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Ladysmith Council held a Special Meeting on June 16, 2020 with the local economic recovery from COVID-19 and water supply projects among the agenda highlights.
The meeting started with a delegation from representatives of the Ladysmith-Chemainus Orcas Swim Club. The local non-profit club asked if Council would revisit an increase to pool rental fees for the current year and included details in a letter.
Council approved a recommendation for staff to review the correspondence and bring back a report to a future Council meeting.
Next on the agenda, Council approved issuing a development permit for a neighbourhood brew pub proposed for an existing commercial building at 204 Dogwood Drive.
Among the exterior upgrades to the building are an outdoor patio, new paint, lighting, landscaping, and an expanded parking area with bike racks.
Council then approved proceeding with a feasibility study to develop recommendations for remediation work at Chicken Ladder.
The study is being awarded to Tetra Tech, which has done previous hydrologic work in the Town's watershed.
'Chicken Ladder' describes a location for the Town's intake pipe along Holland Creek.
A significant storm in November 2019 caused erosion at the intake requiring remediation work be completed to protect the Town's infrastructure from future high water events.
Moving to the discussion on local economic recovery from COVID-19, Council rescinded a motion from its June 3 meeting that approved up to $35,000 for downtown improvements, and instead, on Tuesday, approved up to $15,000 from unspent Grant-in-aid funds.
These funds are being allocated towards purchasing concrete patio sets for locations along First Avenue between Symonds and Gatacre Street, as well as a portable washroom and handwashing station. Some of these patios sets will be accessible and the Town will communicate the exact locations upon installation.
Additionally, Mayor Stone and Council announced that Ladysmith Kinsmen are donating six of the patio sets for the sidewalk area at First Avenue and Gatacre Street, and Old Town Bakery is also covering the cost of one set.
Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Oyster Bay is also donating 30 sets of Edison-style LED lights that will hang above First Avenue. Uforik Computers is donating two sets of interactive lights and umbrellas for the First Avenue and Gatacre Street seating area.
Council also directed staff to apply for a new Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) small grant program supporting solutions to help quickly restart business and industry impacted by COVID-19.
Nearing the end of its agenda for the night, Council approved a recommendation directing staff to defer the High Street water main project, which was put on hold earlier this year due to COVID-19 and the impact of the work on local businesses.
Instead, the Town will complete the second phase of the Holland Creek Water Supply Main - connecting the recently installed water main from the trailhead at Mackie Road to the intersection of Mackie Road and Malone Road.
Council approved amending the 2020-2024 Financial Plan with project funds coming from the High Street water main project, unspent funds for Phase 1 of the Holland Creek project and the Water Capital Reserve.
The next Special Meeting of Council is scheduled for July 7, 2020 at 7 pm.