Here are some highlights from the September 11, 2023, City Council meeting. For more information – including the full agenda listing – read the Regular Council Meeting Agenda and its attachments.
Update on Official Community Plan (OCP)
Council received a presentation on the Official Community Plan (OCP) Review Project. An OCP communicates a community’s vision, goals and objectives and outlines long-term development plans. The City’s existing OCP was adopted in 2011.
Urban Systems, the consultant selected through a procurement process to lead the project, presented to council their project overview and timeline. Community engagement will begin with a survey later this month. The OCP Review Project is intended to renew and align the OCP with current land use planning and infrastructure considerations to meet the needs of a growing city.
Sustainable Finance Policy
Council approved amendments to the Sustainable Finance Policy which includes an annual 1% property tax increase to address infrastructure reinvestment needs. This increase will be added at the conclusion of all other budget deliberations and transferred to infrastructure reserves. 1% of the existing tax levy equals $1.29M to invest in future municipal infrastructure needs.
Next steps on Wildfire mitigation
Council approved a grant application for funds for wildfire mitigation work under the 2023 Community Resiliency Investment Program.
A report to council explained that as part of the City’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) areas of high risk were identified, and two areas, Malaspina and Broddy, were highlighted as land areas recommended for wildfire fuel treatment. Field work at Malaspina was completed in early August 2023.
If the grant application is successful, it will provide funding for the completion of the fuel management prescription at a City owned parcel of land referred to as ‘Broddy’. Broddy, located on Broddy Road, is between the Vanway Firehall and the Vanway transfer station.
The total project cost is estimated to be $253,050, of which $200,000 will be covered by Community Resiliency Investment grant funding. Council approved the remaining $53,050 to be funded using the City’s EVP Crown Land Forest account, which is an internal reserve dedicated for urban forestry management on City lands.
Budget 2024 community engagement
Council has approved hosting three in-person public consultation sessions in the Fall of 2023, to form part of the 2024 Budget Community Engagement.
The events will be held in the evening at the Conference and Civic Centre, in College Heights and the Hart (venues to be confirmed). The City’s senior leadership team will be present to respond to questions. City Council is invited to attend to listen to the questions and information shared.
Claire Thwaites, senior communications advisor