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New West city hall/Tipperary Park project gets federal funding

Council roundup: Bits and bobs from New Westminster City Hall
What's happening at city hall? New Westminster has received federal funding for a project at city hall and Tipperary Park. photo Theresa McManus

New Westminster is getting some funds from the federal government to help upgrade amenities in Tipperary Park and city hall.

The city has received $243,750 from the Government of Canada, through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund. A staff report states the project includes four components: a rain garden; tree planting; a bike enclosure; and a public seating area.

“This project wild improve the cycling, social and green infrastructure at Tipperary Park/city hall, a large urban park and green space around New Westminster City Hall,” said the report.

According to the report, the rain garden is designed to collect and infiltrate storm water from city hall’s rooftop and surrounding paved areas, using native/adaptive planting. The reforestation (large shade tree planting) in and around city hall will contribute to storm water management, as well as to the city’s urban forest goals to achieve a 27 per cent citywide tree canopy cover.

Construction of a bike enclosure for city hall staff and a “parklet-type” seating area adjacent to the bike enclosure (which can be used as a public gathering place) are intended to be complete by March 2024.

Temporary role at city hall

Peter DeJong has been appointed as the City of New Westminster’s acting corporate officer while the corporate officer temporarily takes on a different role with the city.

In May, council designated DeJong as the corporate officer during the one-year reassignment of corporate officer Jacque Killawee. Killawee is temporarily returning to her previous position as the city’s records and information administrator.

“The city’s current corporate officer is taking a one-year reassignment,” said a report to council.

According to the report, the resolution approved by council appoints DeJong to the position of corporate officer between May 1, 2023 and March 2, 2024.

Permanent pub patio planned

A longtime pub in New West wants to make its pandemic-related patio permanent.

Council has supported an application from the Thirsty Duck Pub to operate a 40-person patio at 606 12th St. Liquor service would be permitted on the patio from noon to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Liquor primary license holders wishing to operate a patio must obtain approval from both the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch and the city, stated the report.

The Thirsty Duck operated a “temporary expansion service area” as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now wants to make the patio, which opened in May 2021, permanent.

A staff report stated the business hasn’t generated any noise complaints or negative community impacts, and the proposed patio isn’t expected to result in noise or negative impacts to the community based on the establishment’s size, hours of operation and location.

A May 29 report to council said notices about the proposal resulted in one letter of support for the proposal. Council recommended council consider the application, despite the “shortened and interrupted” on-site sign posting.

“The applicant posted a sign in front of the business for a total of 27 days. It was installed Feb. 16. Five days after the sign was posted, several chairs/tables and the sign were stolen from the patio,” said the report. “The applicant had a new sign made, which was reposted on Feb. 25, where it remained until March 20.”

Ride hailing expansion

New Westminster supports a plan to expand ride hailing to Hope, Kent and Mission.

Council recently approved an inter-municipal TSN (ride—hailing) business license scheme bylaw.

A staff report stated that New Westminster participates with 24 other municipalities in an inter-municipal business license for ride hailing companies. The boundaries for this service includes Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Squamish-Lillooet, with companies being allowed to purchase one business license and operate across all participating municipalities.

With the District of Hope, the District of Kent and the City of Mission wanting to join the inter-municipal program, a new bylaw was needed.

Roof repairs at courthouse

Work on the roof of the provincial courthouse in New Westminster is taking place when court is not in session.

In April, council granted an exemption to the construction noise bylaw to Signia Construction Ltd. so it can work from 8 to 11 p.m. from April 24, to July 31, 2023. A staff report said repairs are being done to the deteriorating roof and to install exterior insulation and cladding that will increase the energy efficiency of the building envelope.

“The contractor proposes to work concurrently on multiple elevations, different stages of the project and multiple sides of the building,” said a report to council. “Of note, the construction is anticipated to occur within 100 metres of more than 400 residential units for a period of up to 18 months.”

According to a staff report, the provincial courthouse is aging and is in need of immediate repair. Construction activity must occur after business hours, said the report, but quiet, interior work will be done between 9 and 11 p.m.