Prince Rupert council in brief: Feb. 6

CNR station refurbishment, Board appointments, Chamber of Commerce week, Rec guide dissatisfaction, Mills Memorial petition concerns

Refurbishment of CNR Station on the docket

Prince Rupert council approved, by resolution, a two-phased structural assessment and engineered drawings of the CN Rail Station heritage building at its last meeting.

The city is looking to apply for a grant program from the B.C. government commemorating provincial communities and their contributions to Canada. The province is investing $8 million in museums and heritage sites to mark Canada’s sesquicentennial anniversary this year. The city will submit their application under the category of ‘Conserving historic places and heritage sites: Projects that preserve, rehabilitate or restore formally registered, designated or recognized historic places’ up to $100,000 for both phases, which include structural, seismic and architectural assessment and municipal servicing, and mechanical and electrical needs in the first and structural and electrical design services and detailed refurbishment designs in the second.

“It’s a federal heritage site that reaches back into the city’s history as the Grand Trunk Railway terminus. The building, as we all know, is currently in disrepair and has sat vacant on the waterfront for many years,” said communications manager Veronika Stewart.

“As we’re looking to revitalize our waterfront, which has long been a priority for this community, this is one of the key pieces to that. Additionally it was included in the ReDesign Rupert public engagement process that was something the public identified as being a good project to undertake.”

Should the city be granted the funds, the project’s cost would be $20,000 if the city proceeds to Phase 2, and $9,360 should Phase 1 find that remediation of the building is not possible.

City fills library board, business advisory committee appointments

Rupert council passed the resolutions of appointing two new board members to the Prince Rupert Library Board and seven people to the Prince Rupert Business Advisory Committee.

Chelsea Keays and Glen Groulx were appointed to the library board, with all members of council approving the resolution, and Charmayne Carlson, Irene Mills, Marc Page, James Warburton, Brian Musgrave, Craig Outhet and one member of the Chamber of Commerce were appointed to the business committee. The business appointments were carried by all except for Coun. Joy Thorkelson, who opposed.

Chamber of Commerce Week proclaimed

Mayor Lee Brain and Rupert council passed a proclamation request from the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce to make the week of Feb. 20 – 24, 2017 known as “Chamber of Commerce Week.”

Mayor Brain made the proclamation, indicating that a strong local business community is a key driver of economic prosperity and creates jobs and opportunities for residents of Prince Rupert, and that the Chamber of Commerce strengthens Rupert’s business community and dedicates countless volunteer hours in service to the local business community.

Council supports Special Events, My Mountain Co-op, Rugby clubs

Mayor and council provided letters of support to the Prince Rupert Special Events Society, Shames Mountain’s My Mountain Co-op and the Seamen and Charles Hays Secondary rugby clubs at their last meeting.

A letter was sent to support special events in their quest for funding from a Northern Development Initiative Trust grant of up to $2,500 for the 26th Annual Children’s Festival, held on March 4.

Volunteers put on the event for 1,500 children and their caregivers, with activities like recyclable craft-making, physical games, storytelling, creating artwork and Lazer Fish. Bouncy castles, finger painting, dental screening, carnival treats, popcorn, hot dogs, cookies, juice and crackers are also often present at the festival.

Another letter was sent in support of My Mountain Co-op’s purchase of a Sno-Cat snow machine and to the Seamen Rugby club and School District’s 52 Rainmakers rugby team for the purchase of a proper scrum machine.

Cunningham, Thorkelson dissatisfied with petition, recreation guide

Coun. Barry Cunningham expressed his concerns over the petition to build a new Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace.

While he agreed the city needs a new hospital, the extent to which new services are offered concerns him.

“I’m afraid that it they go to the extent that they are, we will be losing services in our hospital as well as other local hospitals in the area,” he said.

“We will be the region with the most growth in the near future and I do not see why, with our airport, we need a trauma centre that big that close to us, when we can medevac anyone that bad south within an hour and a half to two hours … They’re going to consolidate a lot of our services in Terrace and I think we’re going to need them in this town.”

Coun. Joy Thorkelson also expressed her displeasure over seeing stock youth images of recreational activity in the latest Prince Rupert Recreation Active Living and Community Resource Guide.

“It’s better than the first time I’ve raised this, but [the guide] still does not reflect what our community looks like,” she said. “Our magazine needs to reflect the diversity of faces, particularly of youth that use our recreation centre. So I don’t want to see a bunch of blond-haired, blue-eyed kids in the swimming pool. That might be the reflection in Pitt Meadows, but it’s not the reflection of Prince Rupert … We should be showcasing in our own magazine the diversity of our community.”