City of Powell River councillors recently approved a motion to establish a Powell River Arts and Culture Committee and a Powell River Sport Commission. Both groups will work out of Tourism Powell River, subject to the agreement of its board of directors. Each initiative will receive $20,000 in funding from the city—$10,000 each as reserve funds and $10,000 each to hire a contracted employee. The intent is for the committees to operate independently with the potential to work with Tourism on projects. The purpose of the committees is to promote, facilitate and support cultural and sporting events in Powell River.
Council approved the adoption of the new Parks, Recreation and Culture Fees and Charges Bylaw. Fees for the use of Powell River Recreation Complex, city parks and facilities are updated yearly based upon the cost of living. This year fees are generally rising by two per cent. Outdoor fitness instructor and T-Fit owner Terri Cramb spoke at a recent committee-of-the-whole meeting about concerns over high fees for the use of city parks for fitness classes relative to other communities. Following her presentation, staff amended the bylaw to change the proposed $24.80 hourly fee to an annual fee of $250.
Council passed a City Vehicle/Equipment Idle Free Policy recently which dictates that city vehicles will not be left to idle and will not be warmed up for longer than three minutes. Councillor Jim Palm pointed out a few exceptions such as emergency situations and for the purpose of defrosting where idling is still allowed.
The Revitalization Tax Exemption Program Bylaw was carried by council to extend property tax exemption to industry, in particular Catalyst Paper Corporation, for a further four years with a tax ceiling of $2.25 million. Councillors Aaron Pinch and Maggie Hathaway voted against the motion over concerns about its length.
Council carried a motion for the city to enter into a new three-year contract with Powell River Academy of Music, involving a $15,000 annual contribution and in-kind use of facilities for events such as Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific and International Choral Kathaumixw.
Council carried a motion to repair the tanker wharf, at an estimated cost of $35,000. Repairs are needed after damages sustained earlier in the year by a mooring vessel.