Comox’s downtown is planning to send the summer out in style with a day-long sidewalk sale and block party.
At the July 14 council meeting, Haeley Dewhirst, executive director of the Comox Business In Action, asked council for a street closure of Comox Avenue from Port Augusta to Nordin streets for the Aug. 21 event, with access open to the Comox Centre Mall.
“We want to encourage retailers to host end-of-summer sales and encourage non-profits to set up booths along the street. We will provide entertainment and family activities throughout the day,” she added.
While the event is set to run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dewhirst asked for a street closure from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to allow retailers time to set up displays, and asked the Town if they can provide the barricades.
Council approved the request unanimously.
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Providence Living’s new chief executive officer introduced himself to Comox council and answered questions about the organization’s proposed building for seniors care at the site of the former St. Joseph’s General Hospital.
Fred Horne assumed the CEO position from Jane Murphy, the previous president and CEO of the organization who recently retired.
The $52.6 million project will be home to 156 residents and will be the first publicly-funded development of this type using the concept of a dementia village. A geotechnical study determined there was significant water tables issues on the northwest corner of the property, therefore, it was determined the northeast corner was best to support the project’s footprint.
Horne, along with Art Reitmayer and Mark Blandford from Providence, spoke about the building’s location after Coun. Ken Grant explained councillors have been receiving “a lot of letters” from the public about the new location near Rodello Street.
“When we were going through the analysis of the site, the plan was for the building to be on the northwest corner and wrap around the hospital building … in (that corner) you’re at a water table with significant flow at 2m down,” explained Reitmayer. “Because we’re trying to create a platform in the center for residents, we would have penetrated that.”
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Council has voted in favour of extending the temporary parklet program until June 1, 2022.
The program, which is now extended due to the significant impacts caused to the restaurant industry by COVID-19, will continue to have some restrictions, particularly a ban on structures that are constructed or placed on the property other than temporary seating, tables, fencing and serving facilities.
The parklets allow restaurants, coffee shops, breweries and pubs within the town to place temporary outdoor seating on existing on-site open space.
Mayor Russ Arnott noted the program “has proven really successful,” and Coun. Alex Bissinger inquired if the program has to have an end date.
Jordan Wall, the town’s chief administrative officer said council could look at a later date to see if there is an appetite for the program to be permanently implemented.