Port McNeill council restored the fee-for-service contract with the Chamber of Commerce to operate the town's Visitor Centre for another year.

Council renews Visitor Centre contract in Port McNeill

After considerable discussion, a divided Port McNeill council turned down a request by the Chamber of Commerce to increase its fee for service to operate the town's Visitor Information Centre and instead voted Mar. 21 to renew funding for one year at the current level of $20,000.

PORT McNEILL — After considerable discussion, a divided Port McNeill council turned down a request by the Chamber of Commerce to increase its fee for service to operate the town’s Visitor Information Centre and instead voted Mar. 21 to renew funding for one year at the current level of $20,000.

The council also voted to continue funding the Chamber through Town business licenses.

The Chamber had requested an allocation of $25,000 for each of three years, saying that amount represented half of the $50,000 annual cost of operating the visitors’ centre.

Previously, the fee for service agreement with the Chamber had been approved for three-year terms. But some councillors argued that, with an election scheduled for this fall, the current council should not saddle a potential new council with long-term contracts.

“I don’t favour an increase (in funding),” councillor Shelley Downey said. “But I believe three years is the right way to go. It provides stability, because the VIC has many of its own contracts that have to be established in advance.”

But councillors were concerned the Chamber’s submitted accounting paperwork did not adequately separate Visitor Centre costs from the Chamber’s general budget. And Mayor Gerry Furney said he would like to see the Chamber spend more of its resources promoting and supporting the town’s resource-based industries.

“The (membership) numbers seem low,” councillor Aaron Frost said of the Chamber budget. “And the expenses seem high. There seem to be numbers missing.”

All of the councillors quickly agreed to turn down the requested funding increase and renew the contract at $20,000. But the term of the agreement was anything but unanimous.

Gaby Wickstrom submitted a motion to fund the VIC operations at $20,000 for the full three years. Downey seconded the motion with an amendment to reduce the term to two years, noting that the Chamber’s bookkeeping should be reviewed during that period.

Wickstrom and Downey voted for the amended motion; Frost and councillor Shirley Ackland voted against it, bringing Furney in as the tie-breaking vote.

“I have to say no,” said Furney. “Our businesses require the support of the chamber and we have to answer to all of the community. The Chamber needs to look at the (resource-based) businesses that make Port McNeill possible.

Ackland then countered with a motion for the one-year funding term followed by a review of the Chamber’s books, which was seconded by Frost. Wickstrom and Downey voted no, but this time Furney cast his deciding vote in favour.

Chamber president Sharon Barratt and VIC manager Cheryl Jorgenson attended the meeting and answered questions from council.

Broom-bashing

Council approved the use of public works staff and a truck to haul away debris from the Communities in Bloom Society’s planned May 1 clearing of invasive plants, particularly the Scotch Broom growing along the side of Campbell Way.

The truck will make one tour of the town’s residential streets following the event, providing free pick-up of any invasive plant material removed from private property during the day.

Donations offered

Council approved requests from three groups for in-kind or monetary contributions. CIBC Port McNeill was donated three swimming lesson passes for its annual BC Children’s Hospital raffle. Operation Trackshoes was offered $100 each for up to three local participants to attend the sports competition in Victoria in June. The BC Seniors Games was approved for a $100 contribution.

Elections officers

In its previous meeting, Mar. 7, council appointed Sue Harvey Chief Elections officer and Karen Cessford Deputy Election Officer for conducting the 2011 general local elections.

 

 

Just Posted

North Island Rising: Minority Rules – Women & Politics

Male politicians continue to out number female politicians in the North Island.

North Island Concert Society reports on a successful season

It was a successful season for the NICS in terms of increased attendance.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: The Merry Widow Mountain trail

“Early morning light is best for photos of the face of the mountain”

Kwakwaka’wakw families march in Port Hardy in honour of MMIWG

Red dresses lined Market Street in honour of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.

20th Anniversary of Family Fishing Weekend coming to North Island

Choice of 14 events held on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

Most Read