June 5, 2006 Minutes

City of Richmond Meeting Minutes

General Purposes Committee





Monday, June 5th, 2006


Anderson Room
Richmond City Hall


Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie, Chair
Councillor Cynthia Chen
Councillor Derek Dang  (4:02 p.m.)
Councillor Sue Halsey-Brandt
Councillor Rob Howard
Councillor Bill McNulty
Councillor Harold Steves


Councillor Linda Barnes
Councillor Evelina Halsey-Brandt

Call to Order:

The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.









It was moved and seconded



That the minutes of the meeting of the General Purposes Committee held on Monday, May 15th, 2006, be adopted as circulated.












(Report:  May 31, 2006, File No.:  10-6510-05-01/2006-Vol 01) (REDMS No. 1777602)



Discussion ensued among Committee members and the Acting Director, Recreation & Cultural Services, Vern Jacques, on:




the feasibility of using a modular building to house the tram, which could be re-used in the future




whether track for the tram would be located outside the temporary tram facility to allow the movement of the tram in and out of the structure for special events; and whether track would be placed in the parking lot as a means to accommodate the future permanent location of the tram facility, during which concern was expressed that the opportunity to lay track now could soon be lost




the placement of a non-historical building close to the Britannia Shipyard building.




(Cllr. Dang entered the meeting at 4:02 p.m., during the above discussion.)



During the discussion, information was provided that staff would be submitting a restoration plan to Council for its consideration in the future.  Information was also provided that the building presently being used for the storage of the tram would be demolished as part of the park redevelopment proposal.



Reference was made to the placement of the temporary track, and staff were requested to examine the option of expanding this track into the parking lot.



With reference to the placement of the tram structure adjacent to the Britannia Shipyard building, advice was given that that location had been chosen for ease of providing services (utilities, electricity, etc.) at a minimum cost.  The proposed location would provide Council with two or three years to make a final decision on a permanent location for the tram building.



A suggestion was also made during the discussion that the tram facility should be located on the east side of the shipyard, especially if the tram was to be at that location for any length of time, to entice visitors into and through the shipyard building, rather than stopping at the entrance to the shipyard.  Comments were made about the need to make the shipyard a destination point.



Mr. Peter Mitchell spoke about a number of events, including the Maritime Festival, which took place in the area of the Britannia Heritage Shipyard site each year, and expressed he concern about the impact which the proposed work might have on the Maritime Festival if this work was not completed by August 18th, 2006.  He stated that the proposed location of the tram was the same location currently used to hold the Maritime Festival and asked that construction either be completed prior to, or delayed until after, August 18th, 2006.



The Mayor, in concluding the discussion, asked that staff take under advisement the comments of Committee and the delegation.




It was moved and seconded



That funds be allocated from the following projects to the cost of relocating Interurban Tram #1220 from Steveston Park to the temporary location at Britannia Heritage Shipyard:




Steveston Tram Project #40836 for Tram Barn Project of London Princess; and




Tram Project #40706  for Tram Study,



and consolidated into a single project for such purpose.












(Report:  May 30, 2006, File No.:  11-7400-20-OLYMI) (REDMS No. 1889199)



The General Manager, Business & Financial Services, Andrew Nazareth, advised that the staff time figures shown in the report were not included as part of the construction cost for the Oval project.  Further advice was given that some of the work had been absorbed by staff into their regular workloads, with the incremental costs covered by the 2004 surplus appropriations.  With reference to travel expenses, Mr. Nazareth advised that all travel expenses for the Mayor, Councillors, staff and committee members had been included in the figures in the report. 



In response, Cllr. Steves requested staff to provide a breakdown of all Council, staff and committee travel expenses, including the names of the individuals and the number of times these individuals participated in the Oval-related trips.  He indicated that he wished to receive one total report which covered all expenses relating to the Olympic Oval.  He also voiced concern that the cost of staff time as it related to land development would be recovered from the sale of the adjacent City-owned property. 



Discussion then took place among Committee members and staff on:




whether Committee would be provided with a budget for the staff time spent out of the $178 Million budget; or alternatively, whether the cost become part of the overall contract; why the additional Oval-related costs had not been added to the budget for the Oval




the amount of funding set aside for the Oval facility, and whether this project had been funded from existing budgets




whether the additional costs should be considered to be ‘overhead costs’; the decision made previously by Council regarding additional charges and overhead costs; whether it had been intended in the original budget to include cost over-runs; and why City overhead had not been charged to the project




the recoupment of the overhead costs through ‘Olympic Business & Related Opportunities’, and what was meant by ‘Olympic Business & Related Opportunities’




the impact to the City if only a speed skating oval was being constructed, rather than a facility which would be used post-Olympic Games and all its associated costs




the rationale for the City financing the cost of the Oval sod turning event and the hosting of IOC and COC dignitaries at this event




the impact to the City if the Oval project was completed over budget, i.e. would the City still qualify for its share of federal and provincial funding




the travel costs relating to the submission of the City’s Olympic Oval bid and whether these costs had been included as part of the bid




the total staff salary budget and how this figure compared to the total Oval budget.



