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October 28, 2017 1:54 am

On The Move – Some City Staff Shift to 1st Avenue

Friday, October 23, 2015 @ 3:47 PM

Prince George, B.C. – The dissolution of  Initiatives Prince George  has meant a  shift in  city halllocations for some City Staff.

Economic Development will now be an “in house”  department at City Hall,  but  some juggling had to be done to find  room  for  them.

Manager of  Community Services, Rob Whitwham and 8 staff  who work in that department,  have moved  out of City Hall  and into  the space that used to be occupied by Initiatives Prince George on First Avenue.

General Manager of Planning and Development, Ian Wells says there just wasn’t enough room at City Hall for the  four who will form the economic development team  operating out of City Hall and the current staff numbers  already at City Hall.  So,  it made  sense  to move  Community Services  over to the IPG space,   to make better use of that space,  and create some  extra  room at City Hall.

Moving Community Services to the  former  home of IPG   is a better alignment  says Wells,  as Tourism Prince George is  on the main floor of that building  “Community services  takes bookings for parks, arenas and plans  events in the City” says Wells.   The department also manages all the arenas and pools  as well as  working with  groups such as  minor hockey.

The  move took place  earlier this week.





The population here has increased very little for a looonnng time but city hall is running out of room? Seems the only population increase is city hall.

Now add to that maybe the city hallers are jealous of the ugly now cop shop and there will be a push for a new city hall. It will start with all the usual clap trap such as run down, does not meet environmental standards, not energy efficient. Should be fun to watch.

“Community services takes bookings for parks, arenas and plans events in the City” says Wells”

bookings means a front desk operation for those needing face to face service. There is no elevator in the building and the stairs is a killer since it is narrow and rises the full floor without a landing.

That means that the space is not “accessible”. It is a City service. I think city services should be accessible to those with handicaps.

The demise of IPG was supposed to save us $500,000 a year.. But looking like nothing has changed.

The City Hall building was expanded in 1976 with money given specifically for that purpose from the Province due to the amalgamation which the Province promoted.

The population of PG in 1971 was 33,101. In 1976, after amalgamation, the population was 59,929. The population in 2011 it was 71,974.

Not only has the population of the city grown by 20% since then, but the way he city operates has changed as well.

One example is that in 1976 the City was just getting its own planning department. Up until then, planning had been contracted out 100%. Tourism was not handled by the City at the time. There was no economic development function. Work stations have changed as have other space requirements.

City Hall has been squeezed for a decade at least. In such cases, the first solution typically is to house some functions outside the main campus. I understand bylaw services is housed in the police building. Others are in the building on 18th near Ospika.

The $500,000 was not a realistic figure. It will not save anywhere near those dollars.

The staff at the **NEW** $3 Million dollar building on 18th Ave, used to be housed on the East End of 4th Avenue. Not sure why they felt they had to move. Those buildings on fourth sit empty, or were sold, or rented out.

The bylaw services have moved into the new $40 Million dollar police station, again not sure if that was the original plan, or if they finally came to the conclusion that they overbuilt.

I think that the reason staff is moving to 1st Avenue is because the City owns the building, and probably cannot rent the space because of the access issue, or they don’t want it to sit empty.

Meanwhile with all this need for **space** the old police station remains empty.

Seems we don’t have a space issue, we have a management and logistical problem.

Palopu wrote: “if they finally came to the conclusion that they overbuilt”

I guess you never knew that they “overbuild” many types of buildings. It is one of the ways of planning for future growth. Of course, when one does one, it is simply an educated guess. Most public buildings use that type of future growth planning for 20 or so years of growth – Library, Museum,

Hotels build that way, apartments build that way, developers of SFD build that way. Schools typically do not. They deal with expansion using portable classrooms and sometimes even offices.

Airport terminals as well, although some are growing so fast that they cannot keep up with the terminal expansions.

What an odd place 1st Ave is for tourist info. Wasn’t that a much better location 97 and 16? Why did they move.

Retired they moved the tourism because John major wanted the casino there.. Was the worst case of pandering to a guy with money ever.. Remember the fiasco of people ” camping” at Walmart.. Wasn’t allowed..but okay to camp at the casino… Same with the turn lane.. When other business’s wanted a turn lane it was considered unsafe..but they put it in for major..

So what you guys are saying is the population of PG has bee relatively stagnant for 20-30 years but the staff of the city continually rises.

gopg….. and we still haven’t heard from Vanadrichem. There is money well spent. A staff of how many communication people ?

vanAdrichem was at the Talktober event at CH on Wednesday night.

As far as staff at City Hall goes, it would be nice to have some staffing level reports in annual reports then one would know for sure.

Maybe Rob will notice such things and make info such as that more readily available so people do not have to keep guessing from observing reports such as this one.

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