Courtenay council briefs

Complete Street update; NIC excelling

  • Apr. 6, 2016 1:00 p.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record staff

A Complete Street pilot project on Fifth Street will see expanded sidewalks, curb bulb-outs and bike lanes on a 530-metre corridor between Fitzgerald and Menzies avenues. Storm, sanitary sewer and water pipes will also be replaced. The project is being made possible via federal funds exceeding $3 million.

In a Monday presentation to Courtenay council, consultants from Urban Systems explained that some of the constraining factors of the project include utility poles and a designated truck route.

“I have no idea why Fifth Street is a truck route,” Mayor Larry Jangula said. “And if we don’t look at burying those poles, then I think we’ve missed the mark.”

A ‘complete street’ encourages more people to walk and cycle.

An assessment determined the Fifth Street corridor will attract people downtown and support economic development.

The next steps are to engage the public and stakeholders, and to prepare a concept design.

Visit courtenay.ca for more information. Stay tuned for open house dates.

NIC excelling

Though small in size, North Island College “punches above its weight,” president John Bowman said in a presentation about the school’s five-year strategic plan. “I believe NIC is truly excelling.”

The college offers the lowest tuition fees on Vancouver Island.

“We have very few special fees,” Bowman said.

It’s also one of the few colleges in B.C. that offers free parking. Come summer, however, paid parking will be implemented.

“It’s a regrettable reality,” Bowman said, noting the advent of the new regional hospital next door.

Praise for coalition

Coun. Doug Hillian praised the Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness for including advocacy in its five-year plan.

The group is advocating all levels of government for funding that can be used for housing.

“We really need those senior government partnerships,” said Hillian, noting the success of the Housing First approach in Medicine Hat. Last year, the Alberta city claimed to have ended homelessness.

The coalition has developed a continuum of housing that shows 29 units of emergency housing exist in the Valley. There are also 79 units of transitional housing, including 30 potential units at the proposed Braidwood facility in East Courtenay.

For more information, visit cvhousing.ca or find the coalition on Facebook.

 

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