Downtown Campbell River gets cleanup money; Campbelton gets nothing

Crom council’s strategic priority contingency funds for clean-up services the city doesn’t currently provide

City council will put money towards cleaning up the downtown core but rejected funding similar efforts in Campbellton.

Coun. Claire Moglove asked council to contribute $5,500 from council’s strategic priority contingency funds for clean-up services the city doesn’t currently provide.

Moglove reminded council that during its Strategic Planning session, council chose to allocate 15 per cent of the annual $600,000 put into the city’s gaming reserve towards council’s strategic priorities, of which downtown revitalization is one.

“In discussions with the Downtown BIA (Business Improvement Association), they were looking for additional funding to help with downtown cleanliness and this summer there will be an increase in construction in terms of Seymour Pacific and Berwick, which could exacerbate the cleanliness aspect of the downtown so I think it’s important to support the downtown BIA in their efforts to keep the downtown clean and tidy,” Moglove said.

Coun. Ron Kerr said while he supported Moglove’s initiative, he didn’t want Campbellton to be left out. Kerr said if council gave money to the Heart of the City Downtown BIA, he also wanted $4,500 to go to the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association for clean-up efforts.

Coun. Andy Adams said he couldn’t support either motion. Adams noted that during financial planning, council allocated $7,500 for community beautification support, $15,000 for a parks summer student for landscaping and flower planting, as well as money for parks horticulture services.

“To then come forward with additional funding when we just came out of financial planning where we already added funds for this type of thing, I just can’t support,” Adams said. He said to be fair, he also couldn’t support funding for Campbellton.

“I just want to remind council that we are just starting the fourth month of the fiscal year and just because we put money aside in reserves, doesn’t mean we have to spend it all,” Adams said. “We have no idea what will be coming forward in the rest of the year, in which we have  eight months left.”

Moglove clarified that the funding she was seeking for the downtown BIA would not duplicate the money set aside for parks and beautification services in the 2013 budget.

“The Downtown BIA’s priority is more to do with garbage pick-up, there’s garbage all over, and leaf blowing,” Moglove said. “They’re talking about power washing. Those are services not provided by the city but will enhance the downtown area.”

Moglove added that while council identified downtown revitalization as a strategic priority, Campbellton was not.

“With all due respect, Campbellton was not a strategic priority,” Moglove said. “As a matter of fact, on the scoring system not one councillor provided any priority to Campbellton at that time.”

Kerr disagreed.

“I disagree with the fact that Campbellton wasn’t on that list as a strategic priority,” Kerr said. “I did put Campbellton as a priority. Campbellton is the entranceway, the gateway to Campbell River. That’s the first place you see when you come off the highway. And there will be more trucks rolling through Campbellton bringing materials into the downtown core (for the upcoming downtown construction projects). I think that will result in a lot of extra traffic and a lot of dirt and I think Campbellton deserves it.”

Mayor Walter Jakeway said he would support money for Campbellton because it’s “a part of the community that feels left out” and that the city needs to be fair to Campbellton and recognize the hard work of the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association, which is working to revitalize the oldest part of the city.

In the end, council voted in favour of spending the $5,500 on downtown clean-up initiatives, with Jakeway and Adams opposed, but defeated a motion to spend $4,500 on Campbellton, with only Kerr and Jakeway voting in favour.