Council briefs: safe needle task force close to wrapping up

Discussions from Oct. 9 meeting

Terrace City Council briefs from the meeting on October 9, 2018. Some of the key discussions are summarized below:

Safe needle disposal task force almost complete

Council went over the most recent findings of the safe needle disposal task force, formed to deal with recent reports of drug paraphernalia found in the city.

“I think they’re fairly close to wrapping up,” said Coun. James Cordeiro, who is part of the committee. He said the Greater Terrace Safe Needle Disposal Guide, modelled after one used in Prince George, has been completed and will be shared on social media, websites and hardcopy. The guide indicates the City of Terrace is the main contact if a needle has been found.

The task force is also moving forward with incorporating a Terrace Clean Team, similar to Quesnel’s Clean Team initiative, which is comprised of volunteers, some who are former or current drug users. The approximate cost for a program of this nature is $5,000 a year.

READ MORE: Drug needle task force’s strategy taking shape

According to the Sept. 19 meeting minutes, the Northern Health Intensive Case Management Team (ICMT) is collaborating with various groups and people who would like to participate on the Clean Team, and will receive word by next week on whether or not it’s eligible for a $2,000 provincial grant by next week.

Cordeiro said the case management team should also know by next week whether it’s eligible for a $2,000 grant from the BC Centre for Disease Control.

Council debates marketing strategy

With development at the Skeena Industrial Development Park (SIDP) moving ahead, council was asked to support two proposals for marketing the project.

City staff approached both Taisheng, the owner of the largest portion of the SIDP lands, and the Kitselas Development Corporation to participate in applying for a $60,000 federal grant as well as grant from the Northern Development Initiative Trust’s marketing program.

The program would also require $5,000 from the city’s economic development budget to hire consultants, something which sparked a minor debate during the Oct. 9 council meeting.

“I’m torn a bit here on whether this would be seen as supporting a specific business,” said councillor Stacey Tyers.

READ MORE: Industrial park developer still hopeful for 2020 completion

“If we were applying a letter of support for Taisheng I would understand it. But I’m a little hazy, and maybe I’m wrong, but it seems a little bit questionable to actually be in that partnership with a specific business and giving them the taxpayer assistance versus someone else in town.”

City economic development manager Danielle Myles explained that while the city can’t provide direct assistance to businesses, Taisheng is an entity developing 30 SIDP lots for multiple businesses.

The marketing strategy for the SIDP lands will be “broad” and “won’t just focus on Chinese investment or investment for the Taisheng property” but any of the other parcels as well, she said.

Tyers remained unconvinced and was concerned the city would be using its $5,000 to support this development instead of other businesses in Terrace.

“I want to support them as much as we can, but I also want to be careful for where we cross that line,” Tyers said.

The resolution passed with one opposed vote from Tyers.

Parks and public places bylaw passed

Amendments to the parks and public places bylaw was adopted, meaning the smoking and vaping of cannabis, tobacco or any other substance will be banned in outdoor public spaces.

This includes skating rinks, sports fields, playgrounds, and skate parks. An increase from 3-metres to 6-metre setback distance from transit shelters, bus stops and other transportation spots was also set.

READ MORE: Council rolls cigarettes and vaping into cannabis restrictions

Previously, ‘other substances’ were not included in the original version of this bylaw ahead of the legalization of cannabis Oct. 17. City staff decided to amend the bylaw to include any substance that can be vaporized or release smoke into the air.

If caught, offenders could face a $200 fine set by the city’s revised ticketing bylaw.

New industrial business testing out Terrace

Council approved a temporary use permit for Progressive Ventures to allow Monster Industries, a construction and maintenance company, access to two properties along Highway 16 for one year.

Monster Industries has operations in Houston, Mackenzie and Williams Lake, and provides services to forestry, mining and energy sectors. The permit application affects 5412 and 5414 Hwy16 West, where the business will be operating light industrial business activity including light manufacturing, welding, machine or metal fabrication, and trade contracting.

The permit will be used as a way to determine business viability, as Monster Industries has indicated its desire is to develop the property and establish a long-term business presence in Terrace.

Construction to go 7-days a week at modular housing project

The city is allowing Sunday construction at 4523 Olson Ave. behind the Northern Health Authority complex so that 52 modular housing units can be assembled and open for occupancy by the end of the year.

The project is part of the province’s commitment to deliver 2,000 units of housing to combat homelessness and its tight completion timeline brought on the Sunday request for what is now a seven-day-a-week project here.

READ MORE: Province breaks ground on modular housing project in Terrace

Residents will be notified by the city of this change in the limits on construction activity for this project.

SIDP rezoning

Council passed a bylaw to rezone two acres within the SIDP lands for a third reading, giving the owner, Global Dewatering Ltd., a chance to develop four new lots.

Rezoning would change the triangular portion of property adjacent to the intersection of the park and Hwy37 South from ‘Heavy Industrial’ to ‘Industrial Office Park’. This would then allow for a potential convenience store, gas bar, and possibly a restaurant to be built.

Global Dewatering Ltd. is a water and wastewater treatment company that owns 17 acres of land within the SIDP.

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