Skate park will be replaced in Sidney’s parking lot plans

Council News: Town of Sidney — Monday, May 11, 2015.

Sidney’s skate park would be dismantled if a proposed employee parking lot project goes ahead.

• Mayor Steve Price has assured the community that the municipality plans on replacing its skateboard park, should plans for an employee overflow parking lot on the site proceed. A citizen urged council not to let it vanish, as it provides youth some freedom and joy. Price said the Town would seek out a new location for what he called a “professionally designed” park. [Editor’s note: the print edition of this story stated it was the fire hall proposal that would cause the skate park to be moved. That is not the case and the PNR regrets the error.]

 

• A council majority voted down plans to review Sidney’s parks use policy. Sparked by a few noise complaints over music and other events at the Beacon Park bandshell, council had planned on asking staff to summarize the existing policy, looking at commercial use and ‘private exclusive’ access of the park.

Coun. Barbara Fallot said she read the current parks use policy and said in her opinion, “it’s fine as it is.” Most of council agreed, voting to end the staff work on a review.

 

• Council unanimously approved the establishment of an Economic Development Commission, ratifying an earlier decision out of their May 4 committee meeting. Sidney will also seek out nominees to the committee from the Sidney Business Improvement Area (SBIA), Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and the West Sidney Industrial Group.

 

• The public will have more opportunity to comment on the municipality’s budget plans next year. Council approved changes to its budget meeting schedule to allow public feedback earlier. Coun. Peter Wainwright said people should have the chance to comment on council priorities, tax rates and more, as soon as staff prepare draft financial and strategic plans.

 

• Town staff reported a surplus from 2014’s financial results. Total annual surplus from all of the Town’s economic resources was $2.23 million. Based on spending and funding from 2014, the surplus from operations ended up at $727,842.

 

• Sidney will take ownership of a water supply pipe from the Capital Regional District. Council approved an agreement that would see the Town own and maintain a water supply station on Canora Road and pipeline to the Sidney border. The cost of maintaining the infrastructure would be included in existing budgets.