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Prince Rupert approves $1.3 million planning budget

Liquefied natural gas projects may or may not happen in Prince Rupert over the next four years.

But city council has decided it needs more staffing capacity to handle the load that LNG and other developments have put on existing city staff.

Council has approved spending $1.3 million a year for what it calls the Planning for Major Projects Budget for the next four years in order to prepare Prince Rupert for growth.

Mayor Lee Brain says the money will come from the Prince Rupert Legacy rather than the taxpayer, including a portion of the $18 million earned through a two-year option agreement with Exxon Mobil.

As part of the Planning for Major Projects Budget, council has decided to boost Mayor Brain’s annual salary by $17,000 a year so that he can devote his attention to city interests full time.

Both the salary increase and Planning for Major Projects Budget will end after four years.

The city says it will also be kicking in a million dollars from the Prince Rupert Legacy for road and sidewalks this year.

The mayor says he thinks it’s time to help fund major infrastructure needs.

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