District of Port Edward municipality office.

Port Edward council briefs: Nov. 8 meeting

Petition for home care, increased bus fares, new director of financial services, waste water and sewage grants and more

Petition for home care

At the District of Port Edward meeting on Nov. 8 council heard from resident, Deanna Lewis, who requested home care in the district.

Lewis spoke about the need to have a nurse employed in the district and getting aides employed or certified to help the nurse look after seniors.

“That was one of the things very close to my heart because I’ve lived here all my life and looking after my mother, I found out how difficult it is for elders and that’s one of the things that I would like to see brought into this community,” she said.

Mayor Dave MacDonald said the first step is to get Northern Health to come to a public meeting to see what kind of programs they offer already.

“We need to find out what is out there now and what we can do to assist in getting them to make sure they are taking care of our people in Port Ed,” MacDonald said.

Council passed a motion to request a meeting with Northern Health to talk about home care and assisting seniors.

Increased bus fares

The cost of bussing from Prince Rupert to Port Edward will be slightly higher in the new year.

Adult residents riding to Port Edward will see a 25 cent increase — from $2 to $2.25. The price to North Pacific Cannery will go up 50 cents to $2.50.

Seniors and students cash fares will also go up 25 cents, $1.75 to Port Edward and $2 to the cannery.

Monthly passes will go up by six dollars for adults, prices will be $54 to Port Edward and $60 to the cannery. For seniors and students, it goes up to $42 to the district and $48 to the cannery.

Day passes will not see an increase.

“Our revenues are down consecutively year over year for the past four years so there comes a time when we have to consider raising the user fees just to keep on par,” chief administrative officer Bob Payette said.

He discussed the fares with BC Transit so they are aware of the increase. Council accepted the recommendation without reserve.

New director of financial services

Council heard the last reading to make Lorraine Page the official director of financial services.

The municipality is required to have someone designated in this position and Payette said currently it falls under his jurisdiction, but Page has been doing most of these duties over the past few years anyway.

A motion was passed that Page be appointed to the position effective on Nov. 9.

Waste water and sewage grants

Port Edward will be applying for a Clean Water and Wastewater Fund grant this month, in hopes of only having to pay 17 per cent of a $1.1 million cost to address infrastructure upgrades.

Payette said this grant will provide upgrades for sewer and storm water on a priority basis and this will get the distribution system as optimal as possible.

The cost to the district would likely come to about $220,000.

Housing development gets rezoning bylaw

Council passed a bylaw to rezone a lot on Spruce Avenue in order to change it from a single family residential to a multi-family residential, bringing more housing opportunities to the district.

It was the fourth and final reading of the bylaw which will combine two parcels of land. Council held a public meeting on Oct. 25 and out of that, was given the green light to “do all the things necessary to give effect to this bylaw.”

The motion passed with none opposed and was adopted.

Contingency plan

The district is pulling out all the stops in case of financial emergency. Council heard about the 2017 Revenue Anticipation Borrowing bylaw, which will provide an emergency fund should the municipality not have enough money to meet its expenditures.

“It’s putting the bylaw in place in case we have to borrow the money for any reason. It doesn’t mean we’re going to actually go out and get the money,” said MacDonald.

The total amount council may incur is $1.08 million, which will be borrowed upon the credit of the municipality. But as the mayor warned, it is only emergency money for Port Edward and will only be used if absolutely necessary.

Council passed a motion to do three readings at once, which means that it will give a final reading to the bylaw at its next council meeting on Nov. 22.