Report from the May 3, 2010, FPCOW Meeting

Lots of items were covered at this Finance and Policy Committee of the Whole meeting:

• Council approved the City of Nanaimo Community Plan for Public Art.

• Council approved the new Policy and Selection Criteria for the Civic Merit Awards for Sports, Arts and Culture.

• Council endorsed participation in the Transit Connect Electric Alliance of BC and is prepared to commit to the acquisition and evaluation of four to six Ford Transit Connect Electric light freight vehicles which are expected to cost approximately $69,750 each and bring a subsidy of about $23,100 each.

• Council approved the 2009 Annual Financial Report for the City of Nanaimo.

• Council tabled the recommendation for award of a five year Primary Water Works Supplier to review a legal opinion from the City’s solicitors. This contract had been held over for review from the April 19 FPCOW meeting.

• Council approved a recommendation to develop guidelines and an education program regarding blasting in the city and to bring back a report to determine whether a Blasting Bylaw is warranted.

• Council approved a recommendation to direct staff to draft amendments to Sign Bylaw 2850 that would permit LED/animated signage throughout the entire city on properties zoned for commercial and industrial use and on properties operated/owned by the city.
• (Editorial: To me it seems that this opens up a new “war” between those who can afford these expensive signs and those small owners who cannot. It is like the attack of those with guns on those with bows and arrows. The opening of new sign technology -as opposed to new methods of production or innovation- can lead to lots of expensive and essentially non productive competition. We all know who will win and who will die trying. The proposal contained in the agenda today appeared to be an almost complete capitulation to those anxious to see Las Vegas in Nanaimo. I would rather see the little guys stay around than see fewer, but bigger, commercial venues.) What do you think about the proliferation of LED/animated signs all over town?

• Council approved the purchase of a Vertical Split Stream Compactor Refuse Truck (Garbage/ Compostables/ recycling truck for $276,965.00. That’s a lot of truck. And we will be buying more to meet the requirements of our new compost collection program.

The agenda for the meeting with the supporting reports can be found on the city web site previously noted.

Ron Bolin