Monday March 19, 2012
City Hall News
The Municipal Rub
Paramount dreams and baseball bucks
Bailey Landfill Gas Extraction
It's called the "Regionally Significant Project Funding Agreement which will see Chilliwack partnering with the Union of BC Municipalities whereby the project will be
funded up to a maximum of $3,564,700. The money comes from federal gas taxes. The benefit of an extraction system mean less greenhouse gas emissions from the Bailey Landfill site into the Upper Fraser Valley Air Shed.
According to Conestoga-Rovers & Associates, the landfill has added 1,738 tonnes of methane into the atmosphere. The project will also include a gas flare burner, pipes and a "collection field" at the landfill in an attempt to make the landfill more environmentally sustainable.
Carey Point Erosion Control
Chilliwack will have to go it alone after council received word from the provincial government that there will be no funding forthcoming for erosion and flood control at Carey Point off Ballam Rd. Undoubtedly, this will not sit well with owners of the 17 homes situated on 320 acres of farmland outside the dike, which includes a hazel nut farm and a blueberry farm.
Some in the community feel that gravel extraction up-river has changed the current so that now Carey Point is eroding faster than it would have if gravel wasn't taken out. Gravel is removed in order to mitigate flooding.
According to the City, erosion at Carey Point began as early as 1912 and continues. In recent years, the City has been dependent upon the provincial and federal governments for money to help protect land outside the east dyking system.
In 1997, resident and the city joined forces to construct a berm and at the time the City's costs were covered under the Provincial Emergency Program.
The City says that because of a scour hole, an area at the base of Carey Point where the water rolls back on itself creating a divot on the river bottom, making a project to fill it in and build a dyke on top economically unfeasible. The report states that this option (one of three put forward) is a "non-starter" due to the enormous costs involved and filling the scour hole with riprap. Property owners say this is the only option that makes sense, however without provincial and federal funding, this is not an option because the City has no funding set aside for a project of this nature.
The three options costs are estimated to be:
Option #1 - $5.1M
Option #2 - $1.3M
Option #3 - $1.5M
Options 1 and 2 only provide only minimal flood benefits and option 3 is seen as impractical and economically not feasible.
There is a fourth option available — the "do nothing" option which is the preferred option as per staff recommendations.
Ford Road Rail Crossing Upgrade
The City of Chilliwack is contributing up to $11,763 (12.5%) towards the upgrade which will include...
Transport Canada will pick up the rest of the cost which is estimated to be $94,100. The upgrade will include a "constant warning device", bells and flashing lights added to the existing gate. The guard was added to the Ford Road crossing in 2003. In 2005 the Nevin Rd. crossing was upgraded and McGrath Rd. Upper Prairie Rd. is next in line to see an upgrade. Adding an upgrade to Ford Rd. means a quieter area for residents because with the upgrade, train whistles will no longer be needed there.
Percentage-wise, Transport Canada picks up 80% of the cost, CN 7.5% and the City's end is 12.5% of the total cost of the project. In the future, the City will pick-up approximately 50% of the maintenance costs associated with the crossing.
McTar Awarded Contract to Suppress Dust on Unpaved McRoads
Lafarge Canada Inc. was awarded the one-year $191,700 contract to control dust on country roads around the outskirts of Chilliwack. According to the City, dust suppression on unpaved roads is needed to increase visibility and reduce particulates in the air as well as lengthening the lifespan of a road and decrease maintenance costs. The City's budget allowance for dust control is $115,000 annually.
First Arm Contracting hit a home run when they beat out others with a low bid of $57,600 to repair infields for a year after teams rip it up. Work on the infields would include; blowing dirt and dust out of the dugouts, filling holes and grooming the surface in preparation for the next users. According to the City, baseball diamonds around town are booked 1800 times a season.
Paramount Theatre Silver Screen Dreams
Council approved a 90-day extension to allow for more proposals and for a group who is interested in saving the building from the wrecking ball. The City has made it clear that they won't be spending one red cent on building upgrades. The Voice suggested to the group that they form a not-for-profit society and in doing so, the City stipulates that they will partner and sign a Management Agreement. City staff have also stipulated that any proposal put forward would need to be vetted by the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee before council considers a proposal.
The City would be looking for a 5-year contractual arrangement with whoever takes over this building.
Google Maps Will Need Update
Chilliwack is getting two new streets; Shannon Street which branches off from Nixon Road and Willard Place which is in the same new subdivision also in the Nixon Road area.
Smile You're on Camera
Chilliwack taxi's will eventually see cameras installed into cabs sometime next year. This item is slated to be on council's platter for discussion in January 2013.
Parking in School Zones
This continues to be a no-no and some tickets have been issued. City staff say that schools need to better manage traffic in zones and it has been suggested that schools could hire traffic control people for September, at least. The item will be up for further discussion by the school board and the city sometime in April.
The RCMP say that there is overall decrease from last year regarding prostitution due to an increase in enforcement activities. Major property related offences are down, however break and enters are up with outbuildings being targeted for wire theft. There has also been a spike in robberies. Police report the Crime Reduction Strategy and the Prolific Offender Program are both working well.
Theft From Vehicles
According to ICBC stats, there have been 174 claims as of November 2011, compared to 254 claims last year. Theft from vehicles and vandalism is down overall (not on my block or on my car). Operation Red Nose reports another successful year with more road blocks.
The BIA says that drug and alcohol abuse is up and that sex trade workers are not currently a problem. They also say that apartments above the stores on Mill Street have been an issue and additionally, there's a junk-yard-dog-mean dumpster diver circulating.
The BIA also says that Griffon Security now has a command centre and next year a database of downtown business cell phone numbers with text capabilities where business owners can be texted the latest information regarding criminals in the community.
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