The Town of Comox will provide office space for the Comox Valley Economic Development Society within the town following a request from the organization.
At the Nov. 4 council meeting, council received a letter from CVEDS executive director John Watson, asking for space. He explained the organization closed its main office as a result of COVID-19 and related budget shortfalls and relocated staff to the visitor centre. The consolidation of staff to one location has resulted in additional time spent in travel times for staff that is required for onsite meetings throughout the region, he said.
“We understand that the CVRD is looking into options for a similar arrangement in their new building and in the interim we have been given approval to utilize the Business Development Bank of Canada meeting space in Courtenay from time to time,” Watson wrote in his letter.
He added a location in Comox would assist CVEDS in ensuring staff who are working in Comox have a space to work in-between meetings and while on the east side of the river.
“We anticipate that travel across the bridge may become further congested once the 5th Street bridge project gets underway.”
The Town’s CEO Jordan Wall noted
the municipality does have space available within the finance department, however, he indicated to CVEDS it may not be available long term.
Coun. Nicole Minions said at first she thought nothing of the request, but then examined the optics, particularly as CVEDS is currently undergoing a service review.
“It can be spun that CVEDS is working within the Town of Comox which would not be accurate.”
With confidential work, meeting in coffee shops around town is not a good option, noted Coun. Ken Grant.
“It’s not like they’re going to be manning it all the time every day – it’ll be periodically,” he added.
A motion to provide CVEDS with the space was passed unanimously.
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Members of the public will no longer be able to watch council meetings livestreamed at the d’Esterre Seniors’ Centre.
At Wednesday’s council meeting, council unanimously approved a motion to discontinue the viewings due to low turnout of the public.
The building was open to the public to watch the meetings due to COVID-19 regulations as members of the public cannot be accommodated in council chambers due to the room size and maximum person capacity for meetings.
Meetings will continue to been livestreamed through the Town’s YouTube channel.
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Council has authorized a noise exemption application to allow the movement of dredged material by tug at night at the Comox Valley Marina.
There will be 16,000 cubic metres dredged from the marina between Dec. 3 to 23. Dredging will be undertaken during the day, however, tides and work schedules require barge movement and dumping to occur at night.
All barge activity is planned to take place at the southwest side of the marina, as far as possible away from residents.