The Earl Mah Aquatic Centre will be closed from July 1 - October this year. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

Council Briefs: Developing a more sustainable city, pool problems and new voting date

Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain presented his Sustainable 2030 draft to council on June 11

Sustainable 2030

Ken Shaw and Mayor Lee Brain presented the first draft of the Sustainable City 2030 framework to council on June 11. In 2016, Prince Rupert created a committee to research what sustainable measures the North Coast city could use.

“We don’t have to invent things from scratch,” Shaw said during the presentation, explaining that their research looked at other cities as models, such as Terrace, Smithers, Vancouver and Seattle.

The draft outlines five main areas to develop: local food, energy, transportation, waste and neighbourhoods. Current and potential projects were briefly outlined, including tidal energy generation on Butze Rapids, a hydro-electric water dam, and the mayor’s involvement in an electric vehicle charging station network in northern B.C.

“Sometimes people think it’s just about community gardens and maybe backyard hens… window-dressing type stuff. I really want to point out that these policies are really about economic development and innovation. A sustainable committee in all these categories is very innovative and economically diverse — we’re not relying on just one thing,” Shaw said.

The councillors were supportive, with Barry Cunningham saying the city should also focus on what it can do to be more sustainable now. Joy Thorkelson said, after 2010’s green task force fell apart, this report needs to be supported by community involvement.

“In terms of community buy-in, I’m going to venture a guess,” councillor Blair Mirau said after the presentation. “I think it’s obvious on a night when the sun is out and council chambers are full, I think you’ll be seeing the community engagement that you’re looking for in this process.”

READ MORE: Mapping an electric vehicle charging network across northern B.C.

Voting date changed

The date for the upcoming election is being changed. Votes for the municipal mayor and council and school board trustees elections are usually cast in the third week of November, but will now be on the third Saturday in October. This year voting will be on Oct. 20. Advance voting will be held on Oct. 10 and 17.

READ MORE: City adds three more to $100,000 club

Paying the price for the pool

Rupert Wood and Steel Construction was awarded the contract to repair the civic centre’s pool and hot tub.

“I’m very glad to see that the lowest compliant bid was a local contractor,” Mirau said.

After the Northern View reported the civic centre’s aquatic area would be closing for July until October, more than 50 people voiced their displeasure on social media.

Councillor Wade Niesh said he saw the comments.

“I don’t think people really understand what’s going on here. The hot tub has to be replaced. It’s not just putting new tile on it, it’s jack hammering the hot tub right out and maybe even doing foundation work underneath it,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we had many years of money not being spent on the civic centre due to budget constraints. Now, we’re unfortunately paying the price for it and we’re having to do projects a little bit bigger than we’d like to do. But if we don’t do them now, then we will have nothing.”

READ MORE: Prince Rupert pool extends summer closure for extensive repairs



keili.bartlett@thenorthernview.com

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