Mayor Lee Brain called council to order at 7:00 p.m. sharp yesterday. On the agenda: a budget check-up, a new zoning law to allow more business on Chamberlin Avenue, and an awareness campaign for missing children.
May declared awareness month for missing children
Council proclaimed the month of May as Child Find’s Green Ribbon of Hope Month and May 25th as National Missing Children’s Day. The goal is to educate families about abduction prevention and raise awareness about missing children.
According to Statistics Canada, British Columbia has 667 missing children reports per 100,000 people, the highest number of missing children reports per capita in the country.
The initiative was lead by Child Find British Columbia, a provincial non-profit organization that assists families in locating their missing children and provides families with “all about me kits” in an effort to help people identify lost children.
New recreation policy
Council approved the new Recreation Allocation Policy allowing for a more fair allotment of recreational spaces. The policy came after residents complained that space rentals were not given fairly to various groups.
The new policy puts in place a priority system to ensure equitable allocation:
1) City programs
2) Local events
3) Minor organizations (non-profit organizations in which 75 per cent of individuals involved are 18 years of age or under)
4) Youth rentals
5) Adult rentals
6) Commercial rentals and external events
The policy was designed to encourage youth to play sports at a more reasonable hour, said Councillor Wade Neish, who chaired the committee, after Councillor Barry Cunningham raised concerns that the new policy will push the senior men’s hockey team and women’s hockey team on the back burner.
Council reviewed the Financial Variance Report put together by CFO Corinne Bomben, all expenses and budgeting are on track as of March 2019. Some items to note were higher cemetery costs due to equipment storage and fire protection costs due to more overtime pay and illness.
Former motel to be restored
Council approved a new zoning law allowing the property at 1051 Chamberlin Avenue to be turned into a business space. The property was formerly a motel and has been vacant for four years while undergoing renovations for residential purposes. The new owner intends to return the space back into a hotel and restaurant.
One resident who lives next door to the building spoke to council in favour of the project. He said that the restaurant will be a benefit to employees working nearby and a financial benefit for their businesses.
|Property on 1051 Chamberlin Avenue to be turned into a new business space (Jenna Cocullo)|
Council also voted to support the Prince Rupert Port Authority in their application to the National Trade Corridor Fund requesting funds to expand the Zanardi rail bridge and Ridley Island rail infrastructure.
The next council meeting is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on May 27th. Mayor Brian said he is expected to have an update on the Alaska ferry terminal in Prince Rupert, which is potentially scheduled to shutdown after the summer. Meetings take place in Council Chambers on the second floor at City Hall.
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