Monthly Archives: March 2015


Setlle Down Logo Animated2midRecently city council faced a request from one of the agencies involved in the Multi-Agency Accommodation  Project. Habitat For Humanity asked for a 10 year lease agreement. They required this in order to qualify for grant funding support for their ReStore project which was supposed to be a part of the MAAP location complex. Under the previous council the city had eagerly endorsed the project with a 5 year lease. But apparently a 5 year lease is not enough to get the grant they wanted from BC Housing. Nope a 10 year lease would be needed.


  • (April 6) All the mentions of MAAP / Habitat in the city council agendas can be read in this PDF file (downloading it and viewing with the desktop Acrobat application is recommended)
  • the original post was missing the 2013 council appearances and deliberations.
  • The city issued a second press release on this – see end of article

From the beginning (please let me know if I missed something)

May 6, 2013 COTW meeting – Lease proposal for 7212 Riverside Drive

May 6, 2013 GF City Council meeting – decision on Lease proposal for 7212 Riverside Drive

Here is their appearance before council on Feb 11, 2014 Committee Of The Whole (An update on the status of the project)

In August they appeared before Council once again to ask for support for some banners they wanted to point to their temporary location.


At the Feb 10, 2015 Committee of The Whole
They came to make the case for the lease extension to 10 years from 5 years.

That evening council discussed it further.

At the Feb 23 meeting, when this came before council to decide, the discussion opened up into a wider on the ramifications of the real world construction on parts of this lease and what does the city really want to do with this water front property which “the only develop-able land that we have that is mixed commercial and residential” (Councilor Hammett).

In the Mar 23 meeting council’s decision was not in favour of the lease extension – they have decided to look into finding funding for short and long term transitional housing needs … the upshot is that Habitat For Humanity has said it is pulling out of MAAP. What this means for the transitional housing project and the rest of the MAAP project remains to be seen.

The city issued a press release the day of the last council meeting, Mar 23, regarding this issue. Here it is:


Grand Forks, BC – At last night’s Regular Meeting, Council made a decision to seek grant funding to help determine long term planning for transitional housing in the community. This resolution has an impact on the request from the Multi Agency Accommodation Project, known as MAAP, which requested Council support a ten year lease on the current location of the project on Riverside Drive. The MAAP team came to Council early in the year asking for a lease extension on the land because B.C. Housing had ear-marked $100,000 towards transitional housing for the project, which is contingent on the lease extension of the current property.

Council made the tough decision to rethink the motion passed at a previous meeting, to support the 10 year lease, although it was contingent on grant funding and public notice. Council agrees that the partnership is an essential one in the community and the services provided are necessary. The community has a large transient population; many are marginalized and face challenges.

After much deliberation and time spent reviewing the project, Council wanted to get it right and determined that it is important to look at the current and long term impacts of transitional housing in Grand Forks. The City will be seeking grant funding to support the development of a professional planning report, which will provide guidance on the immediate and long term transitional housing needs of the community. The City will reach out to different agencies in the community for their input.

 UPDATE: And they issued another press release Mar 27


Grand Forks, BC – At the March 23 Regular Meeting, Council made the decision not to extend the MAAP five year lease to ten years.

This council was elected to be stewards of the community, responsible for the city’s assets and accountable to all of the taxpayers and residents of Grand Forks. The decision to not extend the lease from five to ten years was in no way intended to affect the operation of Whispers of Hope or BETHS in their current location.

Council understands the benefits these organizations provide to our community, and commends the work, time and energy that has gone into the MAAP project.

After much deliberation and time spent reviewing the project, Council determined the importance of considering the long term impacts of transitional housing in Grand Forks. The City will be seeking grant funding to support the development of a professional planning report, which will provide guidance on the immediate and long term transitional housing needs of the community. The City hopes to leverage our assets in order to develop the community for sustainable growth. With this in mind, Council wanted to step back and review the actual needs of the community.

Mayor Konrad pointed out that “we are primarily a new council who has yet to develop our strategic planning strategy and are reluctant to make a decision until we have a clear idea of what our vision is for the future, and what the exact needs of the community are in regards to transitional housing.

How Does Council Spend Its Meeting Time?

After reviewing city council to get the times down so people won’t have to wade through the rest of the meeting to get to what they want I had this thought: Just how much time do they spend on any given topic and would it be enlightening to see that in a simple form?

IF my idea works you should be able to click on any of the slices below to jump to the meeting video at that spot.

UPDATE: 8PM – well WordPress does not make image maps easy … the co-ordinates are off a bit so the thing will not work as advertised – sigh … I will find out what the work-around is.

UPDATE: 8:30PM – found a Plug-In that fixed the image map issue. (it might have spawned or exposed some other issue but that hasn’t shown its ugly head yet so let’s keep our fingers crossed)

Meanwhile … look at what they spent the most time on …

time spent4a


So I had just downloaded the recorded live stream of the council meeting and watched the whole thing again to get the timing for the Agenda Events I recovered from the Agenda PDF. That gave me a list of times and events I could put into the More Info box on the YouTube page for the video. (And put some buttons at the beginning of the meeting video for quick access to ‘popular topics’) That list becomes a list of links into the video for the convenience of the viewer.

Anyway … once I had that list and had posted the council meeting as a Post on this site I had time to think. City council just made a decision that has caused another organization, Habitat For Humanity Boundary, to pull out of the Multi-Agency Accommodation Project. This will no doubt make a number of people unhappy. And some will wonder what are council’s priorities?

Well as this was running through my head my eyes wandered over the list of items discussed and times they happened. And the a little voice in my head said “That list would be easy to convert into a list of time spent …”. And with that, and Microsoft’s spreadsheet Excel, I had a sheet that did the math and gave me the seconds and minutes spent on each item. From there it was easy to generate a Pie Chart. With some tinkering and the help of Adobe Fireworks I was able to generate an image with a map connecting all the slices to their places in the council video.

MAAPS RDKB Financial Plan Bylaw 2008 Sign Strategic Priorities Fund grants Ross Butler Fall Fair QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC AND THE MEDIA Hammett Thompson MINUTES Noise Control Bylaw Learning Garden Cannafest Kootenays

City Council Meeting of Mar 23, 2015

Grand Forks City Council met again on March 23 – right after 4 hours of Public Input via an ‘open house’ on the 2nd floor of City Hall.

The Live streamed Council meeting can be watched below.

In the first 10 seconds you should see a few buttons which will let you jump to particular parts of the meeting. These buttons will go away after 10 seconds and they are not all the major points in the meeting. IF you wish to find a specific part and not wade through all the rest we suggest you do the following: (1) click on the YouTube logo which will take you off to the YouTube page to watch the video. (2) once you are there look at the info text box below the video (click on the ‘Show More’ button). In there you will find a list of salient points preceded by their times. YouTube provides a simple way to use this list – just click on the time codes to start playing the video at that point.

Some highlights:

  • The discussion on MAAP which resulted in Habitat For Humanity pulling out a few days later (48:32)
  • The RDKB Report for those who want to hear about numbers (33:12)
  • The discussion about CanaFest, it’s liquor license application AND it’s request to be allowed to make music past midnight. (1:21:30)