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Nelson City Council Notes: Hall Street project and dogs on Baker get the green light; council seeks big federal funding; and community groups present their case

Colin Payne
By Colin Payne
February 17th, 2015

Council approves Shores to Stores project in close vote

After discussing the issue earlier in the day, Nelson City Council passed a motion approving the Stores to Shores Downtown Revitalization project in what was a close vote.

Despite being divided on certain aspects of the project, council gave the first phase of the project the go-ahead with a tally of four votes to two – with Councilors Cherbo and Morrison opposed, and Purcell, Dailly and Warmington, as well as mayor Kozak in favour.

Councilor Adams was not present for the vote.

One main issue of contention in the vigorous debate at Monday’s meeting was the bulb-outs that will narrow the intersection of Hall Street and Vernon.

Councilors Cherbo and Morrison said the bulb outs would slow traffic too much, increase idling and make it difficult for large vehicles to make right turns.

Morrison said people might decide not to drive through Vernon Street due to traffic constriction, which could ultimately have an economic impact on downtown businesses.

Cherbo added that there are no bicycle lanes included in the project.

Councilor’s Purcell, Dailly and Warmington were in favour of the blub outs at their current size.

Both Dailly and Warmington said the bulb outs would make Hall Street more safe for pedestrians by restricting the flow of traffic – and ultimately create a new paradigm for the street.

Purcell added that the bulb outs have been reduced in size several times in the project started out.

Councilor Adams was away on vacation, but asked to be included in the discussion. Council tried to reach him by telephone three times, but was unsuccessful.

Mayor Kozak spoke in favour of the project, emphasizing the benefits of the project for Nelson’s downtown area, and adding that at least two thirds of the work being done in the project involves the replacement of aging infrastructure.

She said things like bulb outs and traffic flow are details that can be worked out in the long run as they come up.

Kozak added that the project is a rare opportunity to dig up a street and make things better with a long-term vision.

After passing the motion to approve the project, council voted in favour of the remaining recommendations, which included an overall budget of $4.024 Million for the project and send it out to tender.

Council officially passes new animal regulation bylaw, allowing leashed dogs on Baker Street

Council held a special meeting at 4 p.m., at which time they passed the city’s new Animal Control Amendment Bylaw and Bylaw Notice Enforcement Amendment–officially removing the longstanding law banning dogs from Baker Street.

The new animal control bylaw requires all dogs to be on leash in the downtown core, which encompasses the area between the intersection of Vernon and Cedar Streets to where Vernon intersects with Baker Street, and from Vernon Street to Victoria.

Council then discussed an application for capital funding from the New Building Canada Fun – Small Communities, which provides funding to municipal governments via a sharing ratio of one third each from the municipality, the provincial government and the federal government.

The city is applying for funding toward the completion of the Phase II Hall Street Corridor Project, for which the expected cost is just over $6.2 million. Success in the funding application would mean just over $4 million in funding for the project, effectively cutting the cost to the city by two thirds.

Council hears budget requests from community groups

Council spent several hours in an extended Committee of the Whole meeting hearing budget presentations from various community groups that receive funding from the City of Nelson for their programs.

The groups presenting to council include: Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History; Nelson Regional Sports Council; Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce; Capitol Theatre Restoration Society; Cultural Development Committee; and Nelson and District Arts Council.

Categories: Politics

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