NORTH ISLAND GAZETTE FILE PHOTO OF COUNCIL Port McNeill council discussed whether to enter into a ‘Fee for Service Agreement’ with the chamber of commerce at an annual cost to the town of $5,000.

Port McNeill council debates agreement with chamber of commerce

The chamber proposed a ‘Fee for Service Agreement’ at an annual cost to the town of $5,000.

At Port McNeill’s Nov. 18 council meeting, the Port McNeill and District Chamber of Commerce proposed that the town and the chamber enter into a ‘Fee for Service Agreement’ at an annual cost to the town of $5,000.

Previous to this request, the chamber had asked for similar amounts in February of 2018 and again in 2019. In those requests, the proposal suggested council consider using a portion of the annual business licensing fees to pay for the donation. In both of those years, the chamber’s request was declined.

This year, the chamber proposed entering into a fee for service agreement at an annual cost to Port McNeill of $5,000. Some of the proposed services the chamber would provide include: A website link between the town and chamber, advertising and promoting all Port McNeill businesses through various media outlets, telephone responses to business related requests the town receives and liaising with town staff on matters of shared importance.

Jessica McLaughlin, executive director for the chamber, feels the time is right for this type of working relationship, saying: “The Town is at a critical point in its history and we believe this partnership will benefit both the town and the business community.”

Before voting on the request, council felt there was a need for clarification on the roles and delivery model proposed by the chamber. Coun. Ryan Mitchell wanted to see, “a solid business case.”

Coun. Derek Koel was looking for background detail that would, “quantify the value.”

Coun. Shelley Downey felt there was a need for, “something more tangible, with targets and deadlines. Things that would be more measurable.”

And Acting Mayor Ann-Marie Baron wanted to insure there would be, “no duplication of services.”

After further discussion, Mitchell proposed, and a motion was passed, to have staff work with the chamber to develop a more precise and measurable proposal that could then be reviewed and considered at a future Council meeting.

In other council news, the Harbour Advisory Group was seeking and did receive council’s approval to assist and work alongside harbour management in the development of a full business plan for the harbour operations.

The Tourism Advisory Committee will be meeting later in the week and will also begin working on developing the town’s 2020 tourism tactical plan.

The Advisory Planning Commission’s Amendment Bylaw that adjusts reporting procedures between council and the commission received third reading, with a final vote set for the next council meeting.

Next council meeting is scheduled for Dec. 2 at 7:00 p.m. and is open to the public.

– Bill McQuarrie article

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