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Notes from Prince Rupert city council

The Prince Rupert Rotary Club has donated $10,000 for a sign to be placed at the Park Ave. pullout, but council is worried the site could become a washroom. - Contributed photo
The Prince Rupert Rotary Club has donated $10,000 for a sign to be placed at the Park Ave. pullout, but council is worried the site could become a washroom.
— image credit: Contributed photo

The Prince Rupert Rotary Club has donated $10,000 for a massive map to be installed at a recently-constructed pullout on Park Ave., but councillors want to see an emerging issue dealt with before the sign is erected.

"We have received letters about people relieving themselves at the pullout and, in the process, exposing themselves to residents behind the pullout. It is gross ... I don't want to see the sign in place until something is done to alleviate that concern, perhaps a port-a-potty," said Coun. Joy Thorkelson.

"You can never control when people need a rest stop ... if that seems to be the place where people need to pull over and go then perhaps we could talk to the Ministry of Highways about proper facilities. And I don't think a port-a-potty  would be appropriate," added Coun. Gina Garon.

Engineering coordinator Richard Pucci, who penned the report, said a washroom isn't likely to be in the cards.

"The area was not intended to include a washroom ... we're working with the Ministry of Highways  to do selective planting at the expense of the ministry. So those new trees would provide a screen of some sort," he said.

Byelection coming in the fall

Prince Rupert council paved the way for a fall election to replace former Coun. Jennifer Rice, but chose to hold off on appointing a chief electoral officer until August.

"This will allow us to hold an election likely in October, that way we can avoid a summer election and a possible conflict with the Union of British Columbia Municipalities meeting," said city manager Robert Long, noting the cost for the byelection would be between $15,000 and $25,000.

"We have had discussions about possibly holding the election in a different way ... the cost of the election will depend on the type of election the city chooses to have."

The latest the election could be held is Nov. 2, 2013.

Save the Nishg'a Girl

The City of Prince Rupert will be letting the Canadian Museum of Civilization know its outrage at the proposed return of the Nishg'a Girl.

The ship, built on the north coast and operated by Harry Nyce, has been on display for years at the museum as a tribute to the Pacific fishing way of life, but the museum had intended to send it to North Pacific Cannery as it transitions to the Museum of Canadian History.

"It is rather insulting when that vessel portrays a way of life on the north coast that was in place for centuries and someone back east arbitrarily decides to send it back," said Mayor Jack Mussallem, who said the letter should be worded as strongly as possible.

"If it was good enough to send there, it is good enough to keep there ... we should make as much fuss as possible about this."

The museum put the plans on hold in order to meet with Nyce and the Japanese-Canadian Association, who paid for the transport of the Nishg'a Girl to Ottawa.

CityWest talks dividend

After giving a similar presentation to the one reported in the June 26 issue of The Northern View at council on June 24, CityWest CEO   Don Holkestad was asked about when the company expects it can pay a dividend to the City of Prince Rupert. While he said it was top-of-mind during business discussions, he told council CityWest  was a service-based business and had to balance customer service with any potential dividend.

"Our constituents want fast Internet, they want the same service offered in Vancouver and the big companies that come here, like Petronas, expect those services. It's always a balancing act and it changes day-to-day," he said.

"We always strive to be as profitable as we can for the city, but it is always a balancing act."

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