WERA General Meeting of September 26, 2017
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Meeting commenced: 7:02 p.m.
Chair: Elmer Rudolph; Recorder: Gavin McLeod
Number of attendees: 7
Approval of minutes of previous meetings: Motion to approve minutes of March, moved by Gavin McLeod seconded by Mary Wilson.
Additional Agenda Items: Emergency Preparedness meeting in the Anvil Centre; Beautifying New Westminster, one place at a time.
Report on Residents’ Association Forum of September 13, 2017 (Elmer Rudolph): The main topic at the meeting was to discuss financial assistance to the Resident’s Associations in New Westminster. Some RAs pay for web pages which incur additional costs. Three alternatives were proposed, a flat yearly subsidy, pay by submission of expense receipts or a mixture with a flat rate plus by receipt if flat rate is exceeded. A flat dispensation of $200 was suggested. Council will discuss this further. There was a suggestion that each RA could have a website hosted by the city, that will be taken to the technology staff at the city. There were some complaints about proposed high rises adjacent to the 22nd Street Skytrain station.
Large trucks rat running in the West End on Eighteenth (Elmer Rudolph/ Gavin McLeod): Around September 8th Elmer received reports about large dump trucks running up Eighteenth Street. Elmer reported the incident, it appears to have been a temporary condition as there have not been any recent observations.
Report on Neighbourhood Traffic Advisor Committee Meeting (Gavin McLeod): Lisa LeBlanc asked for and received input on how to proceed toward long-term goals involving transportation. There will be in increase in electrical vehicles requiring charging stations. The city is working with BCIT to install charging stations on a test basis. A local resident is working on a plan to provide charging stations subsidized by advertising. Although traffic will increase the city is not prepared to accommodate the increase and does not plan to accommodate an increase. Self driving cars are coming and car sharing has arrived. There is a new government might result in a change in current planning including the Pattullo bridge and the proposed changes to the Brunette interchange.
Reports by Mary Wilson on ActBiPed meeting and River Drive crossing, Tenth Ave crossing and city’s new snow removal plan: The Stewardson way crossing is not dead but details are not available. An at grade crossing would be cheaper but has problems, an above grade crossing would be better but would be more expensive. Council will discuss it a closed session. There will be a Tenth Ave. corridor study. A crossing at Eighteenth would be desirable. The current snow/ ice plan was created in 2009 due to heavy snowfall and complaints. Pedestrian priority and bike lanes have necessitated a new plan. A consultant was hire to create a plan. The report is 66 pages long. The report will go to council. Mary has concerns about the report. The city focuses on having a bylaw but not on enforcement. Mary also commented on the focus on clearing the streets for cars but not the sidewalks for pedestrians. The consultant suggested that the city could clean the sidewalks. Bike lanes will be cleaned by the city.
Community Policing Committee Report (Gavin McLeod): Crime reports are down in New Westminster except in Queensborough where reports are up by 5%. The only crime category that increased was Break and Enters with an increase of 5%.
Emergency Preparedness Meeting in Anvil Centre (Gavin McLeod): The meeting was poorly attended. One suggestion offered by the city representative was for people to use Wi-Fi hot spots during an emergency but if power is out Wi-Fi would not be working. One person asked about emergency sheltering at city facilities but the response was that the city would not allow that due to considerations of liability.
Beautifying New Westminster, one place at a time (Mary Wilson): The West End Fire Hall on 13th was turned into a blank canvas for a mural, Mary Trentadue and Nadine Nakagawa organized the event and were assisted by more than 100 community members.
Meeting Adjourned: 20:13
Next meeting: Tentatively scheduled for Tuesday November 28, 2017 at Unity in Action Church from 7 pm to 9 pm.