• Mills Road resident Lenny Balaiah asked council to look into the construction safety issues and future parking impacts of a new care facility being created at 2269 Mills Rd. He’s concerned that worker vehicles will clog the area and wants answers to his query — eventually.
Council did discuss the issue later in the meeting. Council approved a variance application that would relax the number of parking spaces and maximum lot coverage, subject to conditions (landscaping deposit, offsite works and the owners consulting with neighbours within a 250-foot radius of the property to address concerns).
• Eight business owners in Sidney went on record as being in favour of a business improvement area (BIA) and accompanying levy, as proposed by the Sidney Business Development Group (SBDG). Prominent supporters now include the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Sidney Museum, Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre and Mary Winspear Centre.
• Council rejected a request by the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce to put up $75,000 in each of three years for a proposed business retention and expansion project. The town’s administration and finance committee recommended the pass, stating the town has other economic development needs.
• Councillors will now be paid at the same biweekly frequency as all of town staff. The move was made only to make the payroll system more efficient and to save money ($800) in so doing. Councillor stipends do not change.
• As town financial plan talks ramp up, staff presented some impacts on the 2013 Town of Sidney budget. Those include: an RCMP contract price increase of $117,000; elimination of the HST (financial impact yet to be known); lower building permit revenues; more use of the town’s surplus funds to balance the budget (an estimated $200,000); a firefighter hiring plan, and; creating of an event co-ordinator position.
A draft budget will go before the committee of the whole on Jan. 21, 2013.
• Council gave staff the green light to apply for a 2013 age-friendly community planning and project grant from the Union of B.C. Municipalities. The grant, according to a staff report, would be used to offset the cost of the town’s downtown traffic study.
• The town received for information the Victoria Airport Authority’s five-year performance review.