BEN’S BITS: Former councillor raises sticky issue with Kerr Street development

By Ben Burd – Burd Report

General observations: only Cllr. Darling absent and a relatively short meeting – one hour and thirteen minutes. A couple of items that needed more than a few remarks and main observation that fear of the electorate and penny-pinching still govern the habits of Council. Final note – only one camera so we get to see just the Council nobody at the podium, but we can hear them.

Three delegations appeared before Council – A staff guy from LUSI, the Programme Director for 89.7FM and a Citizen.

O minutes of 1.13 hrs
Adam Giddings (LUSI) spoke for 3 mins about the next year’s budgets for the Water Department.
There will be -1% drop in budget a surplus which will be put back into the budget.
DM Henderson asked about the timeline for water meter replacement, an item in the budget paper. “This will be done over the next five years.” The Deputy Mayor failed to follow up with the obvious question; who will pay for that!

3 min
Barry Johnson of 89.7FM spoke for 16 minutes: “Why Council should give us the money we asked for last week! He answered a question from Cllr. Rowden about sponsorship funding.

26 min
Miriam Mutton spoke for 10 mins about the proposal to fund building a layby in a private subdivision to assuage some residents fears of inaccessibility to their homes (the garages to the rear are down a slope and they have to climb stairs to get to their backdoors – they want out front parking). Basically, her points were simple, the plan had been approved at the staff level and as the development was not complete and the road – Kerr St. – had not been assumed yet then all the problems were between the developer and the residents. The Town should keep out of it. If there were to be improvements made in the neighbourhood then a ‘master list’ similar to the sidewalk master list should be developed which would assign priority to neighbourhood projects.

“I’m here as a taxpayer, Council has given me cause for worry”, “why should taxpayers pay for this project the road is still unassumed.”, “project is premature and still to be designed.”, “Accessibility is the responsibility of the property owner.”, there is enough parking on approved site – “up to four spaces in some units”

Questions for Miriam:
Clr. MacCarthy “I promoted the sidewalk master list, but never heard of Neighbourhood Improvement (NI) master list. Can anybody help me here?” MM rebutted with a primer on NI protocol and suggested how one could me assembled. It certainly helps when one has been a coordinator of planning for many years to do such a thing!

DM Henderson asked about the location of a fence on the plan and then flips the question to the Planner McGlashon about traffic flow. This was because in Miriam’s statement about adequate space on the property for extra parking, the parking lot was suggested as being more than big enough.

Cllr. Rowden, as the PW honcho, instructed Miriam “This may not be in this budget and will only happen when the road is assumed.” Miriam rebuts that the money is allocated in 2018 budget and wonders why.

44 min
delegation actions – 89.7FM funding
Cllr Seguin asked, “do we have any sources of funding?” Director of Finance says not yet we haven’t got a budget! Cllr Seguin then moves to give $2000 in the form of in-kind bandshell rentals and cash $1500. DM Henderson wants money to come from community grants and the motion was amended. Clr Rowden votes against.

49 min
delegation actions – Kerr St. – Miriam’s presentation:
Cllr Rowden punts the issue and makes a motion to defer Kerr St. layby for three weeks.

50 min
Budget motions were moved and carried – in two minutes!

52 mins
Cllr Darling being absent Seguin takes over. Moves that the YMCA memorandum of understanding is deferred until the YMCA signs off.

Floating Playground memo
Cllr Rowden wants to know if other areas have done this before – any liability problems?
Director Hustwick replied “This was very strong report from waterfront input process – increase access and use for the waterfront, we have been approached so we want to go to RFP”

Cllr Rowden “will we get a financial slice?” – yes

Clr MacCarthy said that “successful plans depend on the weather – will the agreement write this in?” – DH “other RFPs have a flat fee”

Cllr MacCarthy “will this location affect other users” DH “plan shows approximation, access off the pier is an option RFP will outline location”

DM Henderson “supports intensification BUT what are you really putting in here. I want to see the RFP before it goes out.” DH “we have had a lot of discussions with many interested but we don’t know what they want to until we get to the RFP.”

Cllr Rowden wants coordination with PW because of planned maintenance on the pier”

Cllr Seguin asked “did the waterfront process identify this type of project?” DH “no but this is part of ‘revenue generating opportunities’ that were identified”

1.05 MIN
motion to construct bicycle paths.
Mayor Brocanier tells all the county has paid 20K to allow the project to be finished in one year instead of two. All were suitably impressed.

1.09 min
first time Cllr Burchat has spoken and he reads a motion to allow the building of a storage shed at the Bowling Club. Clr Rowden asked if the new building will be compatible. Cllr Burchat defers to Malcolm Wardman of the bowling club, Malcolm, who has never met a microphone that he doesn’t like, answers in the affirmative.
Cllr MacCarthy gushes about a film scene using the bowling green – “thank you Cllr MaCarthy!”

motion to adjourn
1.13 mins

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