More public input, earlier, says Sidney council

Council to change policy, promising more transparency.

Town of Sidney – council briefs, Monday, Aug. 10, 2015

• Calling it a follow through on a promise to be more transparent with the community, Sidney council is soon to change a policy to allow more public feedback during its regular committee meetings.

On Monday night, Mayor Steve Price noted this is a new approach for the council’s committee meetings and will essentially allow people to ask questions and make comments following presentations  from property developers and others seeking official community plan and zoning bylaw amendments.

Following such presentations, council will provide opportunity for people to express views or ask questions. This will be limited to 10 minutes.

Council had its first test of the process change Monday night during a presentation by the developer of a proposed four-storey building on 4th Street at Oakville Avenue.

“We are slightly jumping the gun tonight,” Price said, noting the procedural change had not yet been formally approved by council.

Later in the meeting, council moved approval of the change forward, and it’s expected to be formally adopted at its next regular meeting, Monday, Sept. 14.

 

• Mark Loria, new Executive Director of the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, introduced himself to council and announced plans for the long-term change of the aquarium attraction. He said the board is re-evaluating its brand and even its name as it looks to focus more on conservation issues within the Salish Sea and broader region. Such change, he noted, will involve improvements to the facility’s layout, changing exhibits and more.

 

• The beacon on Beacon Avenue could be lit up again. Town council approved plans to fit the 1995 structure with an appropriate propane burner. Staff estimates a cost of around $300 to install a consumer propane ‘fire pit’, fueled by a 30 pound propane tank.

 

• Sidney will seek provincial grant money and use up to $150,000 of its own money to spend around $200,000 on improvement to the waterfront pathway that runs parallel with First Street, south east of Eastview Avenue. The work would be to upgrade the trail after years of erosion due to stormy weather.

 

• Town staff will be removing rope lights around downtown streetlight poles and will look for options and costs to replace them with lights on street trees in the same area.

 

• Capital City Paving won the contract to repave Weiler Avenue West, Allbay Road, Jocelyn Place, Lyme Grove and Northbrook Drive — for a contract price of $361,744.11.