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Arcade to open in New West industrial area – temporarily

Council in brief
New Westminster city hall
When council members attended the Sept. 30 meeting at city hall, they were sporting orange T-shirts in commemoration of Orange Shirt Day.

A local business has been given the green light to operate an arcade in a warehouse in the Braid industrial area.

Council has approved a two-year temporary-use permit that will allow East Van Amusements to temporarily run an arcade in its current warehouse space. The arcade will be able to operate between 6 a.m. and midnight and won’t be able to offer liquor or gambling, or arcade machines that depict any pornographic material.

The New West-based business normally leases arcade machines to restaurants, pubs and other businesses, but its business has been significantly impacted by COVID-19 closures in the food and beverage industry. It’s proposing to operate an arcade until it can return to its previous business model.

If the company wanted to continue operating a commercial arcade after its temporary-use permit expires, it would need to relocate to a commercial-zoned property. 

Committee changes

The City of New Westminster can begin recruiting members for its new grant committees now that the city’s new process for reviewing grant requests has cleared its final hurdle.

On July 13, council approved a motion to disband the amateur sports, arts and culture, child care, heritage and community grant committees. Those five committees have been “collapsed” into three new grant portfolios: community livability and social equity (grants for living); social and cultural vibrancy (grants for involvement); and community economic activators.

Council also approved terms of reference for the new grant committees. Like the city’s advisory committees, the plan is to get a broad cross-section of the community to serve on the grant committees and to reserve at least one position for an Indigenous person, in support of the city’s reconciliation efforts.

“Approval of the recommendations in this report will allow the city to support organizations that contribute to the social, cultural and economic fabric of New Westminster,” said the report, which contained recommendations about the disbanding of committees, terms of reference for new committees and appointments to the committees.

Input on Pattullo plan

Coun. Patrick Johnstone hopes the city will have a chance to chat with the province about the Pattullo Bridge replacement plan.

Johnstone said community members have raised concerns about the pedestrian and cyclist connections to the new bridge, which will replace the aging Pattullo Bridge. HUB Cycling and the Walkers Caucus have expressed concerns about some aspects of the plan.

“I’d just like to know if and when we are planning to have the project team come to council and if we are going to have a bit of an opportunity to have a discussion with the project team about some of the concerns that have been raised in the community around active transportation connections,” he said.

Jim Lowrie, the city’s director of engineering, said the project team met with the city’s sustainable transportation task force in early June.  He said the team also met with the Walkers Caucus and HUB Cycling, which have expressed concerns the location and design of the multiuse pathways leading to the bridge.

“At this time we have not set up a time for them to report back to council but we expect them to do so this month,” he told council July 13. “We expect to have a report back in August.”