Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain and Port Edward Mayor Dave MacDonald are feeling optimistic about the coming year.
“We’re hoping by the end of 2015 there will be a whole different feel about the City of Prince Rupert,” Mayor Brain said.
Brain informed that through the Prince Rupert Legacy Fund, the city will invest about $3.5 million in infrastructure projects in the coming year.
“This is the largest investment on infrastructure we’ve done in a very long time. We will be spending that on roads, so people will be seeing a lot road work being done in the coming year,” he said, adding there will be water project upgrades in 2015 funded partially by Prince Rupert Legacy and through grants.
“We’re hoping to build a road to Woodworth dam and start some upgrading on the waterlines of the dam,” Brain said, adding the roads and dam improvements will be the city’s two big infrastructure projects in 2015.
Brain’s goals are to enhance city communication with the public, establish cooperative relationships with regional partners and prioritizing the city’s major project planning.
“LNG is obviously an opportunity for the city and the port expansion, as well,” Brain said.
“But ultimately those will bring [affordable housing challenges] … we need to ensure the local and medium enterprises in this community are also being supported,” he said.
While he considers LNG an opportunity for Prince Rupert, Brain said renewable energy needs to remain an important part of the discussion.
“I’d like to see us moving into the clean energy sector and start exploring things like wind, tidal and geothermal and seeing how that could work with LNG,” he said.
For Port Edward Mayor Dave MacDonald, his goal for 2015 is “to keep moving forward with opportunities that are coming our way” and “keeping taxes as low as possible for the community”.
MacDonald said he would like to see Port Edward continue to prosper in 2015 so families return to the community, and new residents are drawn in.
Like in Prince Rupert, Mayor MacDonald said industry is an opportunity for Port Edward in 2015.
“The opportunities are still liquefied natural gas for our area, but one of the challenges in Port Edward is finding homes for people; senior housing and low-cost housing. They’re going to be the big challenges moving forward,” he said, adding the district hopes to work with all levels of government to improve the situation.