Fort St. John city hall news in brief

Highlights from the city council meeting held Monday, August 12, 2019:

Contracts

Council approved a $50,000 sole-sourced contract to Vancouver-based consultant Judy Brooks to develop an energy literacy brand guide.

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The city had put out a request for proposals for the work at the direction of council, however, none were received. Brooks has experience developing brand guides for the BC Chamber as well as Whistler, city staff said.

Staff had planned to sole-source the work to Brooks in May, though council deferred that decision citing concerns over sole-sourcing the work. City staff could not answer why Brooks did not submit a proposal after it was put out to bid. 

The guide will give staff direction and clarity about terminology, messaging, and language to use when talking about the city's energy literacy efforts, including its passive house, micro-hydro station, and a nearly finished water reclamation facility.

Other business

• Council approved two downtown intersection upgrades that will be key to the rebuilding of 100 Street: traffic signals will be added at 98 Street and 100 Avenue, and the traffic signals at 102 Street and 100 Avenue will be upgraded to add left turns. City staff say both changes are needed to handle the traffic that will be diverted onto 98 and 102 streets during an estimated five years of construction. Click here to read more

• Council approved adding seven properties to the city's growing list of homes with illegal secondary suites. Bylaw contravention notices were approved for 10415 109 Street and 10417 109 Street; 10907 101 Avenue and 10909 101 Avenue; and 11008 104A Avenue, 11010 104A Avenue, and 11114 104A Avenue. The notices will be registered with the land titles office.

• Council approved staff to apply for up to $100,000 in provincial grant funding to help fund a feasibility study for a new visitor centre. Click here to read more.

• Council reconfirmed Mayor Lori Ackerman's appointment to the Union of BC Municipalities Special Committee on Climate Action. It was a formality after receiving clarification that UBCM will reimburse the city for expenses related to the mayor's appointment, including travel and per diems. The committee is made up of local governments, academics, industry, and environmental groups to identify voluntary actions cities and towns can take to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. The committee is expected to meet up to seven times in Vancouver over the next year.

• Council approved the acting mayor to attend an upcoming celebration for Don Gnatiuk, who is retiring as president and CEO of Grande Prairie Regional College after 12 years. The event will be held Sept. 12, with the trip estimated to cost $545 for registration, travel, hotel, and per diems, charged to council's travel account.

• Council approved the acting mayor to attend a rally in support of the forestry industry in Mackenzie on Aug. 22. The Mackenzie Matters Rally comes after widespread mill curtailments across the province.

• Engineer Alma Medina was recognized with a 15-year long service award. Medina joined the city in August 2004 as an engineering technologist, later taking on a role as development officer, before being reclassified as an engineer. 

• David Joy, general manager of corporate services, and Jim Stewart, engineering manager, were recognized for obtaining their Professional Certificate in Asset Management Planning. The two will use the education to help inform asset management plans being developed for the city.

Proclamations

August 25 to 31 was proclaimed Overdose Awareness Week to raise awareness of the occurrences of overdoses, and reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths.

The Fort St. John Community Action Team and Healthy FSJ will hold a number of public events during the week, including a documentary film screening on Aug. 26, naloxone training and a candelight vigil Aug. 27, and a community barbecue Aug. 30. 

“It’s also a great time to honour the year of programming we’ve had over the past year, really making a big impact in the education and awareness in Fort St. John and the surrounding communities,” said Julianne Kucheran of the Community Action Team.

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

(Note to readers: This article has been corrected. Alma Medina joined the city in August 2004.)

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