CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS TO JOIN THE COUNCIL REMUNERATION ADVISORY GROUP

The City of Grand Forks is inviting applications from members of the community to join the Council Remuneration Advisory Group.

The purpose of the Advisory Group is to review the current remuneration paid to the Mayor and members of Council and to make recommendations for appropriate levels of compensation. The advisory group will consist of two to four members of the public, and is expected to meet three to four times this fall and provide a report to Council by the end of the year.

Applicants must be residents or taxpayers of the City of Grand Forks.

Application forms are available at City Hall, by e-mail request to info@grandforks.ca, or at the link below:
Application for Appointment to Council Remuneration Advisory Group

Apply today! Deadline is 4:00 p.m., Friday August 16th, 2019.

Questions? Please contact Juliette Rhodes, Chief Financial Officer, at 250-442-8266 or email info@grandforks.ca.

Council to Deliberate Buy Out Policy Direction Affecting Over 100 Properties

City Council will discuss the mitigation project buy outs and policy direction at the 9am July 15th Committee of the Whole to give more information to residents about the process and in-kind support under consideration. The property transfer process needs to be set to give property owners a better idea of when they can expect to formally hear from the City as well as to clarify the post flood value. The general mitigation project timeline has a time range for the buy outs from late 2019 through to 2020. No specific dates have been set yet. Despite only receiving funding for the post flood value, the City is considering what in-kind support it can give to the residents struggling to relocate.

“I should set the story straight on a couple of things, but I want to get to this first” says Mayor Brian Taylor. “Post flood value means current fair market value. We got some budget numbers from the appraisals last year, but obviously things have changed since then. We aren’t aiming to necessarily use the numbers in those appraisals because you may have improved the value of your property since then and that wouldn’t be in the spirit of current fair market value.”

The first step in the buy out process was to secure the funding commitment from the federal and provincial governments. This happened with the announcement June 26, 2019. Now that the funding is committed, the City is working to confirm the process that residents can expect for the buy out process. By discussing the policy issues in open meeting, Council is hoping to hear from concerned residents during the decision making process.

The decision to buy out the North Ruckle neighbourhood comes from the September 4, 2018 decision of Council to endorse the recommendations from the Dobson Engineering report. The report notes: “Constructing a standard dike does not eliminate the need for the dwellings protected by the dike from being constructed/reconstructed at the required FCL [flood construction level]. A dike does provide a significant level of protection but dikes can fail or be overtopped under extreme events such as was experienced in 2018. Further, there is the matter of the local water table that is naturally close to the surface and often rises during high river flows and can result in local flooding.”

“Council considers public safety first and foremost in its actions and policy decisions” said Mayor Taylor. “Even if we built the best dike in the world, we just don’t know what the weather will be doing in the future. What we saw with our updated flood model is that climate change is real and makes it riskier to rely on engineered solutions in the floodplain. We’re building back better and that means making the hard decisions in the best interest of our community and its safety.”

Questions can be directed to Cavan Gates, Communications Officer at (250) 442-8266 or cgates@grandforks.ca.

Notice of Intention to Amend the Five-Year Financial Plan

The City of Grand Forks is proposing to amend the 2018-2022 Five Year Financial Plan, Bylaw No. 2045, 2018.

Click here to view a copy of the bylaw amendment and attached report

The public can provide input on this bylaw amendment prior to first three readings, which are planned for the Regular Meeting of June 24, 2019.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Chief Financial Officer, Juliette Rhodes at (250) 442-8266. Comments regarding the Financial Plan amendment can be forwarded in writing to the Chief Financial Officer, by mail, in person at City Hall, or by e-mail to info@grandforks.ca.

Mailing address:
Corporation of the City of Grand Forks
PO Box 220
Grand Forks, BC
V0H 1H4

Power Outage June 17, 2019

Electrical crews will be upgrading the power lines on 19th Street Monday June 17 from 8:30 to 4:30.

Power will be out in Johnson Flats for all municipal customers south of Kettle River Drive from 19th St in the west to 12th St in the east including all properties in between and on either side. Some properties north of Kettle River Drive will also be without power. Please see the map below for specific parcel information.

If you have questions or concerns, please call (250) 442-4148 or email info@grandforks.ca.

Supportive Housing Project – Frequently Asked Questions

https://www.grandforks.ca/wp-content/uploads/Supportive-Housing-Project-Frequently-Asked-Questions-1.pdf

 

FAQ’s

Proposed Supportive Housing Project

City of Grand Forks

 

