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What’s Coming to New West Council on April 26, 2021

Here’s what’s coming to New West Council on April 26, 2021: COVID-19 response, noise bylaw exemption (again!), watermain work, flooding…?, keeping a pool closed (still!) and a community oven in Queen’s Park!

New Westminster City Council is having a Regular Council Meeting on April 26, 2021, and here’s what they’ll be discussing!

COVID-19 Pandemic Response – Update and Progress from the Five Task Forces

There has been a lot of work done in New Westminster in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and here’s a little flavour of that work:

  • The City received a contract extension to support the continued operation of five food security and resource hubs which are feeding up to 750 residents on a weekly basis, laundry and shower programs for the homeless, and portable toilets.
  • The Health Contact Centre beside the Anvil Centre is now operational.
  • The City is talking with BC Housing to provide an additional 20 emergency shelter beds and up to 50 supportive housing units.
  • The Friendly Caller Program continues to reach out to seniors who are seeking social interaction.
Update to Interim COVID-19 Food Truck Policy

In October 2020, Council endorsed the extension of some temporary policy adjustments to tweak them to help brick-and-mortar restaurants and food trucks, and staff is asking Council to extend the adjustments to December 31, 2021.

320 Ewen Avenue: Cedar Island Remanufacturing Ltd.

Some residents of Queensborough delegated to Council in March 2021 to express concerns about Cedar Island Remanufacturing Ltd., specifically around noise, air pollution, rodents, workplace safety, and a lack of response from the property management.

City staff has found that Cedar Island Remanufacturing Ltd. is violating the noise bylaw, and the rest of the issues aren’t really in the City’s jurisdiction (air pollution is Metro Vancouver, rodents are Fraser Health, workplace safety is WorkSafe BC).

330 East Columbia Street (Royal Columbian Hospital Redevelopment): Request for Construction Noise Exemption

Wait, I already talked about this!

Metro Vancouver New Westminster Annacis Main No. 5 (North) Alignment

Metro Vancouver is putting in a big watermain that will supply potable water to Surrey and Delta and it’s going right through New Westminster. This report outlines four potential alignment options, with one coming down 13th Street being the preferred alignment. The watermain would run down 13th Street from 10th Avenue to 5th Avenue, then turn east on 5th Avenue to 11th Street, and then down 11th Street to the tunnel shaft at the corner of 11th Street and Auckland Street.

2021 Spring Freshet Council Report – April 1st Snowpack

There’s snow in them thar hills! And the snow’s going to melt and the water’s going to come down the Fraser River. How much water is anybody’s guess right now, but the snowpack in the Fraser River basin is at 116% of normal.

New Westminster Outdoor Swimming Pools – Summer 2021

As discussed on March 29, some residents of New Westminster wanted the City to keep Hume Park Outdoor Pool (HPOP) open during the summer. At that time City staff said it would cost too much and they’d have to shut down Moody Park Outdoor Pool (MPOP), but Council asked staff to be a little more detailed. This report contains that detail, highlights of which are:

  • HPOP has been closed for 20 months and would require commissioning and maintenance to get it into serviceable condition, which would likely delay opening of the pool by a month.
  • HPOP requires its drain to be retrofitted, and that would take 3-4 months to complete.
  • Opening only HPOP but not MPOP wasn’t considered, but if both were to open instead of just MPOP, it would result in a net loss of 531 reserved drop-in spots per week.
  • Opening both HPOP and MPOP would have a net negative environmental impact as HPOP has the city’s highest energy use intensity amongst 24 city buildings examined in 2019.
  • Opening both HPOP and MPOP would cost an extra $151,100 in operating expenses and $145,000 in capital expenses, neither of which were budgeted and would have to come from some other program or service.

City staff is recommending that Hume Park Outdoor Pool remain closed for the summer 2021 season.

Queen’s Park Farm – Pilot Project to Transition towards Local Sustainable Food Production

City staff has done preliminary work towards switching the Queen’s Park Farm (aka the petting zoo) away from livestock and towards a program that will support and promote sustainable local food production.

Staff is going to be providing alternative programming within the space for 2021, including exploring an outdoor art gallery, an outdoor museum, daycamps, and documentary film making.

In the fall, the City will be setting up a partnership with a non-profit group to start constructing Phase 1 of the farm transition, which will include repurposing two of the existing farm structures, one for a community oven and one for a small events stage.

Sketch Concept of Phase 1 Transition – Community Oven, Small Events Stage and Communal Table/Seating for Sharing Food