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Campbell Riverites should soon see a welcoming sight
The Welcome to Campbell River sign should return to at least a semblance of its former glory this year.
At Tuesday’s 2013 budget planning session council chose to reinstate $24,500, or half, of the cuts it made to the city’s horticulture budget in 2012. The funding will come from general taxation, which will go up 3.91 per cent for residential taxpayers in 2013.
Coun. Claire Moglove said the city’s welcome sign should be a source of pride, but last year it was “a disgrace to our city to see it look like that.
“I do feel priority should be given to the entrance sign at Jubilee and Highway 19A and the Seawalk,” she said, adding that it was hard to see overgrown grass and weeds in the medians and sidewalks between Rockland and Hilchey – a stretch of highway that the city put more than $20 million into beautifying and upgrading two years ago.
Moglove also tried to have council restore 50 per cent of the funding it cut in 2012 from the city’s grass trimming budget, which would have been $30,000, but that motion was defeated.
Coun. Andy Adams said he didn’t think it was necessary.
“I think our parks staff did a tremendous job last year with the constraints they were under, the only complaints I heard were about the Jubilee (welcome) sign,” Adams said.
Council did however, re-instate the summer student position which will cost the city $15,000 and be covered by savings in general operating costs generated from contracting out parks garbage collection.
Adams, who along with Mayor Walter Jakeway, opposed hiring a summer student, said he would only support the move if the position could work within the roads department as well as the parks department. He said while parks staff have done a good job in beautifying downtown parks, the roads are being neglected.
“At Robert Ostler Park staff did an absolutely wonderful job but the (cement) triangle across the street has weeds growing two to three feet high,” Adams said. “I understand sidewalks and medians are the roads department but is there some way this position can cover both?”
Laura Ciarniello, the city’s general manager of corporate services, told Adams that a summer student can only be used in the parks department, specifically for beautification projects.
That bothered Adams.
“I have a real challenge with a weed in a flower bed being eligible and a weed three feet away not (eligible),” he said. “Something needs to be changed.”
In a further effort to restore funding to departments that took a hit last year, council also voted to re-instate 50 per cent, or $45,000, of the 2012 cuts to repairs and maintenance of city facilities, with the funding to come from general taxation.
Other service changes included:
- RCMP building repairs: $40,000
- Fire Hall No.1 (downtown) outside repairs and painting: $25,000
- Community Centre exterior painting: $30,000
- A statistically valid community survey to compare Campbell River with other B.C. communities: $7,000
- Downtown and Campbellton design charrette for improvements, revitalization: $50,000
- Airport brochures, business cases and mapping: $6,500
- Airport air service development and land development, which tracks who’s flying and who’s flying where to help the Airport Authority target its marketing and increase revenues: $40,000
- Christmas lights at Spirit Square: $20,000
- Airport business opportunities: $100,000
- Airport sign (city style), possibly located at corner of Jubilee and Inland Island Highway: $55,000
- Shoreline Arts Carvings: $5,000
- Removal of asbestos in the floor tiles in the rear stairwell at City Hall: $20,000