The City of Prince Rupert has placed large concrete barriers to prevent a Rupert company from using the property as a parking area despite the fact that the company ponied up $3,000 in gravel to improve the city-owned area.
Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) had filled in some city property so that they could use the area near their office in Prince Rupert for a few parking spaces.
WCMRC put down gravel, “because it was turning into a bit of a mud puddle,” Councillor Barry Cunningham told council previously this year.
In response, the city placed large concrete blocks over the gravel, to prevent cars from parking there.
“We did experience some flooding on our property during the recent storm and brought in some gravel to address the issue. We have since spoken with the city and we are working with them to address their concerns,” WCMRC communications manager Michael Lowry told The Northern View in an email on Nov. 9.
“I don’t want to throw the city staff under the bus,” Cunningham said, referring to when he brought up the issue over parking at an Oct. 30 council meeting. “But I want the city to meet halfway.”
Those concerns don’t only involve WCMRC, Cunningham pointed out in the council meeting.
“We have enough of a parking problem in this town already and to take more parking places away from a business that pays substantial taxes also is just — I don’t think it was looked into properly. I think we should work with people to create more parking, not take parking away,” Cunningham said.
“We want to work with anyone who wants to improve their lot,” Cunningham said later. “The city came back heavy handed when they should have been more compassionate.”
At the meeting, the city’s operations director Richard Pucci explained that WCMRC had used an excavator on city property, over fragile lines, and the city is planning on putting a sidewalk there in the spring.
“Long story short,” said Mayor Lee Brain, “they should’ve come to us first.”