Quesnel City Council will top up the funding that’s needed for the Clean Team to continue their work through July 31st.
The $12,480 will come out of Council Initiatives.
The Clean Team is responsible for picking up needles and other drug paraphernalia around town.
Councillor Mitch Vik presented the motion to pick up the tab, but he also stressed the importance of coming up with a long term solution to funding this service.
“This may give us some time to formulate a plan on the Clean Team permanently because this 12 thousand is really a very small amount in terms of the overall funding for the Clean Team. This is just to prop it up and keep it running in enhanced form, and I really honestly think we should be talking to our partners in Northern Health and others about participation in this expense, as in many cases it’s those organizations that are distributing the needles for individuals to use that end up in our parks and on our streets.”
Councillor Martin Runge suggested that the funding should come from other sources.
“I agree with Councillor Vik about this being an extremely important function. I really do believe it should be other senior government places that continue to fund this. If this is really just a band aid over a solution that we actually might be getting ourselves into a quagmire. The Clean Team is extremely important to all our BIA’s (Business Improvement Areas). Could this amount not be taken out of the three BIA’s ?”
Council also passed a motion to meet with other partners to come up with a more permanent funding solution.
The Quesnel Shelter and Support Services Society had been receiving funding for this service and operating it, until that money was no longer available.
Tanya Turner, the Director of Development Services, noted that this had left a gap in the service and that some areas were no longer being cleaned up and that they had received complaints.
She said those areas included the area around Riverview School and others in West Quesnel.