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REPORTING · 9th March 2012
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat Council had a long discussion on the relocation of their regular Council Meetings down to Riverlodge during the budget discussions. On February 29th, the issue came up and it was time for a decision.

The budget item itself referred to getting Television coverage for the meetings. Ron Poole, Municipal Manager explained there were two factors, the cost to set the activity room up and the lost revenue from the room’s Monday Night Rental. During the meeting on February 27th, Martin Gould, Director of Leisure Services in Kitimat had put forward a request to have the floor in the activity room refinished .

During this time, he explained to Council if the floor was not refinished, then it would be replaced in 2 years time. An idea which had been put forward by Council was switching the floor from wood to carpet. However, Gould explained such a switch would reduce some of the current activities taking place in the room.

“I feel that the amount of lost revenue, $6,900 over the entire year is minimal in comparison to having a space where all of our residents of Kitimat can come to meetings without any difficulty,” said Councillor Corrine Scott.

Mayor Joanne Monaghan stated the Council Chambers would have to be put up and torn down after every meeting. Gould suggested started at the end of the current program season because the concept was not in place at the beginning and they would have to adjust their programs around it. The new programs start in early April and they would not book the room for Monday Nights.

Councillor Phil Germuth agreed with Scott. He suggested the programs use the Fire Hall. Gould said they would explore all the options.

Councillor Edwin Empinado wanted to know when they would refinish the floor. Gould replied they would try to schedule it when the Council Meetings slow down in the summer.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff expressed how they have been looking for a new location. “For a number of years now, we’ve looked at various alternatives. Courthouse, different buildings and nothing’s worked out. Last time, more then a year ago, we looked at this particular location and we were told, it would cost an arm and a leg to get TV coverage,” said Feldhoff. He said he was pleased to support this motion now.

Councillor Rob Goffinet wanted Council to make certain they had covered all their bases with the volunteers, to make sure there was nothing they had missed. He stated a constant problem in Council is the amplification of voices, even from those who were watching it on TV. He stated this new location could make the problem worse. He worried they were going to have to work to be heard. Monaghan agreed.

Feldhoff said they should move and then figure out if their concerns are legitimate. If they need sound, they’ll put sound in. They can deal with it at a later date. Monaghan said they have asked for sound for 30 years in there current room and they still do not have it.

Scott stated the motion says they do want to move. They can move in April and refinish the floor in the summer time. She felt the set up would require more money. One problem she foresaw in using the room is the Mayor will not have a portrait of the queen behind her, she will have banged up cupboards.

“I don’t think it’s going to be what we think it’s going to be,” said Monaghan. She stated she does not think the room would make a proper Council Chamber. She apologized for breaching procedure as Scott had already closed debate. This lead to a debate between Scott and Monaghan about Council protocol.

Monaghan also asked if the stair climber could be moved to the museum. The Kitimat Daily asked the Museum how they felt about this and were told they had one and found the stair climber does not have a good battery life for museum events.

The motion was called and carried with Monaghan opposed.

Goffinet made a motion to study sound. Feldhoff stated they should study but not do anything yet. He was worried they would embarrass themselves if the sound there was worse then it is the current Council Chambers. He added the current backdrops are unappealing.

Gould stated they could not block off a part of the room because there is an emergency exit there. It is illegal to block the fire exit.

“So the Mayor sits with an exit sign over her head,” laughed Monaghan

Gould stated if they do not like it, they could always move back. The motion was called and carried. Monaghan asked what would happen to the pictures of the past mayors. She was told they could be added to the conference room.
Comment by Carol on 13th March 2012
Too bad the board room at the District office wasn't big enough.
The Community college
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 11th March 2012
They are shutting the community college down ,maybe they should turn that into a City Hall?
Comment by LINDA HALYK on 11th March 2012
This seems like a waste of time and money. Put up take down.

I am sure there must be a building somewhere or something can be done so we do not ask staff to take apart store reset up every week. I am sure they have more productive things they could be doing like maintaining sidewalks, etc etc.

Find a permanent site, that is accessible to all.
Comment by MMP on 10th March 2012
Wow what a pressing issue, I'm so glad our tax money is being used so that our council can put forward these innovative ideas. Carpet in the activity room, yes use the budget money on that, it seems well worth it.