Tip in brief: Dec.

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In a lengthy meeting, Thunder Bay City Council approves plans for the Dease Pool site, leads water loan changes, and narrowly rejects the proposal to grow trees in-house.

THUNDER BAY – In a busy meeting that lasted nearly midnight on Monday, city councilors approved plans for a new fare framework for public transport and redevelopment of the old Dease Pool site, but rejected some others – notably a proposal to launch an internal incubator. program.

The council continues to meet mostly virtually, with only a handful of advisers and key staff in attendance at city hall, as cases of COVID-19 increase in the city.

Council narrowly rejects plan to grow trees in-house

A recommendation to start a municipal nursery to meet more urban forestry needs in Thunder Bay internally was rejected by a margin of one vote in council on Monday.

The program would have ultimately saved the city money, while helping it meet its climate commitments, city staff found.

However, a slim majority of advisers balked at the program’s initial costs of $ 135 per year, including the addition of a permanent staff member, and a six-year wait for the first tree to be produced.

Staff had suggested the Water Pollution Control Plant on Atlantic Avenue as a potential location for the nursery.

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Skate park, public place approved for the former Dease Pool site

The board unanimously approved plans to build a skateboard park and public plaza on the former Dease Pool site.

Com. Mark Bentz raised concerns that the skate park could cause noise issues for the residences facing it, but ultimately accepted the assurance from city staff that residents had expressed overwhelming support for the option during public consultation and that noise barriers would be incorporated into the final design.

Further consultation is scheduled on the detailed design work prior to the start of construction at a later date to be determined.

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City advises against reducing the speed of Arthur Street

Com. Cody Fraser said he was prepared to accept a staff recommendation against lowering the speed limits on Arthur Street west of the Thunder Bay Freeway.

A report on the possibility sought by Neebing city councilor concluded Arthur’s stretch was already safer than average with its current speed limit of 80 kilometers per hour.

“The data doesn’t necessarily support” the reduction in gears, Fraser conceded, saying he would discuss the alternative suggestion of the wider cobblestone report with voters.

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Public transport pricing strategy

The Council approved a new strategy for public transport fares, including extending free rides to all children 12 and under from spring 2022 (currently only children five and under travel for free).

The age limit for discounted youth passes will also be raised to 24, instead of 18, and transfers will remain valid for 90 minutes instead of 60 minutes.

Defenders of Poverty Free Thunder Bay, who pushed the city to eliminate tariffs entirely, said the changes are significant, but leave barriers in place for low-income residents.

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City strengthens its water loan program

Homeowners looking to replace leaded water service connections can count on a little more support from the city government, after councilors unanimously approved recommended changes to the water loan program in town lead Monday.

The city is hoping that increasing the maximum five-year interest-free loan amount from $ 3,000 to $ 5,000 will help spur adoption, with just 46 loans issued since its launch in 2020. The city will also add 10 grants that can go up to $ 1,000 for low income homeowners.

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School bus stop arm camera program under review

The City of Thunder Bay will consider launching a CCTV program to catch drivers who illegally pass school buses.

This decision follows concerns from bus drivers and the local school transport consortium.

Councilors have expressed support for the initiative, but the change could take time, with a report on the possibility not due to be presented to the council until September 2022.

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East Avenue weight restrictions in effect

Council officially put into effect on Monday new rules designed to prevent heavy trucks from entering County Fair Plaza, approving a bylaw amendment that adds weight restrictions on sections of East Avenue and Market Street.

Residents nearby complained about the constant noise, vibrations and diesel fumes from transport trucks using the mall parking lot as a makeshift rest area.

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City to spend over $ 700,000 on Pool 6 upgrades

The council pledged up to $ 740,000 on Monday for improvements to the Pool 6 mooring facility deemed necessary to accommodate cruise ships from 2022.

The work includes replacing the bridge and handrails on the gangway, new fenders and mooring lines, as well as fencing and lighting for safety.

The city will draw funds from additional dollars from the Canada Community Development Fund (formerly known as the Federal Gas Tax Fund) received from the federal government this year.

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City considers recreational options on the Neebing River

Com. Brian Hamilton’s call to consider expanding recreational opportunities on the Neebing River was passed on Monday, but not without reservations.

Com. Albert Aiello said the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority (LRCA) had raised concerns about the proposal, but other advisers who sit on the LRCA board said it was worth exploring.

The administration will return by May 2022 with a report on the possibility of adding a boat launch on the river and outlining issues such as who has jurisdiction over the stream.

Hamilton said the river could be a haven for users like kayakers and surfers.

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City runs millions on infrastructure maintenance

The city continues to work to meet new provincial “asset management” requirements, with council on Monday approving the first phase of a plan to close chronic funding gaps to maintain municipal infrastructure.

It’s a daunting task: the city is below the level of investment needed to maintain its core assets, such as roads, stormwater, sewage, and water infrastructure, by around $ 13 million per year, heard from advisers.

The city is to complete the plan with a funding roadmap to close its infrastructure funding gap by 2025. Residents can view the plan and learn more in line.

Community Safety Awards

Two Thunder Bay residents and four community projects were honored for their contributions to community safety Monday, in a virtual ceremony ahead of the city council meeting.

Elder Ma-Nee Chacaby received the Community Hero Award, Cornelius Beaver received the Young Leader Award, and the Care Bus Initiative, Indigenous Food Circle, Matawa Safe Drinking Site and Service Northern Nishnawbe Education Council Crisis Intervention each received an Outstanding Community Project Award.

Each of the winners receives a prize of $ 1,000 from a sponsor to support their work.

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