Terrace council briefs, March 8, 2021

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Below is a summary of key discussions from the regular Terrace city council meeting held March 8, 2021.

Support for Ksan House Society

Ksan House Society’s Amanda Owens presented to council, requesting a letter of support for a grant application to the Northern Healthy Communities Capacity Building Fund.

Council agreed to support the application, which would provide one year of funding for a new Ksan House Society mental health outreach worker who could liaise with Northern Health and connect people who use shelters to the right supports. Northern Health has also offered a letter of support.

Remuneration policy

Alisa Thompson, corporate administrator, updated council on a 2019 Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) white paper on best practices for councillor remuneration. Thompson said that the City of Terrace already used most of the UBCM’s suggested practices, but recommended the city update its policy.

“I really like this resolution, I like the transparency of it, it’s always an awkward conversation but you are not giving yourself a raise you are giving the next council a raise, if that’s what is chosen,” said Sean Bujtas, councillor, at the meeting.

The update includes formalizing a remuneration review once per term in the year of the election, conducted by a task force appointed by the chief administrative officer.

Revised council appointments

Councillor McCallum-Miller’s Feb. resignation created vacancies for the Terrace Public Library and the housing committee. James Cordeiro was appointed to Terrace Public Library and Sean Bujtas was appointed to the housing committee. When a new councillor is elected they will take over Bujtas’ spot on the housing committee.

McCallum-Miller was scheduled to act as the deputy mayor for July and August, so James Cordeiro will serve as deputy mayor for July and August, with the newly elected councillor taking on the role during November and December.

Flood mitigation plan

Council supported an application for grant funding through the UBCM’s Community Emergency Preparedness Fund. Should the application be successful, the city could receive a grant of $150,000 to complete a flood mitigation plan allowing for further assessment of erosion along the bank of the Kitsumkalum River.

The city reiterated that it would work closely with the Kitsumkalum First Nation.

Bylaws

Terrace council unanimously passed four bylaws at the Mar. 8 meeting. It established a reserve fund called the “COVID-19 Safe Restart Reserve Fund.” Close to $3-million in grant funding will be deposited into the reserve fund, which can only be used for specific purposes, like addressing revenue shortfalls, emergency planning and response costs, electronic equipment for connectivity, services for vulnerable persons, among others.

Council also adopted the 2021-2025 Financial Plan, and a temporary borrowing bylaw, allowing the city to borrow $1.5-million to meet expenditures until it receives this year’s tax income.

Council amended zoning categories for 5008 Agar Ave. to add “office” on the south half of the property, and “technical consulting firm” and “trade contractor” on the north half of the property.

Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News