City of Prince Rupert seeking money to accommodate growth

The City of Prince Rupert will soon have an idea of just how many people may be coming to town.

The City of Prince Rupert will soon have an idea of just how many people may be coming to town and what kind of service adjustments will be required with the various industrial developments being proposed.

Northwest Readiness Project director Grant Lachmuth said the group has been talking to the companies working on the numerous projects about manpower and service needs should they proceed and will be presenting that report to municipal governments in the next two-to-three weeks.

“We are putting together population forecasts based on all projects and then looking at which are most advanced and most likely to proceed … we’re preparing multiple scenarios of what kind of growth could occur and preparing the most likely scenario,” he told Prince Rupert council at the March 10 meeting.

While the study doesn’t look at policing needs, it does look at what kind of zoning and planning may be needed to accommodate the thousands of workers. A big part of that is whether camps are used, which Lachmuth said will be part of the report.

“We’re looking at camp location and whether they are deemed an open camp or a closed camp … that will determine whether it is likely to be self sustaining or if there is likely to be a lot of movement between the camp and community,” he said, noting some camps include food and laundry services while others do not.

With 12 provincial ministries involved in the project, councillors told Lachmuth information is good but money is necessary to accomplish what will be needed to match the growth.

“One of the immediate and long-term needs is more money … whatever needs we have, we are going to need money to address that,” said Coun. Anna Ashley, alluding to the hundreds-of-millions of dollars needed to maintain the current infrastructure.

“I see the province is getting $50 million from Grassy Point and being generous to give us $150,000 for the region … we could eat that up ourselves and still have a lot of work to do,” added Coun. Barry Cunningham.