Three people came to the committee of the whole meeting Monday night to share their thoughts on the proposed 2019 city budget.
One of the residents who came to speak was a returnee, Terry Sawka, who was one of the three who spoke at the March 11 budget consultation. Sawka had several questions and statements for council to consider. He found that the $15,000 increase to the mayor’s salary was “excessive” and wanted to know how that would reflect in the budget.
Chief financial officer, Corinne Bomben, said the entire increase proposed for council amounts to 0.001 per cent of the city’s entire operating budget.
Next, resident Joe Lewis shared his views on the suggested 2 per cent tax cut.
“With regards to the budget and the tax decrease, I think in this day and age with the amount of inflation and amount of aging infrastructure the city is facing, and taking on the pulp mill with its liabilities… I don’t think it’s appropriate to decrease the tax in the budget,” he said.
As a volunteer with the Oldfield Creek Hatchery, Lewis suggested the city include money for habitat restoration in the creek.
Kate Toye spoke briefly that with an all-male council she would love to have a woman involved in designing the downtown core.
The public can still comment on the budget through the online engagement platform Rupert Talks until March 29. Comments can also be submitted through firstname.lastname@example.org
A second cannabis retail shop
Council has supported a second cannabis shop in Prince Rupert.
There were only three residents who submitted comments on selling marijuana from 528 Third Avenue West, formerly the jewelry shop, with only one person who strictly opposed it.
The motion was carried to approve Clarity Cannabis BC Ltd.’s application.
April proclaimed Sustainability Month
Following a presentation by Transition Prince Rupert’s Sarah Dantzer, council approved a motion to declare April ‘Sustainability Month’.
This means the city will endorse various activities happening in the month starting on April 12 with a movie screening of Addicted to Plastic at the Lester Centre, and the 4th annual Rupert Rubbish Round Up on April 14.
Councillor Barry Cunningham challenged the other council members to take part in the clean-up efforts.
Ridley Island Road development
Metlakatla First Nation has plans to build three warehouses on a parcel of land it received from the provincial government through an LNG benefits agreement.
Metlakatla is requesting the city designates the entire area to business industrial, and to amend the zoning from a public facilities zone to a general industrial zone.
Council passed the first and second reading. A public hearing is set for April 29.
Rezoning for Neptune
Council will also review rezoning 1051 Chamberlin Avenue, the site of Neptune Motor Inn.
The lot is currently zoned for multi-family residential and the applicant, James Warburton, wants it to be amended for traveller accommodation and restaurant service.
Council carried a motion to give the first reading to amend the zoning bylaw. A community information meeting will be held in the near future.
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Shannon Lough | Editor
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