Comox council had its first look at the draft strategic plan Wednesday, identifying priorities and directions council would like to move in over the next few years.
At the committee of the whole meeting, four strategic priorities were examined: downtown vitalization/marina enhancement, fiscal balance/infrastructure asset management, OCP implementation and Comox economic development plan implementation.
Coun. Ken Grant noted because there are significant budget increases at the regional district level, council should take a close look at its needs versus wants.
While he acknowledges the proposed water park at Marina Park is “a lovely idea,” he cautioned the project may not fit within the town’s overall framework, resulting in a small budget increase.
Mayor Paul Ives noted part of the reason the water park was put into the strategic plan was due to the fact that service clubs are interested in creating a partnership for the project, and it is now up to council to consider it as an action item.
Council will re-examine the plan in two weeks time following comments from the Comox BIA and other stakeholders.
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Following a presentation by Comox Marina users at the end of January, council approved a report to increased berthage fees one per cent overall in 2015, and one per cent in subsequent years.
For boat lengths 26 feet and below, there will be no increase.
“I’m pleased to see smaller boat owners will get a bit of a break as well,” explained Coun. Hugh MacKinnon.
Coun. Marg Grant inquired about freezing rates, as boaters told council increases over the past 10 years were “unjustifiable and unfair.”
Ives said because there was a four per cent increase in the financial plan for marina rates, the town will be working at a shortfall with rates set at one per cent.