Wednesday, July 13, 2016

July 11, 2016 Council Meeting Notes: Part 2 of 3. Engineering department busy, Fire Service resource challenged, community grants awarded

As I posted yesterday, Monday night’s City of Langley Council Meeting was packed with content as we had many quarterly updates from the RCMP and municipal departments. I covered off the first part of Monday’s meeting yesterday, and will be continuing with part 2 of 3 today.

Councillor Storteboom gave his update on Metro Vancouver as he is a director on the regional district’s board. The big news he highlighted was Metro Vancouver’s opposition to the Massey Tunnel replacement project as currently proposed by the province. You can read more information about this at Metro Vancouver’s website. Councillor Albrecht and myself both said that we supported Metro Vancouver’s opposition at Monday's meeting.

Councillor Storteboom also noted that all municipalities that signed onto the provincial government's Climate Action Charter are now “zero-emission” in their operations. I asked if this was because of carbon offsets, and was informed that this was the case. Carbon offsets allow a community to continue creating GHG emissions, but pay to support projects that reduce GHG emissions elsewhere.

Finally, Councillor Storteboom noted the opening of the new Metro Vancouver Barnston/Maple Ridge water pumping station which will supply Maple Ridge, the Township of Langley, the City of Langley, and Surrey.

Councillors Martin next gave a Tourism Langley update. She noted that hotel owners are in favour of maintaining the current 2% hotel tax. Council will be voting on this later in the fall. She also noted that overnight stays are up in Langley compared to the same period last year.

Next, council received an updated from Rick Bomhof who is the Director of Engineering, Parks and Environment. The City of Langley has been busy keeping our community functioning. Some of the major projects on the go include:

  • Ongoing boulevard maintenance, hydrant maintenance, and sewer line robot video inspections.
  • Nicomekl River Gabion Wall Replacement.
  • Traffic Signal Upgrade at 200 Street and Grade Crescent.
  • 51 Ave Waterman Replacement (East of 200 Street).
  • 200 Street Paving.
  • Brydon Lagoon Outlet Culvert Replacement.
  • Production Way, Fraser Hwy, 56 Ave Detail Design for Future Upgrade.
  • Traffic Calming along 48 Ave at Simonds Elementary School.
  • Water & Sewer Computer Model Updates to help find deficiencies in our systems.
  • Brydon Lagoon pathway upgrades to improve accessibility and address the stair issue that was recently featured in the news.

I asked if the City of Langley posts this information online, so people can see all the projects that the City is working on. I was told no, but that it could be looked into. Ideally, it would be nice to see this on a map where people can click to find out more information on the various projects.

Next Director of Recreation, Culture and Community Services Kim Hilton provided an update on events and recreational opportunities available in the City. She thanked everyone who helped out during the very wet Community Day. One of the things that I’m proud of is that we provide a lot of opportunities for people to engage in positive actives through our programs. I’m sure that many of the programs that the City offers ensures that people have positive outlets for their energy, reducing negative activity in the community.

We received an update on Langley City Fire-Rescue Service by Fire Chief Rory Thompson. Medical calls still make of 81% of calls that our first responders attend to. As noted earlier this year, Thompson said that drug overdose calls are still way up compared to last year. He noted that in one 24 hour period in January, our first responders attended to 11 drug overdoses.

The City of Langley also had significant fire losses on May 3rd when two house on 196A Street caught on fire. It was a loss of over $1 million.

Our Fire-Rescue Service is extremely busy. Besides responding to calls, the service also has a role in preventing fires by doing build inspections. We have around 3,000 inspectable properties in Langley City. I asked how we were doing with inspections. We aren’t keeping up. It is clear to me that we have some resourcing issues that need to be addressed.

Council also approved the following community grants from the second grant application intake period.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley: $3,656.00
Boys and Girls Club: $1,700.00
Healthier Community Partnership: $1,500.00
Langley Children’s Society (Child Development Centre): $1,400.00
Langley Senior Resources Society: $4,297.68
Parkinson Society BC: $158.60
Ron Dunkley Memorial Society: $1,500.00
Terry Fox Run: $800.00
Triple A Senior Housing (LACL): $1,800.00
Wagner Hill Farm Society: $1,000.00
You’ve Gotta Have Friends: $2,500.00

Tomorrow, I will conclude my notes about Monday night’s council meeting.

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