and Rec and Cuiture ($150,000)
19:07 – Revenues increased 12% (on grants and taxes) expenses increased only 1%
19:05 – Surplus of 4 Million
19:03 – Audited Financials report (the fun stuff first!)

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