  1. Who will live in this project? Homeless individuals, those at risk of being homeless, those that are hard to house and low income adults. The occupants will pay rent (it’s not “free” housing) and some will receive support services to ensure they are good tenants. Some will need supports with mental health and/or substance abuse. The tenants must sign an agreement that they will abide by the building rules and receive the supports as needed.
  2. Have other locations been looked at (P&T, Hotel 99, Moto)? Yes, many sites were looked at and were not feasible because of a lack of infrastructure, site unavailability, inadequate size, location or zoning.This Council and the previous Council has worked with BC Housing and community groups toward relocating this project to a suitable site and to date the 70th Avenue and 2nd Street sites are being reviewed.
  3. Who is paying for the development? Cost sharing and servicing issues are currently being negotiated. Until these negotiations have been finalized, the matter will remain “In-Camera”.
  4. Will there be community consultation? There will be a public hearing about the proposed zoning bylaw change on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 5th (from 3:00pm to 6:00pm) so that Council can hear the views of all residents. Letters and emails submitted to the City with respect to the bylaw will also be documented and reviewed by Council.
  5. Who proposed the possible move from 2nd Street to 70th Avenue? Council as a whole proposed the potential relocation of the project due to community concerns about the 2nd Street location. On May 21, 2019, Council gave 1st and 2nd reading to the rezoning bylaw which, if passed after the public hearing, would permit the project (along with other community uses).
  6. Why did the City buy the land? The City bought the lots on 70th Street to facilitate servicing and development of the west sector of the City, to potentially provide access to the 19th Street housing project, and to use the land for uses that are of benefit of the City. It made sense to purchase these lots because they are immediately beside a large City recreational area and other City-owned lands.
  7. What did the vote on May 21st mean? Council gave the zoning bylaw amendment 1st and 2nd reading which means the rezoning proposal is advertised and progresses to a public hearing so all members of the community can express their views to Council.
  8. What can council do to stop this project completely? BC Housing is a Provincial crown corporation.  Senior levels of government can overrule municipal decisions. As such, Council has little say in what BC Housing does. To date council has tried to make the best of it by having the project changed from 52 studio units to 34 one bedroom units, negotiating the possible relocation of the project and putting forth a resolution that BC Housing has to consult with the community before purchasing land for housing projects.
  9. Is it possible to declare a moratorium? As mentioned above, BC Housing represents a senior government and can override municipal zoning, etc. (this is rare, and they prefer to work with communities). Also, it would be difficult for the City to deny a housing project if it meets the zoning, servicing and cost requirements.
  10. Who asked BC Housing to come to Grand Forks? For at least the last five years, private citizens, community groups and different Councils have asked the Province for “help with the homeless situation”. As a result, the supported housing project is proposed to help with this situation.
  11. What is the proposed new zoning for the 70th Avenue site? Council asked staff to prepare special site-specific zoning for this property to enable more control and to limit the project to this specific site.
  12. Why is this rezoning being rushed? BC Housing has strict timelines for development and funding. It may be that if Council doesn’t move forward, the project may be developed on the 2nd Street because BC Housing already owns the land.
  13. Is the 2nd Street lot suitable? The lot is appropriate for BC Housing’s needs in terms of size and location, and BC Housing owns the lot.
  14. What happens if Council votes “yes” and passes the rezoning bylaw? Council can’t (by legislation) consider the next step until after a public hearing and receiving written submissions from the public. After the public hearing, Council has the option of either giving the rezoning bylaw 3rd reading or not.  If the rezoning bylaw is passed then the project can proceed on the lots on 70th Avenue, subject to servicing agreements and building permits.
  15. What happens if Council votes “no” and doesn’t pass the rezoning bylaw? The lands will remain under single family residential zoning and the project won’t proceed. However, the project may still proceed on 2nd
  16. Is Council only working with BC Housing? What about the people? Council has worked tirelessly to make this the best project for the community.  Council spent hours reviewing the petition and other feedback received about the 2nd Street location. As a result, Council is exploring 70th Avenue as an alternative option.
  17. I haven’t seen anything about the purchase of the 70th Avenue site in the press, why? The purchase of the land and approval for allowing access through Lots C and D were made public at the Council meeting on March 25th, which is the day that the sale was finalized. The media was in attendance.
  18. What’s going on with a supportive housing project in Maple Ridge? In March, the Council of Maple Ridge voted down a 51-unit supportive housing project and the Province (BC Housing) decided to go ahead with it anyway. As a senior government, the Province’s priority in this case overruled the municipality’s.
  19. Isn’t the proposed 70th Avenue site too close to family and other community facilities? There are sports fields and other recreation facilities immediately to the north of this site. BC Housing advises that there will be 24/7 security on site as well as cameras and 24 hour workers. There will also be an operating contract with the local non-profit operator, with strict operating procedures.
  20. What will this project look like? The designs are not finalized but it will be a 4-storey building with offices on the main floor. The building would likely take up 2 of the 4 lots and the remaining lots could be used for recreation/community amenities.

City of Grand Forks and Area D – Community Survey

Community Futures Boundary is conducting a survey of residents of the City of Grand Forks and surrounding Area D.  The link below is the same survey linked on both the RDKB and Community Futures websites.

Residents of the City of Grand Forks and Area D are invited to complete THIS SURVEY ON THE ECONOMIC POTENTIAL OF THE COMMUNITY.  Your input is important and will help identify additional issues or needs of residents. We are working to create an Economic Development Strategy to diversify and enhance job growth and improve economic sustainability.

We will accumulate the final results and keep responses confidential.  Thank you for your time and participation in this important initiative.