Port McNeill council met on Feb. 11 to discuss various issues. (File photo of Port McNeill council)

Port McNeill council roundup: Feb. 11 meeting

Various stories from Port McNeill council’s Feb. 11 meeting.

In a letter to Port McNeill council, Jessica McLaughlin, Executive Director of the Port McNeill & District Chamber of Commerce, updated mayor and councillors on her recent meeting with town officials. The meeting was a continuation of previous discussions on how the chamber may be able to work with the town in areas that could benefit everyone.

As a result of those discussions, the chamber is now asking council if they would like to move forward with the idea of having the district chamber take over management of the harbour sign.

At last Tuesday’s council meeting (Feb. 11), the outline of the concept was presented. It would see the chamber take on the responsibility for maintenance, refurbishment (when required) and selling of advertising space on the sign. Payment for these services would come from the sale of advertising space on the harbour sign.

McLaughlin noted in her letter to council that the chamber would work together with the municipality to, “Ensure the details are worked out to fully represent the Businesses of our region in a way that is fair for all interested Town Business Licence holders.”

Councillors felt the idea may have merit, but did note that the selling of space and sign management currently takes minimal staff work. Coun. Shelley Downey noted there will soon be a need to fully refurbish or replace the existing sign and anticipates that will cost somewhere in the area of $6,000.

After further discussions, Coun. Ryan Mitchell put forward a motion that would have the town agree in principal to the concept, but request a full and detailed proposal from the chamber before going any further with the idea. The motion passed and staff will advise the chamber to proceed with a proposal.

In other news: The Kitchen Corner Food Bank has requested a cash donation from the town to help with their continued support of USW workers.

When the request was originally sent to the town office (Jan 29/20), the forestry strike was showing no signs of a settlement. At that time, Lois Williams, a member of the kitchen corner, described how up to the Christmas holidays, they had been, “overwhelmed by the generosity of the community.”

However, she explained that, “Unfortunately, the donations have diminished to the extent that more is going out than coming in.”

With the recent news of a possible settlement in the labour dispute, council felt things might have changed for the better. However, despite the possible good news, they felt the need for some people to remain for a few weeks during the post settlement stage and agreed to donate $500 in support of the Kitchen Corner Food Bank.

Neva Perrott, President of the North Island Farmers & Artisans Market Association, asked council if the association could rent the Community Hall on April 18 and Oct. 10 for the same fee offered to non-profits. After a short discussion, council voted in favour of her request.

In other news: Laura Evans, Finance Assistant/Acting Corporate Assistant, advised council it was again time to apply for a Canada Summer Jobs grant.

The grant, according to Evans, “is a wage subsidy program for employers willing to create quality summer work experiences for young people aged 15 to 30.” In the past, she explained, “the funds have been used to aid with the wages associated with the Pool, Harbour & Information Centre and Public Works.”

Last year, Port McNeill received $13,578, which was used towards the wages of seven summer employees.

Aware of the value this program offers to both the town and students, council agreed with Evans’ recommendation and asked her to move forward with this year’s grant application.

– Bill McQuarrie article

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