news release Whispers of Hope

City re-visits notice to Whispers of Hope and BETHS

August 8, 2017

Grand Forks, BC – Council re-visited the timelines in their decision from last week regarding the closure of the City owned building occupied by Whispers of Hope and BETHS. The revised notice will give the societies additional time to plan their transition while enforcing the City’s bylaws and sections of the lease that have lapsed over the last year. The City issued notice today for the soup kitchen, thrift store and emergency shelter to bring their premise into compliance with City bylaws within thirty days, and to maintain the standard set in the lease agreement, or they would be required to vacate the premise. The notice included direction to vacate the property within six months in accordance with the lease agreement.

Last week the City issued a notice to cease operations within 48 hours and to vacate the premise in thirty days in reaction to dozens of complaints from the public and thousands of dollars spent by the City in repairing vandalism in areas around the building. This sparked a debate within the community and the societies about the services provided and the general issue of homelessness, addictions, and mental health. The City’s goal is to reduce behaviour that presents a risk to public safety. This includes interpersonal conflicts (yelling matches or fighting), improper disposal of needles or drug paraphernalia, and damage to property or vandalism.

Questions can be directed to City Hall at (250) 442-8266 or info@grandforks.ca .

news release Whispers of Hope

Notice issued to Whispers of Hope and BETHS

City of Grand Forks issues notice of lease termination to Whispers of Hope Benevolence Society and Boundary Emergency and Transitional Housing Society

Grand Forks, BC – The City issued notice today for the soup kitchen, emergency shelter and thrift store to cease operations by Friday August 4th, 2017 at 5pm and to vacate the building within thirty days. This follows dozens of complaints from the public and thousands of dollars spent by the City in repairing vandalism in areas around the building. Some complainants expressed not feeling safe using the trail and park near the building. The soup kitchen’s clients are often camped out on the community trail that runs along the Granby River or on lands adjacent to the trail. Their actions are often considered to be a nuisance to the neighbouring and nearby properties. Despite being sympathetic to the mission of the two societies, Council believes that closing the premise will reduce the concentration of damage to public property, conflict, and concerns about public safety.

The topic of homelessness was prominently featured in the July 17, 2017 Committee of the Whole meeting where it was discussed at length in the context of the risk of wildfires or other damage caused by building and occupying temporary shelters. These shelters are currently prohibited within City limits and they have been repeatedly cleared by City staff or contractors when in place for more than a few days or weeks. Other concerns include drug paraphernalia like needles and their risk to public safety. Council agreed to start a task force to investigate solutions to improve homelessness and mental health. The City is open to any course of action that will keep public spaces safe and available for everyone to use.

Questions can be directed to City Hall at (250) 442-8266 or info@grandforks.ca .

Irrigation City Park

City Park Irrigation Fixed

Many residents noticed that the playing field at City Park was fairly brown. The irrigation system broke earlier in the year but it has now been repaired. Residents may notice watering at City Park during the day to recover the field, and the occasional watering during the day at other sites as staff continue to test the irrigation systems.

water leak repaired June 2017

Water Leak at 2nd St and Central Ave

Update 6/29/2017: Argosy Construction Group is repairing the leak today! Some customers will be without water for a couple of hours, but those affected have been hand delivered notification.

5/26/2017: One of the valves in the water main is leaking through the valve packing. This means there is water in the intersection. We’re monitoring the infrastructure for any signs of worsening. Repairs will start once the water table recedes.

Collective Agreement Handshake

CUPE Local 4728 and City of Grand Forks reach new deal

After two days of bargaining, the City of Grand Forks and CUPE Local 4728 reached agreement on a four and a half year deal. Management and the Union worked together to find new terms that saw a unanimous ratification by the Union and by Council. Both sides walked away feeling happy with the results that included a two percent per year wage increase and changes to allow more flexibility in employee scheduling.

“I’m pleased that everything worked out so well, and I’m very happy with the results for the corporation and CUPE members.”

  • Mayor Frank Konrad

“CUPE Local 4728 is satisfied with the results of 2017 bargaining round. We look forward to four years of partnership with the City of Grand Forks and maintaining a safe working environment for all of our members.”

  • Sukie Lawrence, President, CUPE Local 4728
Spray park open

Tot Lot and Rotary Spray Park Now Open

City crews have sanitized the Tot Lot and Rotary Spray Park after they were flooded earlier this year. Thank you for you patience, they are now ready for fun!