Fort St. John city hall news in brief

Highlights from the city council meeting held Monday, June 24, 2019:

Contracts

• Council awarded a $1.06-million contract to Big League Utilities Corp. of Taylor for 2019 watermain looping. Work includes extending the watermain in the alley between the Alaska Highway south frontage road and Sikanni Road East on Sikanni Road to 93rd Street, which will increase fire flows and enhance water quality in the area. It also includes the lowering of an adjacent watermain between 98 and 96 Streets, and replacing a watermain in the alley between the Alaska Highway north frontage road and 93 Avenue west of 100 Street behind Backcountry.

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Other business

• Council approved providing free feminine hygiene products in city facilities with public access. Staff are still working out the particulars of how the products will be provided at each facility, whether that will through dispensers or at the front counter of the facility. The city expects the program to cost roughly $3,000 for supplies, not including any dispensers the city may need to purchase and install at facilities such as the pool or the Pomeroy Sport Centre.

• Council voted to bestow Freedom of the City honours to retiring Senator Richard Neufeld, and retiring MP and former city mayor Jim Eglinski. The Freedom of the City is the highest award the city can bestow on an individual or group to recognize their contributions and achievements. 

• Council got an updated look at an updated zoning bylaw. The bylaw is being reviewed and updated to reflect the city's official community plan and related master plans. . Read more by clicking here.

• Deputy Clerk Laure Howes marked her last council meeting, and is set to retire August 1. Howes previously worked for the District of Chetwynd as the deputy director of corporate administration, and as the confidential secretary to mayor and council. The city's new deputy clerk is Bonnie McCue. 

Finance Director Shirley Collington was recognized with a 20-year service award. Collingon started her career at the city in May 1999 as a practicum student from Northern Lights College Applied Business Technology program. Collington stayed on as an on-call accounting clerk, working up the ranks to become the Deputy Treasurer/Collector in February 2008. She became director of finance in October 2017.

• Council recognized Lekshmi Atheesh for obtaining her Canadian citizenship on June 14, 2019. Atheesh has been in Canada in 2014, and joined the city on July 23, 2018, as the records management co-ordinator.

• Council authorized attendance to the Northeast B.C. Community Coal and Energy Forum in Tumbler Ridge on Sept. 11 and 12. The cost is $990 per councillor for travel, hotels, and per diems, charged to council's travel account.

• Council authorized the acting mayor to attend the 2019 SUCCESS Walk with the Dragon event on July 21 in Vancouver. The cost is $925 for travel, hotel, and per diems, charged to council's travel account.

• Council approved a $1,000 discretionary grant to the North Peace Light Horse Association for its fourth annual Stacy Michalski-Ollenberger Memorial Horse Show. The show will be held July 12 to 14. The event recognizes Michalski-Ollenberger, who organized the association's horse show until her death in 2015 after a long battle with Cushing’s disease.

• Council ratified its opposition to federal Bill C-48, which bans oil tankers from B.C.'s northern coast, and Bill C-69, which reshapes how major projects are assessed in Canada. The bills passed in the Senate last week. Read more by clicking here

Bylaws

• Council gave first three readings to Cemetery Regulation and Maintenance Bylaw No. 2433, 2019, which includes an updated schedule of fees for 2020. Coun. Gord Klassen declared a conflict of interest and did not participate. Read more by clicking here.

Proclamations

• June 23 to 30 was proclaimed Sexual Health Week. One in five Canadians living with HIV are unaware of their status, and make up 75% of new infections. And since the city lost its STI testing clinic years ago, no data has been collected our measured about STI rates in the region, council was told. "I’ve been tested, you should be tested too," said Amanda Trotter, executive director of the Women's Resource Society. On June 27, the WRS will host free testing for HIV, HCV and Syphilis at The Healing Place at 10045-100 Street as part of National HIV Testing Day to reduce barriers. A community barbecue and health fair will follow at 100 and 100.  Read more by clicking here.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

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Shirley Collington with city councillors, June 24, 2019. - Matt Preprost
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Amanda Trotter and Heather Paddison with city councillors, who proclaimed June 23 to 30 as Sexual Health Week in the city. - Matt Preprost
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