City authorizes budget amendment of $20,000

Council Briefs, from May 25 regular meeting of Grand Forks City Council.

How They Voted

Budget amendment for FOI requests

Requests from a Vancouver criminal lawyer and the provincial ombudsperson for Freedom of Information requests are proving costly to taxpayers. At Monday’s council meeting, council authorized a budget amendment for $20,000 for additional administration staff support to accommodate the additional work required by the requests.

Councillor Michael Wirischagin noted in discussion that the money would have to come from taxation and would mean an extra one or two per cent tax increase in 2016 for each resident.

The background information presented to council stated that, “Both requests will take (tremendous) amounts of time and results are required within certain time frames.”

The lawyer requesting the FOI records is Lorne Wise. He is asking for 10 separate requests mainly pertaining to the hiring, termination and re-hiring of CAO Doug Allin. There is no mention of who hired Wise.

The motion carried unanimously.

Spraying near Hutton School

Councillor Butler brought forward a motion for council to direct staff to investigate if there was any risk to school children, hospital patients or the city in relation to spraying taking place near Hutton Elementary School.

Butler told her fellow councillors that she had met with the Hutton principal as well as the school board regarding the issue.

However, Councillor Krog said that he didn’t think that staff had the time or expertise to investigate the matter. Councillor Wirischagin added that he thought the issue was better dealt with by the school board.

The motion was defeated 5-2 with only Mayor Konrad and Councillor Butler voting for it.

Technology allowance

Council looked at adopting a policy regarding technological allowances for council members.

Councillor Thompson proposed an amendment that would allow up to $2,000 for each new councillor at the beginning of their term for the purchase of a computer. The amendment includes an opt-out clause for those councillors who wish to use a previously issued computers.

The previous policy allowed $500 per year.

Doug Allin, city CAO, told council that staff is looking at not purchasing as many computers as it would be more beneficial to not have as many capital assets.

Councillor Wirischagin proposed that the motion be tabled to allow for more discussion. The tabling was carried unanimously.

Steering Committee

Council approved a motion to authorize staff to proceed with setting up a Transitional Housing Project Steering Committee (THPSC) and that the committee provide assistance and recommendation to council regarding steps necessary to facilitate the development of transitional housing in the community.

Before voting on the motion, council heard a presentation from Dave Smith of Smithplan Consulting of Kelowna. Smith recommended that council set up the THPSC to assist in walking through the actions necessary for developing a project for transition housing in the city.

Council voted unanimously to support the recommendation.

Pickleball

Council looked at three options for converting one of the tennis courts at Barbara Ann Park into four pickleball courts.

Council chose option 2 which included repurposing, but not resurfacing one court as four pickleball courts, with portable net systems at an approximate cost of $7,256.

Council agreed that if the pickleball players wished to have a dividing net between the pickleball courts and tennis court, they would have to raise the money (around $8,000).

The motion passed unanimously.

The rejected options were: 1. Resurface entire compound and dedicate one court as four permanent pickleball courts at an approximate cost of $32,149, and 2. leave as is.

 

Just Posted

GFI gets underway in Grand Forks

Wednesday’s events feature a home run derby

Council levels zoning infraction at warming centre

Coun. Zielinski: ‘If we don’t uphold our own laws, we’re on a very slippery slope going forward’

Revitalization plan energizes downtown businesses

‘A lot of it is just simple stuff that I think people needed to hear from a different perspective’

Art in disaster: How Grand Forks is using creativity to process the flood’s impact

‘It was a sunny day, and so even though it was horrific and devastating, it was beautiful’

GFI legends, past and present

Before the first pitch flies, Gerry Foster remarks on the storied history of the tournament.

VIDEO: Stop-motion artist recreates Kawhi Leonard’s famous buzzer-beater

It took Jared Jacobs about 40 hours to make the video, on top of the research

Man charged in crash that killed B.C. pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged for 2018 Highway 1 accident where Kelowna elementary school teacher died

VIDEO: Clip of driver speeding past B.C. school bus alarms MLA

Laurie Throness of Chilliwack-Kent says he will lobby for better safety measures

Province unveils 10-year plan to boost mental health, addiction recovery services

The plan, called A Pathway to Hope, focuses on early-intervention services that are seeing high demand

Rock slide in B.C. river may hinder salmon passage

DFO says it is aware that the slide occurred in a narrow portion of the Fraser River

Four-hour tarmac delay violates charter rights of Canadians with a disability: lawsuit

Bob Brown says new rules reduce the distance he can travel by air without putting his health at risk

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Most Read