Even with the decline in the coal industry, Hanjin Shipping’s bankruptcy and the yet-to-be-realized liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry, the Port of Prince Rupert continues to pump out millions — $49.2 million to be exact.
This year, the Port of Prince Rupert live streamed its 2016 annual general meeting at the North Coast Meeting and Convention Centre, and more than people 1,400 tapped in to learn about the city’s biggest employer.
Don Krusel, the president and CEO of the port, stressed the importance of building not only a strong port, but a strong port city. Following his review of 2016, Krusel announced the port will dedicate $1.9 million to its Community Investment Fund — totalling a fund of $7,802,00o to date.
Last year, $818,071 from the fund was shared between 11 community projects including a Metlakatla sports field and skate-park, training and response equipment for the ground search and rescue team, a new bathing room for the hospital and a shiny new gym floor at the civic centre.
The port also made $1.5 million available to the City of Prince Rupert to use on a matching basis to go toward infrastructure projects for the next five years.
After the presentation, the public had a chance to ask executive staff members questions. People inquired about how the future of Atlin Terminal and where the Ice House Gallery will go once the space is dedicated to port staff offices. Krusel said they’re working with the gallery on finding another suitable location, and that the tourist business is also part of their business and something they will encourage.
Other questions centred around working with the city, improving the downtown core, the Cow Bay area, and finding beach access. The port’s response was that they have planned to increase public space on the waterfront and the Atlin Terminal parking lot revitalization project is just a sample of projects to come.