Powell River mayor provides update on mill, business and COVID-19

Dave Formosa covers range of topics at committee of the whole meeting

City of Powell River mayor Dave Formosa reported on a number of initiatives at the September 15 committee of the whole meeting.

Formosa told council he has been meeting with people from out of town looking to move to the Powell River area. He said some are interested in starting businesses, and there are groups looking at creating businesses within the community.

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“We are getting a lot of publicity lately for our very active real estate market,” said Formosa. “That also brings entrepreneurs that find their way into city hall and into the mayor’s office.”

Formosa said he has been having conversations with Patrick Corriveau, vice-president of paper and packaging with Catalyst Paper Corporation, which is wholly owned by Paper Excellence. He said discussions have involved Catalyst’s plans for short-term back-to-work and long-term outlooks for the mill.

“I’ve had three meetings with him via telephone in the last little while,” said Formosa. “I’ve also been talking about taxes and tax revitalization issues.”

He said he had been receiving a fair number of calls from residents who are not happy with information coming out of city hall regarding the COVID-19 situation locally.

“They are seeing news reports from our friends in the Tla’amin Nation and the issues of the outbreak in their community, and the great job they are doing,” said Formosa. “Our citizenry is wondering what is going on here in Powell River.”

Formosa said residents were wondering if there were similar outbreaks in Powell River and that the city is working with Vancouver Coastal Health very closely. He added that leaders of the three governments – Tla’amin, qathet Regional District and City of Powell River, plus chief administrative officers of those three governments, the chair of the emergency operations centre and the chair of the regional hospital board – have been trying to get Vancouver Coastal Health to come up with some language that can be shared with the public.

“Folks are curious,” said Formosa. “They hear there are X-amount of cases and I don’t blame them. We’re hoping there will be some announcements coming out very soon, jointly, with the three levels of government, that can help our residents somewhat in regard to this COVID-19 situation that we are finding ourselves in here in our district.”

Formosa said a meeting was held with the city’s protective services group and that crime rates are on the downswing, “which makes us very happy.”

“We are hoping to continue this trend,” added Formosa, “with seeing our crime rate come down.”

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