Tag Archives: Dry Dock

Step by Step…?

Step by Step…?

Council came one step closer to buying the Dry Dock and the Marine Museum last night when they went towards creating a’ project’ zone. Next a brownfield designation which allows a potential developer relief from taxes for three years. The mayor was quite emphatic that the city must do everything in its power to assist the Marine Museum. Sounds as though Mr. West has got to our mayor! I wonder if purchase of the Marine Museum is in the City’s future? That – more than purchase of the Dry Dock would cause a municipal crisis. It is interesting that the problem has been solved- the feds did it! They did not take proper care of the site while it was in their control. Should they have done away with the wooden piles that underlie the dock? Should they have, in fact, surrounded the dock with steel as is now projected? Probably. This was the site of building ships in the Second World War. They (the Feds), certainly left the site in a mess. The west side of the dock, where ships were launched is decayed, and the dock itself is unsafe!

The property was not included in the Brownfields area as the “program was not intended to subsidize the cleanup of properties owned and contaminated while being operated by other levels of government.”. Perhaps their failure was the reason the Feds put so much money and time into the Dry Dock. Who knows what has gone on behind the scenes, but I’d bet Homestead has had a hand in everything.

 

Of interest was (finally), the consideration of Councillor Neill’s motions to alter the procedural by-law. As the previous mayor said “if you don’t like it, change it” so Neill tried to give movers an extra minute to speak to an amendment and, in a separate motion, to overrule the chair (mayor). Both motions were quite sensibly referred to the administrative policies committee later (not this week). The mayor stepped gently into this quagmire and was relieved when they were deferred. Clearly, if there is not a procedural committee- which there is not, then these items are too complicated to discuss in Council.  I don’t think Councillor Neill will succeed in committee. The rest of Council seems quite happy with the procedural by- law as it is.  The committee is one of the standing committees of Council consisting (with the exception of Councillor Osanic) of first term Councillors- Boehme, Allen, Candon, Holland, and Stroud. Unless they create a sub- committee and include Neill, he is not there.

 

And you will be happy to know that in spite of losing about 30% of potable water, our water is in fact drinkable as attested by the CEO of Utilities Kingston. Good for us, or good for him!

 

Should the City buy the Dry Dock

City Council Meeting Dec.16th 2014

 

Jason here. At the first meeting of the new Council a few themes emerged. McLaren (Meadowbrook- Strathcona)emerged as the activist- four petitions mostly regarding traffic issues and myriad amendments mostly surrounding the issue of the day- the Marine Museum(MM) The question of the day is Should the city buy it.(It, being the marine museum, Dry Dock and surrounding land.)   It is historically significant – the corner stone was laid by Sir John himself in 1890. It is the last piece of waterfront available to the public There are, as was recognized, some things to be sorted out before a vote is taken. Where does this stand relative to the third crossing? the Wellington St. extension? The price divergence between what Public Works wants and what the city is prepared to pay is one. Another – and a non-starter, is the request by the Marine Museum that any money that is gained by sale of property to a developer (in this case, Homestead) be put aside for their (the MM’s) use. No one trusts the initial estimate of $19.1 million to repair the dock-given the Tett Centre’s overrun. There are two outstanding issues here; one is the emphasis by the current mayor and Council on access to the waterfront and the other is the potential docking facilities for tour boats. These items won’t come cheaply. Look at the facilities in other cities-mainly on the ocean- a landing shelter is the first step. The current initiative is to work with the MM to extend their lease. More later I’m sure. This isn’t an easy question. Given the extent of the public angst over the Rogers K Rock Centre the purchase of the Dry Dock and surrounds is likely to generate similar angst, but it will probably come to pass.

 

Other items of note at the first full meeting of the new Council were, among others, the presentation of a cheque fulfilling the motion by the city to build fences along Princess St. and Taylor- Kidd, to protect turtles, if concerned citizens raised half of the money estimated as necessary. They did. This may be the beginning. If citizens feel strongly about Nature, they will have to put their money where their mouth is, without encumbering the tax base, or without taking money from people- and particularly their housing.

 

The new mayor, Paterson spoke three or four times, relinquishing the chair to the Deputy  Mayor. What he said was probably not too important, but he does read well – better than Gerretsen as shown during the congratulations etc. section of the meeting. He made it clear that Councillors, who intend to make motions or amendments to motions, had better type it out for the clerk in advance, so that it can be displayed properly or the motion or amendment would be ruled out of order.

 

Apparently the AMS requested that sidewalks surrounding the University be given better winter (snow) attention so that students and staff would not have to walk on the roads. This was one of the occasions when the mayor relinquished his chair to ask staff if they would be doing this anyway. The answer is yes. Also this will be the first scrambled intersection in the city – the intersection of Union and University. You can expect more scrambled intersections (red or green on all sides, pedestrians can walk diagonally) once the city finds this is a great move.

 

All in all, while it was a long meeting, the new mayor was securely in the chair and Councillors were finding their feet. The difficult issues are still with us.