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Ladysmith Council met for a Special Meeting on May 19, 2020, with a discussion on local economic recovery from COVID-19 among the agenda highlights.
The meeting opened with Mayor Stone proclaiming May 17-23 as Local Government Awareness Week. The annual initiative is meant to increase public awareness and understanding of the roles and responsibilities of local government.
A fun fact for LGAW: Did you know the Town maintains over 85 km of water mains which connect to approximately 3,195 single family homes?
Next, the Mayor also proclaimed June 1 as ‘Intergenerational Day Canada’ in Ladysmith - a day to celebrate all of the positive initiatives presently taking place between generations in local community.
Moving on in the agenda, Council endorsed a letter to the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) confirming the Town’s support for the proposed rezoning and Official Community Plan amendments that will guide future development of the Nanaimo airport lands.
Council’s response supports the changes to allow for more economic growth and recommends improvements to regional transit service as part of further development at the airport.
Council then approved hiring a qualified environmental engineering firm to complete an environmental site study of ‘the uplands’ area - defined within the Waterfront Area Plan (WAP) as Town-owned land from the foreshore up to the E&N rail line, and from Captain Tristan de Koninck Way to 940 Oyster Bay Dr.
Town staff will also submit a funding application to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. If approved, the grant would recoup some of the costs for completing the work.
The environmental site study is a necessary step in creating a remediation plan that can be submitted to the Province for approval so that the Town can continue implementing the WAP.
Next, Council discussed the Town’s role in positioning Ladysmith for economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Potential ideas were discussed for helping local businesses recover from the pandemic such as curbside patios, night street closures from Thursday to Sunday, street entertainment and a shopping local loyalty passport.
Staff will explore these ideas while also consulting with the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce and Ladysmith Downtown Business Association, and will report back to Council in June.
The next Special Meeting of Council is June 2 at 7 pm.