These are the stories we will be following from the Monday, May 13 meeting of city council. See next week’s issue or visit www.albernivalleynews.com for more.
McLean Mill report released
The city has received a Stage One Environmental Assessment Report for McLean Mill Historic Site, which recommends further testing be conducted on 19 locations on the site. Two locations, the gas and oil shed and the mill pond, are recommended as “high priorities,” at a cost of $55,513 for assessment. A full assessment of all 19 locations will cost $250,000.
The city will forward this report to Medical Health Officer Dr. Paul Hasselback to review and determine if the site can be kept open before a second assessment takes place. After this review, the city will determine whether or not to issue tenders for dam remediation work.
In the meantime, city staff will investigate potential grant opportunities.
Bylaw department sees change
Last year, Port Alberni’s bylaw services department shifted from reactive to proactive, which means they now investigate files regardless of whether someone calls and complains or not.
As a result of this shift, the number of complaint calls has increased from 146 last year to 395 this year. Of these calls, the percentage of open files (not completed) has decreased from 75% of all files to 22.5% of all files. The department has also served six times as many tickets as last year.
According to bylaw services manager Flynn Scott, this decrease is the result of new administrative staff and organization. The department is also now working with more than one bylaw officer.
“We’re able to respond to almost all of the complainants that phone in,” said Scott.
The bylaw services department will be undergoing another change in the coming months, as Scott has accepted another job in Ontario and will be leaving the City of Port Alberni. Scott was hired one year ago as the city’s first manager of bylaw services.
Two developments proposed
The City of Port Alberni has approved two new developments in town.
The first, located at 4000 Burde Street, is a plan from Seymour Pacific Developments for two four-storey multi-family buildings. The two rental apartments will contain 71 and 70 units (plus one rental office), as well as parking stalls and bicycle stalls.
The developer was in council chambers on Monday and confirmed that the apartments will be market rentals. He added that he is hoping to start construction next spring, with completion around late fall.
The second development approved by council on Monday is located at 4721 Johnston Rd., which is currently an empty lot located beside a Chevron station. The proposed development is for a single-storey retail building, with three retail units. One unit will have a drive-thru lane that exits onto Johnston Road.
“I’m really excited to see this development application,” said Mayor Sharie Minions on Monday. “This has been one of those vacant lots that’s been vacant in our community for a long time.”
Both developments also meets all zoning requirements and development permit guidelines.