© Herald photo by Tyler Clarke
Mayor Greg Dionne chairs this week’s city council meeting, which clocked in at more than four hours in length.
Tying up some issues and raising even more, the city’s elected officials had lots to say during this week’s almost four-hour city council meeting.
The meeting’s first half was spent debating a 56-unit senior housing development at 658 River St. E. As previously reported, council approved the project, with Couns. Don Cody, Lee Atkinson and Charlene Miller voting against it at the urging of 42 neighbours who signed a petition.
Although this project garnered headlines in the Daily Herald, much more was accomplished during this week’s meeting.
The following are a few tidbits that until now remained unreported.
• The Shore Gold Environmental Impact Statement has been officially responded to on behalf of the City of Prince Albert.
Shore Gold is a mining company that’s heading the Star-Orion Diamond Mine project, about 60 kilometres east of Prince Albert.
In addition to the previously reported requests around local jobs and preparing the city’s infrastructure for the project, before this week’s meeting an additional note was added, requesting support in developing First Nations skills -- something Cody commended the city on adding.
Although the city’s endorsement of an official response has put Shore Gold back in the headlines, Mayor Greg Dionne cautioned the public against getting their hopes up for a project anticipated to create 670 well-paying jobs during its four-year construction and subsequent 730 jobs during its operations.
“Today, we cannot answer ‘when,’ because Shore Gold is almost a non-functioning entity,” Dionne said.
“This is the next phase, it’s not a step -- it’s part of the process we’re going through as part of the environmental impact study.”
“It’s a slow process to get it from point A to point B, C, D, E, and this is part of the process,” Coun Martin Ring said, reiterating his endorsement of the response.
Phone calls placed to Shore Gold by the Daily Herald requesting updates on the project remained unanswered as of Thursday.
• Bylaw enforcement in the city might face a rejigging, with Coun. Charlene Miller successfully motioning for a report to come forward, which she hopes will spark a review.
Miller’s initial motion was to relocate the department from its current location with Prince Albert Police Service to the city’s public works department.
Instead, council opted, with Miller’s support, to examine bylaw as a whole, as well as pros and cons that might come with its relocation.
“We have never, ever, sat together as a council and addressed the role of bylaw in our community -- ever -- and I think that’s the first step,” Coun. Ted Zurakowski said.
“Let’s discuss it before we know what we’re going to do with it,” Coun. Don Cody said. “It needs to be discussed, and then we can make an honest, real decision, I think.”
• Speed bumps are not the way to go, past city councillor Doris Lund told the city’s elected officials.
Although city council doesn’t currently have any speed bumps planned, Lund took umbrage that the option was brought up during a past city council meeting as a potential for the future.
Lund relayed that during the nine years she spent on the city’s Works and Planning Committee she was consistently told that speed bumps in residential areas create intolerable levels of noise.
“You’ll be wasting taxpayers’ money if you put up a lot of speed bumps, because you will end up getting rid of them when complaints about the noise roll in as well as complaints from vehicle owners,” she said, adding that they also slow down emergency vehicles.