PORT McNEILL—A motion to receive and file and routine notification from the Ministry of Transportation quickly escalated to approval of a motion to request clarification of the ministry’s winter road maintenance on the North Island during Port McNeill council’s regular meeting.
A letter from the Ministry announcing the second phase of rehabilitation of the Nimpkish River Bridge deck beginning this spring, was introduced to council Feb. 17.
“I think we should send in a letter, Gerry,” coun. Shirley Ackland told Mayor Gerry Furney. “I think that it’s time. I drove up from Victoria today and the roads were clear. But there’s a section between the Tsitika (River) and just north of Schoen Lake that doesn’t seem to get any attention. There’s no sand, no brine, no anything.”
Ackland added a similar situation existed at the “T” intersection of Highway 19 and Campbell Way leading into Port McNeill.
“As soon as you come into the T, you have no control in that corner. That’s not fair to anybody. There needs to be a concerted effort that people can leave this community and safely come into it. I’m going to write a letter, but I would love for one to go out from council to highways and to Emcon.”
Coun. Gaby Wickstrom concurred and added the aggregate placed on the road on the North Island remains hazardous to windshields and traffic in general.
“Ministry of Transportation and ICBC are both government entities,” Wickstrom said. “And yet one can refuse to insure you, or put your rates up, but the other will do nothing about the problem. It’s very frustrating.”
Council voted to forward a letter to the Ministry, cc’d to Emcon, identifying areas receiving inappropriate winter maintenance and the size of the aggregate spread on the road during winter weather events.
Albert Sweet served as Port McNeill’s treasurer for nearly two decades. In the six months since his retirement, the Town has already gone to the replacement well twice.
Dan Rodin was approved by council as the new treasurer, replacing Mark Wiber, who came in just last autumn.
Rodin is former treasurer in Prince Rupert and has worked as a school district secretary-treasurer. He will work in the community on a part-time basis, for five days a month, said Furney, including one council meeting a month.
Rodin was not in attendance for the vote.
Chamber MOU renewed
Council voted to approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Port McNeill and District Chamber of Commerce that extends the Town’s partnership with the organization.
The MOU covers two areas: one, a transfer of 70 per cent of the value of Town business licenses to the Chamber to help offset its operating costs, and a $20,000 contribution to help staff and operate the Visitors’ Information Centre.
The Town will also provide in-kind services, including traffic control, providing its facilities, garbage cans and financial support of outhouse rentals for community events sponsored by the Chamber.