PORT McNEILL—Council gave the first three readings to a bylaw establishing recreation fees and charges for Town facilities during its final October meeting, but it does not signify an increase in costs to users.
Schedule “D” Recreation Fees and Charges fee-setting bylaw is primarily a clarification document that updates wording used in its two-year-old predecessor. It was driven by a section in the 2012 bylaw that claimed “There will be no charge for funerals”, which now specifies the Town “waives rental fees for a facility booking for a funeral (or for an activity by a non-profit group).”
Users will still be required to pay a janitorial fee and any applicable bond, as has been the case in the past.
“Which of the rates here have been increased?” Coun. Gaby Wickstrom asked Administrator Sue Harvey, who drafted the language.
“We’re not changing any rates,” Harvey replied. “We’re just changing how they’re referred to. It’s a housekeeping matter, more than anything.”
The bylaw covers fees and deposits at all Town-held properties, including the Community Hall, Old School and ballfields.
Three other bylaws, addressing taxation and zoning issues, were given final approval during the Oct. 20 meeting.
The Permissive Property Tax Exemption Bylaw updates the structure of application for churches and non-profit groups whose property taxes have historically been waived, including service clubs, Broughton Strait Campground and Broughton Curling Club.
Additional Accommodation Tax Levy Bylaw No. 655 will continue the two per cent room tax at hotels and B&Bs in Town, with the funds earmarked for local and regional tourism promotion.
Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 654 changes the zoning of a commercial property in the downtown core from C-1 to C-2 and allows for its use as a college or other instructional site, as well as commercial business location.
Council continued its support of Port McNeill Volunteer Fire Department’s annual Halloween Fireworks show by contributing a $2,000 donation to the event, which takes place tomorrow beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Hall.
Councillors clarified the historical donation amount and Harvey confirmed it has typically been $2,000. An exception was made in 2010, when the amount was deemed by council of the day to be unseemly while many families from Kingcome Inlet were on extended evacuation following flooding one month earlier.