Monday, July 22, 2013

Nanaimo Council Meeting July 22 - Roundup

With the recent decision of the SFN and the city to resume the 30 day exploration of options for mitigating the risk the Colliery Dam Park dams pose, the city council meeting was not dominated by the 'Dam Debacle' as was expected.

A ten page report was received by council regards the implementation of the Strategic Plan. (That is the citys' wish list, which seems to be used to just justify expenditures as much as anything).

The communications manager delivered an explanation of the Communication Plan which will be implemented in 2013 - 2015. In true, communications manager fashion, Mr. Cooper was able to say many, many, many words about the communications plan. I have a feeling that what he meant may have been lost on much of the audience.

Following Mr. Coopers presentation there were eight delegates who spoke to the communications plan. The Mayor and Councillor Anderson gave graphic examples of how much work Mr. Cooper has in front of him, if he is to get across the idea of two-way communications, and that sometimes communications requires us to be quiet and LISTEN!

This was followed by the much anticipated 'Downtown Hotel Adjacent the Conference Centre' deal which Mayor Ruttan and council have been falling all over themselves to get done. This deal, unlike the 'furor raising' leaked hotel deal seems to be supported by everyone in Nanaimo, with no one raising a word of doubt.

Well, no one except me that is. This deal looks to me to be closely related to the leaked deal that everyone got excited about, they just aren't talking about the conference centre takeover 'for now'. But it is in there, under the heading of the hotelier will have first refusal when the current operators contract expires. The cost of that deal, does not have to be revealed now, as we have three years before the current contract with Atlific expires.

You will do well to remember that in order to bolster our lagging convention business, the brain-trust at city hall decided to give a hotel tax holiday for 10 years in the hope of getting someone to build a hotel which would make upscale rooms available next to the VICC.

This hotel deal does NOT do that, and in fact is looking to take 255 parking spaces away from the conference centre, to accommodate their customers.

No sir, I hope, I truly hope I am wrong, but I think that our city hall and NEDC leaders have negotiated a pretty sweet deal for the 'other side', but then, that is pretty much one is to expect when you put guppies in the shark tank.

'Nuff said for now.

City awards a tender that is $50,000 higher than the lowest bidder for the removal of the old theatre at 91 Chapel Street. The second place bidder, at $50,000 higher was awarded the bid on a 'technicality'. The bid went to Milner Group, and you would be forgiven if this deal doesn't raise an eyebrow or two.

South-Side Minor Football Association will receive $13,638.71 for the purchase of 100 football helmets. The funds are coming from the Knowles Estate Reserve Fund which contains funds that were willed, to be used to help with sports programs in the southend.

All in all a pretty quiet, and uneventful night thanks to the resumption of discussions about Colliery Dam options with the SFN and the city of Nanaimo.


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