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City Council briefs

Zero per cent tax increase maintained
Prince Rupert City Council voted on April 27, to adopt the five-year Financial Plan Bylaw for the city. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Prince Rupert City Council held their regular meeting on April 27. Chambers were closed to the public due to COVID-19 precautions, with counsellors participating through telephone conference and residents viewing the meeting live on TV or online.

Summary of briefs are:

Councillors voted to award the $510,000 boiler replacement contract, for the Prince Rupert Recreation Centre, to Vancouver based firm, Slopeside Mechanical. It is necessary to replace the boiler system of the facility for operations to continue. The project cost were included in the approved 2020 capital expenditure budget, the City said.

Chief Financial Officer for Prince Rupert, Corinne Bomben, presented a report on the five-year Financial Plan Bylaw on which Council voted to adopt. It was noted there was no significant change to assessed values from BC Assessment and that the zero per cent change, proposed in February, to the property tax rate has been maintained. Council also voted to adopt the 2020 Property Tax Bylaw, as per the five-year plan.

“Staff also noted a likely budget amendment expected later in the year as more information is available, and impacts to the City from COVID-19 are better understood,” the City said.

It was reported that there are decreased revenues in the areas of fees collected by the Recreation Complex, Cow Bay Marina, transit and airport ferry services, due to COVID-19. Some of the lost revenues are offset by staff reductions and employment vacancies, travel cancellations and other minor service adjustments like reductions in beautification, Bomben said. The remaining shortfall will be covered by a dividend from Prince Rupert Legacy Inc., made possible through lease revenues collected on Watson Island.

The City will be looking to other levels of Government for available financial supports, including grants and stimulus packages.

The City’s critical capital projects of dam replacement and paving improvements as well as essential services will continue.

Council voted to allow a Development Variance Permit application at 1514 Jamaica Avenue to proceed to public notification and voted to allow a Development Permit application at 240 Kaien Road to proceed to public notification.

Upon request of Child Find British Columbia, council proclaimed the the month of May as Missing Children’s Month, with May 25, declared as Missing Children’s day.

Council heard verbal reports from both the city manager and the mayor on the City’s response to the pandemic, the continued provision of essential services, and the current outlook on the coming year.

 K-J Millar | Journalist 
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