Quesnel city council met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, March 23, welcoming a bigger audience than usual. They were joined virtually by the candidates for the Quesnel Ambassador program for 2021, as well as the current ambassadors.
The nominees were honoured at an outdoor ceremony before the meeting.
BC Winter Games
The city confirmed it had submitted a bid to host the 2024 BC Winter Games. The BC Games Society granted Quesnel a one month extension by the after the city hadn’t secured a letter of support it needed to complete the bid.
“I think we just keep our fingers crossed,” Quesnel City Manager Byron Johnson said. “I think it’s appropriate to thank everyone who worked so hard to make just the application a qualifying application. It was a long process… with a lot of input from community groups.”
Johnson said he expects the society to make a decision by the fall of 2021 at the latest.
Quesnel is installing new bathrooms at four locations around the city. South Quesnel Park and the Lewis Drive Community Garden area will receive brand new washrooms. The Sugar Loaf Dog Park and Brinkman Gardens will see their existing washrooms replaced.
“This will be a much needed addition to the city’s infrastructure,” Councillor Scott Elliott said. “It will be very convenient for those choosing to be outside using our parks and trails. That’s exactly what we’re trying to do, get people outside.”
The money to construct the washrooms came from the province’s COVID-19 safe re-start grant. There is funding in the budget for one more bathroom, which are styled similar to roadside rest stops, but council is not recommending a location right now. They want to wait and see where it could be used best.
Johnson said the four washrooms should be installed by this fall.
While Sylvian Gauthier is assisting new fire chief Ron Richert in his transition, he made an appearance at council to present extending the city’s fire protection agreement with the Lhatko Dené Nation. The city will receive $5,000 per year instead of the $3,000 per year they’ve been getting for the past 11 years.
“Over the past few years we have seen a lot of new construction on the Lhtako land, mainly new residences which does significantly increase the value of the structures at risk,” the report reads.
The city has been providing suppression services to Lhtako Dené since the 1980s. Starting in 2010, the city has only been responsible for structure fire prevention.
Council gave second reading to the bylaw which would re-zone the area around the River Rock Pub. The Nazko First Nation is planning to build a 10-unit housing project, transforming the pub into offices and a communal kitchen.
A public hearing on the changes is set for April 7. The meeting will be virtual, with members of the public connecting online through zoom. Residents can connect through phone by calling 1-778-907-2071, with the Meeting ID of 823 4435 7265 and passcode of 883006, or online by connecting at http://bit.ly/3eSonxN.
The meeting is set to begin at 5:20 p.m.
Only two businesses wrote to the city in opposition of extending the Downtown Quesnel Business Improvement Area for two more years.
The bylaw needed to be opposed by owners of 50 per cent of the assessed value properties to be prevented. The Cariboo Hotel and businesses owned by Darlene McClure wrote to council to oppose the extension. Their properties only accounted for 1.8 per cent of the total assessed value in the area.
According to Quesnel’s community charter, an improvement area is set up to carry out studies and reports, improve and maintain streets and sidewalks, remove graffiti, conserve heritage properties and promote and encourage businesses in the area.
The city’s next regular meeting is scheduled for April 6.
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