Prince Rupert year in review: April 2013

The Northern View presents Prince Rupert's year in review for April 2013.

Realty market starts strong

Home sales in Prince Rupert continued to grow, with the Northern B.C. Real Estate Board reporting 66 properties worth $18.1 million being sold in the first three months of 2013 compared to 38 properties worth $14 million in 2012.

City Hall exodus continues

Following the February departure of city manager Gord Howie, Prince Rupert’s chief financial officer Dan Rodin announced his intentions to retire after submitting a budget to the province on May 14. Before the year was up, Rodin and Howie would be joined by corporate administrator Robert Grodecki and economic development officer Derek Baker as high-profile departures at City Hall.

Work camp in Port Edward

PTI Group Inc., a company that provides housing for workers across the globe during major construction projects, announced its intention to develop work camp in Port Edward to serve the many projects proposed for the region. The company purchased a 40-acre parcel of land from the District of Port Edward for $1 million to build a modular camp that would open up the area for future development with road access and utilities such as sewer and water.

Grassy Point pegged for LNG

On April 10, the B.C. Government announced four companies had submitted proposals to construct an LNG terminal at Grassy Point, across from Lax Kw’alaams. Australian energy giant Nexen, Woodside Petroleum of Australia, SK E&S of Korea and Canada’s Imperial Oil all submitted proposals to develop the site following a request from the provincial government.

And then there were three

Those attending the first provincial all-candidate forum at NorthWest Community College on April 12 were a bit surprised to see Hondo Arendt seated at the table. Arendt had submitted his papers to run on the North Coast for the Green Party earlier in the week and joined Judy Fraser and Jennifer Rice in the campaign.

Clark visits Port Edward

In the midst of the election campaign, BC Liberal leader and Premier Christy Clark stopped in Port Edward to discuss the impact the growing LNG industry could have on the community, pointing specifically to the community’s school that opened earlier in the year. With several members of the provincial media in tow, Clark stopped briefly in Prince Rupert to open the office for Liberal candidate Judy Fraser.

$30 million hotel

During the 2013 National Aboriginal Business Opportunities Conference, the 2G Group announced plans to construct a $30 million hotel on the old Elizabeth Apartments site. Plans called for a five-to-six storey integrated hotel, apartment and restaurant complex. Before the end of the year, the project had been turned over to the Coast Tsimshian.

CityWest leaves city hanging

CityWest dropped a financial bombshell on the City of Prince Rupert during the April 22 council meeting, telling council it would not be able to pay the $500,000 dividend the city expected this year and likely wouldn’t be able to pay next year. The company said the money would not be coming due to the how much the company had spent on infrastructure for expansion during the year. The news came less than a month before a final budget was to be submitted and increased the budget shortfall to more than $1.2 million.

Superintendent moving on

The management of the Prince Rupert School District was shaken up in late April when Superintendent Lynn Hauptman announced she would be leaving to take a job with the Southeast Kootenay School District effective Aug. 1. She was replaced by assistant superintendent Sandy Jones.

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