BILL McQUARRIE PHOTO Port McNeill Mayor Gaby Wickstrom was presented with the first ceremonial poppy from Louise Payne, Poppy Chair for the Port McNeill Legion.

Port McNeill council tackles invasive knotweed

In Port McNeill, 7 sites were identified and treated with a controlled application of glyphosates.

At the October 21 meeting of Port McNeill council, Patrick Donaghy presented an update on the invasive plant mitigation efforts taken the Regional District of Mount Waddington (RDMW).

Donaghy’s presentation focussed the RDMW’s efforts to eliminate knotweed, one of the top 100 worst invasive species in BC and on the top 10 list targeted for eradication.

According to information provided by the RDMW, knotweeds can grow through concrete and asphalt, causing damage to municipal and regional infrastructure and lessening property values. A measure of their economic impact can be seen in the United Kingdom where the annual repair costs amount to $4 billion CDN.

In Port McNeill, seven sites were identified and treated with a controlled application of glyphosates in 2018, but Donaghy warned that it can take upwards of ten years of repeated treatment before the weed can be considered eradicated in any particular location. When asked by Mayor Gaby Wickstrom how the town was doing in the grand scheme of things, Donaghy explained: “Relative to Port Hardy and Coal Harbour, Port McNeill is actually not bad. What I am concerned about is that every year it is going to get a little worse.”

Coun. Ryan Mitchell was concerned about costs and asked what the RDMW was looking for from the Town.

Donaghy explained that Port McNeill could work on its own or work with the regional district. If it chose the former, the regional district could provide and pay for training and the town could proceed with its own plan and at its own expense. If it joined with the RDMW, they would plan and implement a program on behalf of Port McNeill and there would be a yet to be determined shared cost for that.

The RDMW has scheduled a meeting for October 30, at which time planning and budgeting will be discussed. A member from council will be in attendance.

In other council news, Louise Payne, Poppy Chair for the Port McNeill Legion, presented the mayor and councillors with the ceremonial first poppies. Payne noted poppies will be available to the public on Friday and encouraged the public to once again show their support for Canadian veterans. Remembrance Day ceremonies will be held at the cenotaph on Campbell Way, Nov. 11 at 11:00 a.m.

Council also approved second reading of the bylaw amendment that would allow council meetings to move from their current Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m. to Tuesday evenings. There was some discussion regarding adopting earlier times, but no motion to amend the time was put forward.

Council announced that work on the redesign of the town website and the addition of a new and separate Port McNeill tourism site would be moving forward. There had been 10 responses to the town’s recent request for proposals and after extensive review, Array Web and Creative had been selected as the designer/provider of web services. No time line had been provided but it is expected that work will get underway shortly.

– Bill McQuarrie article

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