Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Quesnel Council Highlights - April 18th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

2016 Volunteer Citizen of the Year
This year there are nine nominees for Quesnel’s 2016 Volunteer Citizen of the Year.  Council thanked all of the nominees for the hard work and efforts that makes a huge difference in our community.  Each nominee was presented with a certificate.  The Volunteer Citizen of the Year Awards and Dinner banquet will be held at 5 pm on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at the Billy Barker Casino Showroom.  Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at City Hall.

Distracted Driving Program
Doug MacDonald who is the ICBC Road Safety and Community Coordinator for Northern BC presented Council with a plaque recognizing the City’s participation in the Distracted Driving Campaign that was held in March 2017 to raise awareness and education to prevent distracted driving.  Public Works vehicles display a window decal highlighting the importance not using a cell phone while driving.  On average 81 people die every year in crashes where distracted driving is a contributing factor and distracted driving is responsible for 27% of all car crash fatalities in British Columbia. Fines range from $398 up to $10,000 for repeat offenders.

Accessibility Audit
Karen Williams, Manager of Accessibility Initiative for Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC BC) provided highlights of the accessibility audit that was carried out for Quesnel’s downtown core and City Hall.  Ms. Williams presented Council with an overview of what the City is currently doing well when it comes to accessibility and made recommendations for City improvements around: walkways; resting areas; curb ramps; intersections; pick up/drop off areas; parking spaces; pathways and entranceways.  Ms. Williams also recommended continued collaboration between the City and downtown commercial stakeholders to address non-accessible: storefront entrances, stairs, abrupt changes in elevation, door handles/lack of automatic door openers, and sandwich boards in the public right of way.

2017 Tax Rates
With all of the data now in from other taxation authorities and with Council having approved the City’s 2017 Operating and Capital budgets, City staff can now prepare the 2017 Property Tax Invoices.  The average increase for the 2017 Municipal Tax portion* is:
•             $53.99 - the average residence in Quesnel (valued at $177,314) will see an increase of $53.99, or $30.45 per $100,000 of assessment
•             $93.45 - Commercial properties in Quesnel will see an average increase of $93.45 per $100,000
•             Major and Light Industry properties total 2017 taxation will remain frozen at 2015 levels, as part of the City’s tax framework. 
*The above tax increases do not include the effect of authority tax rates (e.g.  School, Hospital, Regional, Province, etc.)

Quesnel Floodplain Management – Policy Changes
Council approved staff to move forward in developing policy amendments to the City’s Floodplain Management bylaw after provincial floodplain legislation changed in 2004.  These proposed policy amendments will not change the existing 200-year floodplain levels or setbacks for properties in the City that are affected by the floodplain.  The proposed amendments are:
•             Removing reference to the Ministry of Environment (legislated housekeeping amendment)
•             Delegate the Director of Development Services to consider general exemptions from the flood level that were previously established by the Ministry of Environment
•             Council may consider a site-specific exemption from the floodplain bylaw when a report has been submitted by a qualified person that the land may be used safely for the use intended.
•             Require the owner enter into a Covenant referencing the prepared report/geotechnical report.

City’s 2016 Statement of Financial Information
Council approved the City’s 2016 Statement of Financial Information (SOFI) that lists Council remuneration, benefits, expenses and contracts.  SOFI also outlines City Staff remuneration over $75,000, Schedule of Goods & Services over $25,000, and Severance Agreements paid.

•             Bylaws 1821/1822 – OCP/Zone Amendments (McLean Street Housing Complex) Third Reading
•             Bylaw 1823 – 2017 Tax Rates – First, Second and Third Readings

Next Meetings
•             7 pm, April 25 - Regular Council Meeting
•             7 pm, May 2 - Regular Council Meeting

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