Council changes tack on heritage registry

Port McNeill Council agree to seek inclusion in the RDMW heritage registry bylaw.

PORT McNEILL—Four months after voting down a chance to enter into the Regional District of Mount Waddington heritage registry service, Port McNeill council performed an abrupt about-face last week.

In a 4-0 vote that followed what seemed to be mixed debate, council agreed to request inclusion in the RDMW heritage registry bylaw, which would allow the Town to seek funding assistance to register, keep and maintain historical artifacts and property.

The motion also included the budgeting of $2,000 to the Regional District for its share in administration of the heritage bylaw.

“In October the (Port McNeill) museum came to us about this,” said coun. Gaby Wickstrom, who brought the motion. “We did talk about it at that time, but decided we didn’t want to go with it because of the money; we didn’t have the money.

“But they felt it was very important to give credibility to the museum. Also, when we’re in the heritage service area, if any pieces come in that fall under that category, it will help them with funding.”

The Town’s application to the RDMW heritage registry will need to be approved by the Regional District board and the electoral areas currently signed on to the registry — Area D (Woss) and Area C (Coal Harbour/Hyde Creek/Nimpkish Heights).

Before the vote, Mayor Gerry Furney said he would be meeting with the RD board the following day in committee, and could seek more information on “whether we’re better off to combine ourselves with the RD or stand on our own.”

During the discussion that followed, councillors Shirley Ackland and Chris Sharpe both recommended hearing what the mayor brought back from his meeting before making a decision, and Ackland made a counter motion to table the discussion until the next meeting.

But Wickstrom reminded council she had a motion on the table and, when Grant Anderson seconded it, Ackland and Sharpe both voted affirmative without further comment.

 

 

 

Carnival license waived

Council voted to continue a long-standing tradition by waiving the normal $300 business license fee for the April visit by West Coast Amusements, but left open the possibility the tradition could end by next year.

The waiver request was submitted by the Port McNeill Lions Club, which hosts WCA for its two-day stay at the arena parking lot each spring and which receives a $1,500 donation from the carnival company for its efforts.

Local businessman Derek Koel objected to the waiver from the public gallery, noting the $300 comes out of the pocket of the Chamber of Commerce, which helps local businesses.

“Not everybody’s thrilled they’re coming to town and taking all the money,” Koel said of WCA. “I mean, it’s great they bring rides for the kids and all, don’t get me wrong. But the carnival coming to town doesn’t really help the town that much.”

Coun. Ackland pointed out the Lions Club is involved in funding several key youth initiatives, including a school lunch program at North Island Secondary School and an annual scholarship.

Council agreed to approve the waiver this spring, in lieu of WCA’s $1,500 donation to the Lions, but will research how other communities on Vancouver Island handle the issue of the license with the touring operator and review its policy based on the results.

 

 

 

Chamber contract renewed

Council agreed to renew its contract with the Port McNeill and District Chamber of Commerce to provide funding for the town’s Visitor Information Centre, but attached some verbal reservations to its approval.

The contract will provide up to $20,000 of funding toward VIC operations for the period from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2013. That matches the amount granted last year, when the centre served more than 15,000 visitors, according to Chamber president David Mitchell.

Council noted the VIC has promised a website that has not yet been delivered, though coun. Wickstrom admitted the Chamber is partnering with the Regional District of Mount Waddington on its web portal and that has not yet gone on-line.

Councillors also said Town administrator Sue Harvey has had questions about the timeliness and accuracy of the VIC’s quarterly reports to the town.

“I’m curious where we’ve dropped the ball,” said Mitchell. “I’ve never gotten any comments and I’ve never been informed it’s an issue. I’m actually at a loss to explain that, because I wasn’t aware it was an issue for Sue.”

Harvey was not in attendance at the meeting.

 

 

 

Arena project done

Council received and filed a letter from RDMW administrator Greg Fletcher notifying the Town the Chilton Regional Arena condenser project has been completed under budget at a cost of $64,873. Replacing of the condenser, which Fletcher said has already resulted in improved ice conditions and lower energy costs, had been budgeted for $70,000.

The Town of Port McNeill contributed one-third of the cost of the project, with the bulk of the remaining funds allocated through Federal Gas Tax funding, Fletcher said.

The RDMW manages the arena, located on Town property, through a lease agreement with Port McNeill.

 

Just Posted

Ma Murrays 2021 virtual ceremony screenshot
North Island Gazette wins big at 2021 Ma Murray Newspaper Awards

Zoe Ducklow and Bill McQuarrie both won gold at the online ceremony

Port Hardy council has agreed to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of the discovery of the remains of 215 children being found on the grounds of a former residential school. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Council votes to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of mass grave sites being found

Coun. Treena Smith made the motion for the chamber to not host Canada Day celebrations this year

Port Hardy Fire Rescue responded to an early morning fire around 3:50 a.m. on Sunday, June 13. Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street. Anyone with information is asked to contact the RCMP at 250-949-6335. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue photo)
Firefighters respond to early morning fire near visitor centre in Port Hardy

Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street

North Island MLA Michele Babchuk. Photo contributed
COMMENTARY: MLA Michele Babchuk talks the future of forestry

‘These forests are important to every single one of us, myself included’

Dr. Prean Armogam hands over a cheque for $10,000 to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society president Rosaline Glynn. The money will be going towards a new roof for the Port Hardy seniors centre. This is the second donation Dr. Armogam has made to the society, giving them $5,000 a little over a year ago. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Doctor donates $10k to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society for new roof

This was the second donation Armogam has given to the society

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

CVSAR search the Puntledge River following a report of an abandoned kayak. Photo, CVSAR Facebook page
Comox Valley Search and Rescue spends four hours searching for no one

Overturned kayak a reminder for public to contact officials if they have to abandon a watercraft

Most Read