Council Meeting Summary and Approval of 2020 Budget

Tue, April 28, 2020

Tonight, Council held their regularly scheduled 7 pm meeting, open to the public through livestream at www.princerupert.ca/live, and broadcast on Channel 10/310. Due to Provincial Orders, currently Council Meetings are closed for physical attendance from the public.

Below is a short summary of the main items discussed at the meeting. Council not only heard updates from staff on City service impacts related to COVID-19, but also addressed a number of regular agenda items. 

Meeting Summary:

  • Council voted to award the contract for a boiler system upgrade at the Prince Rupert Recreation Complex to Slopeside Mechanical Systems, as per staff recommendation. This project is part of approved capital expenditures for 2020, and is necessary to continue recreation operations. 
  • Council voted to allow a Development Variance Permit application at 1514 Jamaica Avenue to proceed to public notification.
  • Council voted to allow a Development Permit application at 240 Kaien Road to proceed to public notification.
  • Council voted to proclaim May as Missing Children’s Month, and proclaim May 25, 2020 as Missing Children’s Day as requested by Child Find British Columbia. 
  • Council heard a report from the Chief Financial Officer on the 5 Year Financial Plan Bylaw, and voted to adopt the Bylaw.
    • Staff noted no significant changes to assessed values from BC Assessment, and that the 0% change originally proposed to the property tax rate in February has been maintained. 
    • Staff noted the City has seen decreased revenues relating to short term impacts from COVID-19 in the areas of fees collected by our Recreation Complex, Cow Bay Marina, transit and airport ferry services, however at this point, these are being offset by a number of other areas. Cost offsets include staff reductions and vacancies, travel cancellations, and other minor service reductions like reductions in beautification.
    • The remaining decrease in revenue will be covered by a dividend from Prince Rupert Legacy Inc., made possible through lease revenues collected on Watson Island. 
    • Staff also noted a likely budget amendment expected later in the year as more information is available, and impacts to the City from COVID-19 are better understood. 
    • Essential services will continue, as will critical capital projects like the replacement of the City’s dam, and paving improvements.
    • The City will also be looking to other levels of Government for available financial supports, including grants and stimulus packages.
  • Council voted to adopt the 2020 Property Tax Bylaw.
    • As per the 5 Year Financial Plan, the Property Tax Bylaw for 2020 has maintained the original recommendation from staff for a 0% change to the tax increase.
  • Council heard verbal reports from both the City Manager and the Mayor on the City’s response to the pandemic, the continued provision of essential services, and the current outlook on the coming year. 

For those of you looking to view the full meeting, it will be posted in the coming days to the City’s YouTube channel, here.