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REPORTING · 26th October 2010
Walter McFarlane

Kitimat City Council met for a committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday October 12th. One of the topics of the meeting was Council’s Status Report. They started going though this list at 8:00 pm.

The Council went through the first page pretty quickly and on to page 2. Councillor Mario Feldhoff started bringing items forward. There were several items which he wished to have remain on the status report, including the Kildala sidewalks and crosswalks, the circulation of the DOK training policy to the Councillors by email and the circulation of four economic development motions.

Another issue which Feldhoff mentioned, which was not complete, was meeting with Air Canada and Hawkair. Council had met with Hawkair earlier that night but had yet to meet with Air Canada.

The Council discussed the issues between James Archibald and Richard Smeal. Councillor Halyk pointed out they had passed a motion for this report to come out every second Committee of the Whole meeting but they had not seen this in months. Hall replied they were back on the winter schedule. They do not traditionally have COW meetings over the summer. It was also time consuming to arrange the status report.

Feldhoff then made a motion to remove the pending ‘writing of a letter to the Village of Queen Charlotte’ regarding the neutral stance Council had taken regarding the Enbridge project. His reasoning was the motions made by the Village of Queen Charlotte had already gone before the UBCM.

Just how important is good relations.

Councillor Rob Goffinet wanted to know about the priority of the dialogue with the Haisla Nation, which was priority C. He thought it should be a higher priority. Hall explained priority was indicated by the seriousness of the issue.

Category A items are legal, financial, health and safety issues over which they had no control of the deadline. B issues are significant issues which were routine, such as the budget. C rated items are projects and investigations. D issues were those of little significance.

As disagreements between the District and the Village go back 50 years, it was listed as C. “It doesn’t mean we’re not working on it,” said Hall, “It’s just the way the prioritization works.”

Gottschling thought he heard they were working with MP Nathan Cullen on this later in the week. Halyk wanted Council to reset the priorities as he felt this should be an A priority.

Hall suggested they have a talk on priorities but used the following example to show how they set the priorities: “If this place gets on fire, do we sit and try and make a meeting with the Haisla or do we leave the building?” He pointed out just because the Council thought it was an A, it might not be an A. Feldhoff wanted to take another look at the status report without the completed stuff during the next meeting.

The meeting moves on

With page 2 out of the way, it was time to move on to page three; it was 8:30 pm.

On the next page, Councillor Mario Feldhoff wanted to discuss Pytrade, the business plan and the landscaping of Riverlodge. Hall explained the landscaping came in under budget and that is why they transferred money to Riverlodge.

Councillor Randy Halyk wanted clarification on when Council permitted Astral Media to occupy land at the water tower.

Council moved on to pending items. Feldhoff wanted to know why a refuse control bylaw was not on the website. After hearing it was going to up as soon as it was cleared, he asked about referring a grant for AFFNO (Association des Francophones et Francophiles du Nord-Quest) to the ARC (Advisory Recreation Commision). The response was that AFFNO was in a state of crisis.

Feldhoff made an inquiry about the safety cameras as well as a proposed meeting with Corporal Dale Kendall. The next item, the adjusting of parking in the school zone on Cormorant Street, was already complete.

Councillor Randy Halyk pointed to a motion to record the expenditures of the retire Kitimat Campaign.

It was quarter to 9 when Council reached the last page. Councillor Mario Feldhoff suggested going down through each item individually. Going down the list; Council discussed writing a letter to the Premier, communicating the cardboard ban and the carbon neutral plan, which was suggested to be abandoned outright.

Feldhoff did not want to abandon the carbon neutral plan. He wanted to see the motion and a report on the topic, however, Hall pointed out they do not have the staff to cover a report on this plan.

The Animal Shelter Project, which is nearing completion, was discussed next. Mayor Monaghan stated the Society was in discussions regarding the date of their grand opening.

The Council then briefly touched on the Sharda Trial before going into Radley Park Erosion and a motion on Economic development which took the meeting to 9:00 pm.

Improving the broadcast quality at the City Council Meetings was the next item. Hall said this was ongoing as sometimes, people cannot hear what is going on. He said they improved it through a new camera but this was still not a solution. He encouraged Council that if they hear about people not being able to hear them, they should watch the tape and check. Gottschling said he has heard the Council mumble too much and Halyk commented they could get a microphone system. He told Council he has heard people have started watching the meetings on the Kitimat Daily because it comes over clearer. Feldhoff offered to refer it to budget.

After a discussion on snow clearing wind breaks, Council moved through an old bylaw, a demographic study and a report on a utility take over, which Feldhoff may have already ended but wished to bring back to Council, and reached discussions on the Nechako Centre.

Rio Tinto Power Sales still 'A' Priority

Council continued through more bits and pieces of Kitimat’s history going piece by piece through it. Near the end of the document was an ‘A’ priority item. The Alcan Power Sales issue.

Municipal Manager Trafford Hall stated it was still an ongoing issue. Councillor Mario Feldhoff wanted to know what the motion was.

“Alcan Power Sales is still the number one priority of the town, it has never been changed,” said Hall. “We’ve always resisted.”

Hall said there is no motion on it other than to resist power sales. Gottschling moved it remained, Feldhoff declared conflict and the power sales remained on the status report.

Council continued past 9:30pm discussing the old Esso site.

Halyk mentioned Premier Campbell’s address at UBCM concerning speeding up the clean up of polluted sites, namely gas stations. Corless pointed out the Petrocan site was going through a similar process. It was determined there was no way the Premier could speed up the process unless he changed the way they do things. However, there was a grant program for putting flowers on the sites.

Council went through the last several items and finally finished the status report, and were able to get on with the rest of the business. Still, several of these items require a closer look and a more involved discussion.