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Ladysmith Council met for a virtual Regular Meeting of Council on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 with the third 2021 Budget workshop, terms of reference for the Official Community Plan (OCP) Steering Committee and the awarding of an important infrastructure project all among the agenda highlights.
A development application for 107 Rollie Rose Drive was removed from the agenda due to an incorrect report provided in error by the applicant.
The meeting opened with Mayor Stone proclaiming November 20, 2020 as National Child Day in the Town of Ladysmith. The proclamation recognizes Canada's pledge to implement children and youth rights as well as the important role of family.
Next, Council held its third 2021 Budget Workshop to finalize the Water and Sewer utility rates and receive a presentation on the proposed capital projects for next year.
The capital projects are those with the highest priority within each department's maintenance plan. Pursuant to previous Council's direction, 10% of the prior year's general tax levy is allocated towards general capital projects. For the year 2020, 2.5% of the prior year's tax levy will be set aside for asset replacement.
As part of the budget workshop discussions, Council directed staff to prepare the respective bylaws for the Water and Sewer utility rates. Staff proposed no change to the Sewer rates and a 3% increase to each Water consumption rate.
The change in the Water rates, effective January 1, 2021, equates to 3% or $3.66 quarterly for an average single family using 90m3.
Council also directed staff to prepare the Sewer and Water Parcel Tax bylaws. There are no proposed changes to parcel taxes in the 2021 Budget.
Moving on in the agenda, Council approved the Official Community Plan (OCP) Steering Committee Terms of Reference and Project Charter.
The Town is undertaking a review of its OCP and is seeking volunteer stakeholder representatives to form the steering committee, helping guide the review process by providing feedback to staff, consultants and Council.
The committee will meet on an as-needed basis but not more than twice per month for a period of 21 months.
Additional details including an application package and the Committee's Terms of Reference will be available in the coming days on the Town’s website, or in person at City Hall or Development Services. Applications are being accepted until January 4, 2021.
Next, Council authorized staff to apply to Union of BC Municipalities through its Regional Community to Community Program for up to $5,000 to host a forum with the Stz'uminus First Nation Council.
The forum is an opportunity for the two Councils to engage in a positive dialogue and discuss topics of mutual interest. Both communities are closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the safety of all Council members based on recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer.
Council approved donating $1,500 from the unused Grants in Aid budget to Ladysmith Friends and Family (LaFF) for its 16th Annual Breakfast with Santa FUNdraiser. The funds will be used specifically to help provide a family pancake breakfast at home for community members.
In honour of LaFF's 25th anniversary, the non-profit organization has created 250 commemorative crates full of 12 Days of Holiday Cheer activities for families to do in the safety of their own bubble, but with the knowledge that they are participating in the same activities as the rest of the community.
Moving on to the last item on the agenda, Council awarded the contract for Phase 2 of the Holland Creek water main project to Don Mann Excavating Ltd.
The awarding of the contract to Don Mann Excavating Ltd. was defeated at the November 3, 2020, Council meeting due to concerns regarding the construction timeline.
Following provisions in the tender document, staff negotiated with the company for a 45-day construction period plus three days to complete final paving in the spring.
The relocation of the water main was prioritized as an infrastructure project following the December 2018 windstorm and damage to the nearby Holland Creek Trail.
Residents in the affected area will receive a letter in the coming days with more information about the project, including a proposed start date.
The next virtual Regular Meeting of Council is scheduled for December 1, 2020 at 7 pm.
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