During the discussion, staff were requested to provide regular updates on all Council, committee and staff expenses relating to the construction of the Oval facility. 



Information was provided during the discussion that staff were preparing a strategic plan which would take the City from the present to the year 2010, which would be presented to Council in the Fall of this year.



As a result of the discussion, the following amended resolution was introduced:



It was moved and seconded




That the report (dated May 30th, 2006, from the General Manager, Business and Financial Services), regarding staff time and travel expenses relating to the Olympic Oval and Olympic business, be received for information.




That updated reports on this matter be provided at least quarterly.




That the actual project costs be included in the Oval budget.



The question on the motion was not called, as the Chair stated that each part of the motion would be dealt with separately.



The question on Part (1) of the main motion was called, and it was CARRIED.



The question on Part (2) of the main motion was called, and it was CARRIED.



The question on Part (3) of the main motion was called, and it was DEFEATED with Mayor Brodie, Cllrs. Chen, Sue Halsey-Brandt and Howard opposed.



It was moved and seconded



That staff prepare and bring forward a budget regarding the Oval and related costs to the year 2010 which are not included in the $178 Million facility cost, and includes an allocation of staff costs.












(Report:  May 29, 2006, File No.:  01-0105-08-01) (REDMS No. 1887013)



Discussion ensued among Committee members and Chief Administrative Officer George Duncan, on:




the terms of reference for the Independent Panel, specifically with regard to the proposal that the Panel would provide a recommendation on a vehicle allowance for Councillors and whether this was a ‘frill’ which should be continued; whether the cost of vehicle mileage was to have been covered by the one-third tax-free stipend paid to the Mayor and all Councillors




the rationale for the issues outlined as part of the ‘Context – Challenge/Opportunity’ component in the staff report




benchmarks and how comparisons would be made within the comparator group




whether a Councillor position in the City should be fulltime rather than part-time.



During the discussion, information was provided that Committee members would only be provided with detailed information after the submission of a recommendation by the Independent Panel.  Reference was also made to the 1992 Independent Panel report, and staff were requested to provide Committee members with a copy of that report.



With reference to the payment of a vehicle allowance, the suggestion was made that City staff contact the Richmond School District as to how that organization dealt with this matter.



It was moved and seconded




That the market survey and review of remuneration rates assigned to the Mayor and Councillors, conducted by the Human Resources (HR) Division with the assistance of a professional HR compensation consultant, be referred to an Independent Panel for review and recommendations on an appropriate rate of pay;




That the recommendations of the Independent Panel with regard to the rate of pay for the Mayor, and the rate of pay for Councillors, expressed either as a percentage of the rate of pay for the Mayor, or as a value, be binding in that Council cannot assign remuneration that exceeds the recommendations of the Panel;




That the recommendations of the Independent Panel on remuneration and of the external HR consultant on the benefits package be presented to Open Council on June 12, 2006; and




That any changes recommended by the Panel and/or HR consultant be implemented effective June 29, 2006.
















(Report:  June1, 2006, File No.:  01-0370-02/2006-Vol 01) (REDMS No.1898849)



Discussion took place among Committee members, Mr. Duncan, and the Director, Major Projects, Greg Scott, on the rationale for including a rowing tank in the preliminary design of the Olympic Oval facility.  Advice was given that because VANOC supported the rowing tank concept, VANOC had provided the funding to allow consideration of the proposal to continue.



Information was also provided that if the design work relating to the rowing tank did not continue now, it would be impossible to include a rowing tank in the Oval facility in the future.  As well, information was provided that the rowing tank, if approved, would be for the use of the community.  It was noted, however, that the Richmond City Council would make the decision on whether a rowing tank would be included in the Oval facility.



Discussion continued on who would be responsible for the cost of constructing the rowing tank, if the project was approved by Council, and whether there was sufficient information available to make a decision on this issue at this time.  Further advice was provided that the City would not be contributing any funding to the rowing tank project, and that the UBC Rowing Club would be responsible for the financing of the entire project. 



Reference was made to the correspondence between the City and VANOC regarding the rowing tank project, and the request was made that Council be provided with copies of all correspondence relating to that matter.



Also addressed briefly was the status of the signing of the Legacy Fund agreement with VANOC.



It was moved and seconded



That the General Purposes Committee receive the following information:




Executive Summary of Project Status Report (May 2006)




Project Cost Overview (dated 26 May 2006).







Reference was made to the passing of the deadline for the submission by Tourism Richmond of a business plan relating to the proposed trade and exhibition centre, and information was provided that Tourism Richmond had been advised that a letter requesting an extension of the deadline would have to be submitted by them to Council.



Discussion ensued briefly on the rowing tank project, and the possible physical implications and limitations of the project.








It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (6:02 p.m.).






Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the General Purposes Committee of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Monday, June 5th, 2006.



Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie

Fran J. Ashton
Executive Assistant, City Clerk’s Office