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Feb 28, 2019

Municipal Services Notebook for February 25, 2019

The Municipal Services Committee met for over an hour and a half on Monday, February 25, 2019.  The decisions of the Committee are subject to Council's approval. 

The first item on the agenda was a request by Councillor Stevens to revisit the planned public consultation on the retail sale of cannabis, and to cancel the planned community survey.

While the federal government legalized recreational cannabis last year, municipalities have enforcement over matters such as the location of cannabis retailers, signage and where consumption is allowed in town.

The Town's zoning bylaw currently prohibits the retail sale of cannabis in all areas of Ladysmith.

In the previous 2014-2018 council term a committee of councillors, staff and the RCMP Detachment Commander crafted the six questions for the survey.  

After considerable discussion about the intent and value of the survey, the Municipal Services Committee on Monday approved a motion to continue as planned with delivering the survey and gathering feedback from residents about where recreational cannabis should be sold in Ladysmith.

Council could look at options during its Strategic Planning process for alleviating some of the financial strain on residents when it comes to utility bills and parcel taxes.

Committee members discussed a request from Councillor Stevens to have staff explore options for a sewer and water rate subsidy program for lower-income residents.

Councillor Stevens also proposed a discussion on how the Town might add water and sewer parcel taxes onto residents' quarterly utility bills.  Parcel taxes are currently charged once a year, with the property taxes.

Councillors decided to review both items as part of its Strategic Planning process later this spring.  The 2019-2022 Strategic Plan will set Town and Council's priorities and goals for this term.

Municipal Services Committee members also approved the Town approaching the Ladysmith Fishermen’s Wharf Association to request a seat on its board.

Also referred to as the Ladysmith Harbour Authority, the organization manages the Ladysmith Fisherman's Wharf located at the base of Ludlow Road through a lease agreement with Small Craft Harbours - a program of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Claire Salvador, a representative from Small Craft Harbours, recently told Council that future improvements are being proposed for the ageing wharf.

 Ladysmith is a spirited community that values its small town quality of life, where we work together as stewards of our heritage, environment and economy.

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