Council briefs: City defeats motion to research single-use plastic ban

Key discussions from city council meeting June 10

Plastic ban motion defeated

A motion, led by City of Terrace Mayor Carol Leclerc, to ask city staff to look into what a single-use plastic ban would look like as a Terrace bylaw was defeated.

In February, council denied a previous request about implementing a phased single-use plastic ban from Leticia Kisamas, founder of Plastic Free Terrace.

Coun. James Cordeiro presented research citing the negative environmental impact of reusable bags, and says in some reports, plastic fishing gear is thought to be more harmful. He also voiced concerns about the city having the power to dictate consumer choices.

Coun. Sean Bujtas also noted the federal government’s commitment to ban single-use plastics by 2021, and suggested city staff wait to see that initiative rolled out to avoid doing the same work twice.

Councillors Cordeiro, Bujtas, Evan Ramsay, Lynne Christiansen, and Brian Downie voted against it, with Jessica McCallum-Miller voting in support.

READ MORE: Terrace resident asks council to consider city-wide ban of single-use plastics

Upgraded Thornhill inspection station

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure hopes to bring a new inspection station to service the area.

The existing station is located near the four-way stop on Hwy 16 and Hwy 37 in Thornhill. It will be closing on June 21, and a mobile weigh scale will be used until the new station is up and running.

The Ministry is looking at a location further down Hwy 16 East for the new facility.

Originally, the plan was to move the weigh scales to a different location to make room for the upcoming traffic circle. But realizing the age of the weigh-scales, the plan is now to build a ‘state-of-the-art’ inspection station.

The Ministry submitted an application for federal funding last year but was denied. It was resubmitted and approved the second time.

The City of Terrace agreed to write a letter of support for the project, as highway traffic is expected to increase dramatically with industrial projects in the region.

READ MORE: New home found for transportation ministry weigh scales

Downtown security

The City of Terrace is allocating $20,000 towards funding a security presence downtown for an additional four months, with matching funds from the Terrace Downtown Improvement Area (TDIA) Society.

Coun. Sean Bujtas put forward the motion to get a better idea of the impact of having a security presence downtown.

The money will come from the city’s general surplus. During budget discussions, the city cited an actual surplus of approximately $1.7 million.

The TDIA has already spent $30,000 to run the first two-month pilot project and security grant.

RB-1 zoning

There was a packed public hearing regarding the city’s new zoning category before the regular council meeting.

The new zone, designated RB1 for Barelands Strata Single-Detached Residential, would allow for smaller, single-detached homes. An amendment to rezone the property at 4921 Halliwell Ave. from R3 (low-density, multi-family residential) to RB1 was passed.

Residents voiced concerns to council about losing green space because of the Halliwell development.

Council passed the zoning amendment and changes to the Official Community Plan.

TDIA projects

The Terrace Downtown Improvement Area Society outlined their strategic plan and projects for 2019 to council.

The society has a budget of $100,000 per year. Their budget for public art downtown is $40,000, with some projects involving partnerships with the Skeena Salmon Art Festival.

A matching grant of $8,000, which will be matched by businesses for $16,000, was allocated towards landscaping.

The TDIA has also extended the deadline for businesses to apply for their façade grant program, with $30,000 available.

READ MORE: Facade improvement grants available for downtown businesses

Hanging baskets were funded using $7,000, with $3,000 paid by businesses.

TDIA also says they will be involved with various downtown events, but will no longer be responsible for staffing them. If businesses want to host a block festival of some sort, there is $6,000 available to use.

Skeena bar patio

The Skeena Bar on Greig Ave. was approved for a temporary extension of their liquor license to allow for an outdoor patio from June 11 to September 30. The patio is along the front (Greig Ave.) and west (Atwood St.) sides of the building.

The RCMP did voice some concerns about noise and traffic in the area, but with this being a four-month temporary usage, city staff believe the impacts will be negligible.

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