City briefs: What happened at council this week

Coal committee, mayoral business trips, smoking bans and more at Alberni city council this week.

Council forms coal committee

Jane Armstrong, Maggie Paquet, Mike Lewis, Dr. Art Martell and Otto Langer will form the Raven Underground Coal Environmental Application Review Committee.

Mayoral business trip

Mayor Mike Ruttan will be heading to Vancouver later this month to meet with businesses to discuss possible business ventures in Port Alberni. Ruttan will be meeting with the CEOs of Catalyst, Western Forest Products and Jim Pattison to ensure that they know that the city remains open for business.

No smoking at playgrounds

Council passed a motion asking city staff to prepare a report and recommendations regarding banning smoking at all playgrounds within city limits.

In-camera to be revealed

Council passed a motion directing staff to implement a policy for releasing non-sensitive in-camera information to the public at the following regular council meeting via a special section on the council agenda.

Potential pesticide ban

Following the passing of bylaws permitting the keeping of bees and chickens within the city, council directed staff to prepare a report regarding the potential for a ban on the use of pesticides.

University tax rate lopsided

The University of Victoria owns property on Mallory Drive in Port Alberni worth $877,000, yet their tax bill to Port Alberni for 2014 is just $216. And that’s not sitting well with city council, who once again has objected to the way the province’s universities grants-in-lieu program works. Councils all over B.C. have complained, but the province isn’t listening, a city report noted.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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