Top 13 news stories for 2016 – Nanaimo Theme Song

This is the second year of Nanaimo Council’s four year term. What was the biggest news story in 2016? It wasn’t the Nanaimo Theme Song.  It would have to be the $90 million Events Centre proposed for a downtown location. There is a mad rush on by Council to “get it done”.

Before people will get to decide if they want the Events Centre or not, Council will have spent over $1 million on consultants and reports. All in an early effort to sell it to the public. The big question will come in 2017. Will Nanaimo taxpayers vote yes or no to paying for the Events Centre?

In the meantime Nanaimo taxpayers can have fun on an outdoor rink at Maffeo Park in February 2017.

2016 Nanaimo Council gets 3.35% pay raise

In 2016 Nanaimo Council voted themselves a pay raise. Each councillor will get a 3.35% increase to their base pay. Nanaimo Council also voted to increase their expense budget from $75,000 to $118,000.

In 2016 Council approved:

  • closing Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation (NEDCorp)
  • closing Nanaimo Tourism
  • moving COW meetings from VICC to SARC boardroom, no Shaw TV
  • forgiving $97,000 in unpaid dog permits fees
  • eliminating Environmental Sustainability Committee
  • hiring two senior managers, COO and CSO
  • building a new roundabout on Rutherford Road $2.3 million
  • installing parking meters in downtown Nanaimo

Top 13 Nanaimo Council news stories for 2016

  1. Privatization of City Jail? Brechin Hill ravine, illegal suites
  2. Nanaimo hoteliers raise red flags over VICC report
  3. Legal expenses soar at Nanaimo Council
  4. Nanaimo Core Services Review Report highlights
  5. Nanaimo City Council’s spending for the first six months
  6. $2.3 Million roundabout for Rutherford Road; and last stand of trees
  7. Property Tax increases planned for the next five years
  8. Colliery Dam over budget; an $8 million project?
  9. Departure Bay Heritage lots disappear
  10. Newcastle Brechin Neighbourhood Association concerns
  11. Environment and Grant Committees Axed
  12. Harbour Complaints; Bike Park; Bastion Street Bridge
  13. Rogers HomeTown Hockey; Downtown Merchants Complain

2017 Nanaimo Property Tax increase 2%

Property taxes are estimated to increase by more than 2% in 2017. Also, residential user rates will increase as follows:

  • 5% increase for sewer
  • 7.5% increase for water
  • 2% increase for garbage collection

Looking back, 2016 was a memorable year for Nanaimo Council which even made national news with their drama “debates”.  Will there a category for municipal dramas at next year’s Canadian Screen Awards?

So what will 2017 bring: a new Events Centre, an incinerator, a new Bastion Street Bridge?

Nanaimo Theme Song

Who remembers the Nanaimo Theme Song? It has been 30 years since “Harbour City Lights Nanaimo is the place for me” won the contest of song of the year. It was recorded in 1986. Note the vinyl record says “the fun starts when you stop in Nanaimo”.