Port McNeill council held a public consultation meeting on the evening of June 24, where the Annual Report for 2018 was presented.
With only one councillor, Shelley Downey, re-elected from the previous council, the new councillors and mayor were limited to reporting on the outcomes of their predecessors. However, Mayor Gaby Wickstrom, commenting in her written remarks, noted how well everyone on council had come together as a team.
In his report, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Pete Nelson-Smith mentioned that the year had seen significant changes in staff as well, including his own appointment as CAO.
Nelson-Smith pointed to the many successful projects taken on during 2018, including the continued focus on containing and directing surface water runoff.
The Public Works Department completed their town-wide storm water assessment and mapping and the report will be used to identify and prioritize future upgrades to the system.
As part of those planned upgrades, the town has applied for a federal infrastructure grant of $6.5 million.
If the application is successful, the money will be used for the stabilization of the entire Beach Drive embankment.
An announcement on the outcome of that application is expected this fall.
In support of last year’s interface wildfire in Zeballos, Port McNeill Fire Rescue earned over $100,000 renting out department equipment and personnel to the province.
The money will be put towards the future purchase of new equipment.
Nelson-Smith confirmed the North Island Community Forest partnership (NICF) generated $3,170,844.00 in timber sales with the proceeds to be split amongst the NICF partners; Port Alice, Port Hardy and Port McNeill.
In addition to the volunteer fire department income and timber sales, Port McNeill was successful in obtaining nearly $160,000 in grants during 2018.
With the 2018 annual report presented and accepted, council will turn its focus forward towards several key objectives and goals including a long awaited update to the Official Community Plan and a five year strategic plan for the town.
– Bill McQuarrie article