Cinnabar Valley Park improvements; higher user fees; walking on the highway

Cinnabar Valley Neighbourhood Park upgrades will be discussed at the COW (Committee of the Whole) meeting on Monday, July 24th.

Proposed upgrades will include new playground equipment, a picnic shelter, pickle ball lines on the tennis court, a second basketball net and lines for basketball. Also, a picnic shelter, fencing, park notice board, water fountain and zip line have been requested. The City estimates their portion of the project to cost $18,000.

Cinnabar Valley Neighbourhood Park improvements planned

Money from the Parks Improvement Program are given out on a first come, first serve basis. People have to get together with their neighbours and prove to the City that the demographics warrant the improvements.

This can be a challenge in some neighbourhoods where people are transient and less community driven. Often in those areas the need is even greater for improvements. The way the system is set up lends itself to favouritism.

The City should do a checklist of all neighbourhood parks and identify equipment that needs fixing or upgrading, instead of waiting for residents to complain.

Some neighbourhoods have pocket parks which are sorely neglected. In order to get playground equipment, it is up to individuals to raise funds and install the equipment.

The City has set aside $36,000 in the budget for 2017 and $50,000 is expected to be allocated for local park improvements next year.

Nanaimo Council Expenses Q1

The expense report for Council was presented at the Finance and Audit Committee in June. The entire Council has a budget of $105,000 for the year and from January to March they have spent $20,500. Here is the breakdown:

$4,001 Bestwick
$2,887 Kipp
$2,803 Hong
$2,101 McKay
$1,843 Thorpe
$1,769 Yoachim
$1,621 Brennan
$1,576 Fuller

Councillor Bestwick had the most expenses with $3,593 in legal fees. Councillor Kipp also had almost $2,000 in legal fees. Overall the biggest expense category appears to be  conference trips.

Higher User Fees coming

At the same meeting a new user fee policy was presented and later approved. All user fees will have increases. This includes services such as police, fire, community services and building permits. This does not include water and sewer.

The idea is to increase permits and licenses fees and reduce property taxes. This may become a hardship for some people as they may not be able to afford to go to the swimming pool or skating rink in the future.

Transit Rate Hike

As of September there will be no more 70 minute paper transfers. Your bus fare will only be good for one way. So a trip to the grocery store and back will cost $6 or you can buy a daily bus pass for $5.

Watch for more people walking on the highway.

Colliery Dam Park revisited

The host of CHLY’s A Sense of Justice recently interviewed a member of the Colliery Dam Preservation Society. It was revealed that Councillor Kipp is planning to bring forward a motion regarding the Greater Nanaimo Water District Lands at next week’s COW meeting. Councillor Kipp was absent on July 10th when Council voted on whether to make the area a park.

Councillor Armstrong sworn in

On July 18th, Sheryl Armstrong was officially sworn in as Nanaimo’s newest councillor. You can watch the ceremony  below.