Thunder Bay

Backyard chickens and bbq's part of Thunder Bay city council agenda

City councillors in Thunder Bay will discuss bbq's and chickens on Monday night - with a side of parking thrown in for good measure.
Coun. Shelby Ch'ng wants city council to once again look at allowing backyard chickens. (CBC)

City councillors in Thunder Bay will discuss barbecues and chickens on Monday night - with a side of parking thrown in for good measure.

The agenda includes a resolution from Coun. Shelby Ch'ng to look at allowing backyard chickens in the city. The concept was voted down by city council in 2016 after a number of administrative reports.

The resolution asks administration what zoning by-laws would need to be changed, as well as any changes to the Official Plan required for chickens to be legal.

Ch'ng wrote in a memo that during the pandemic, food security has become an issue, and allowing homeowners to have their own chickens could help solve that issue.

Administration will also suggest to council to set aside $6,000 for Neighbour Day, slated to be held the third Saturday of June, falling this year on the 20th.

The event would celebrate community, with barbecues, neighbourhood clean-ups, picnics and movie nights, although, administration said all events would have to be virtual or comply with physical distancing this year.

The event is celebrated in other Canadian communities, including Calgary, Kelowna, Kitchener and Leduc, Alberta.

Parking

Council will also hear why the city chose to keep paid parking at the city's two parkades, while on-street parking is currently free.

A request was made at last week's council meeting to have the parking authority explain why drivers must still pay to park in the city's two parkades in the north and south core.

Many of those parking at the north side parkade are health care workers at St. Joseph's Care Group, said Coun. Aldo Ruberto at the May 4 meeting.

The parking authority is against the idea of making parkades free, noting revenues from the structures only cover about 60 per cent of their costs, with the remainder coming from on-street revenues. Any change to parking rates at this point could negatively impact what people pay to park next year, the report said.

On-street parking was made free, the report noted, to help businesses allow customers easy access to downtown shops for pickup.

If parking were to be free at parkades, additional security would be required with gates left up, the parking authority noted, which would cost about $10,000 per month.

The city estimates it's now losing about $200,000 a month in parking revenue.

New crossovers

Council will also look at approving a contract for new sidewalks, as well as pedestrian crossovers.

The new crossovers would be at John St. and Marlborough St, Neebing Avenue at Mary St, Pioneer Drive at Wyndale St and Court St at McVicar St.

The contract also includes work on the traffic signals at Pine St. and Red River Rd., which would eliminate delays for drivers on Red River Road.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Walters

Reporter/Editor

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Jeff is proud to work in his hometown, as well as throughout northwestern Ontario. Away from work, you can find him skiing (on water or snow), curling, out at the lake or flying.

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