Residents of the waterfront were waken from their beds near the start of the year when a magnitude 7.5 earthquake hit southeast Alaska at 12:50 a.m. on Jan. 5. Although no wave resulted from the shake, RCMP and emergency personnel evacuated Water Street and Beach Place and blocked off waterfront access. The quake also caused the evacuation of workers at Ridley Terminals, Fairview Terminal and Prince Rupert Grain.
New year, new school
Students in the District of Port Edward started off 2013 by moving from the former Port Edward Elementary into the new community school attached to the district offices. Students were welcomed to their first day of school on Jan. 7 by B.C. Education Minister Don McRae, Mayor Dave MacDonald and Prince Rupert School District board chair Tina Last.
Despite projections that property owners in Prince Rupert would, on average, see a modest seven per cent increase in their assessment, many in town were shocked when they opened the assessment notices sent out in early January. Some residents saw assessments increase 25 per cent, ranging from $30,00 to $60,000 despite not undertaking any improvements.
Three-year high for realty
Figures from the Northern B.C. Real Estate Board showed a significant increase in market activity in 2012. In total, 160 properties with a value of $26.8 million were sold in 2012 compared to 116 properties worth $19.3 million sold in 2011 — a difference of 44 properties and $7.5 million. 127 single family homes were sold at an average price of $183,896 compared to 96 homes at an average price of $175,217.
Port hits traffic record
The Prince Rupert Port Authority had a lot to celebrate as the calendar turned from 2012 to 2013. During the year, Fairview Terminal surpassed its initial design capacity of 500,000 TEUs, moving 564,856 TEUs compared to 410,469 TEUs in 2011, Ridley Terminals reached a shipping milestone of 11.5 million tonnes of coal and total tonnage through the port reached a record of 22.25 million tonnes.
Rice wins nomination
With the announcement by North Coast MLA Gary Coons that he would not be seeking re-election in the May provincial election, Prince Rupert Coun. Jennifer Rice won the nomination to run for the NDP in the riding. During the riding’s convention, Rice received 180 votes compared to the 116 votes received by Prince Rupert and District Teacher’s Union president Joanna Larson.
Fairview expansion approved
On Jan. 23, Environment Minister Peter Kent approved an expansion of Fairview Terminal that would increase capacity from 500,000 TEUs to 2 million TEUs. By year’s end, ground had not been broken.