In general, December is a slow month at the RDN. Naomi Wakan made a big splash as she finished her last year of Nanaimo’s First Poet Laureate. Naomi did a great job of bringing poetry to the people with project like poetry on the buses in Nanaimo. Her mentorship with youth was also outstanding and most welcome. We all thank her for sharing her love of poetry with all of us and wish her a well deserved rest before she is off on some other project.
I would think most of you have heard that the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation (NEDC)has folded. Areas A, B, and C of the RDN pay into that service and with that collapse we find we have an opportunity to have a more made on Gabriola solution for promoting tourism and economic development. I have been talking with the Gabriola Chamber of Commerce to hear what they need or could use.
We do have the Gabriola Economic Readiness Project study that was done with the help of the former NEDC it’s a good start on what we could do . The whole thing is very much up in the air and we need to wait and see how it all shakes out. Personally, I am in no hurry as we need to go a bit slow and make sure we get it right.
I have heard some grumbling about taxes going up and they are because of increased service and once we get closer to finalizing the budget I will report to you how much and why.
There are several ways to fund projects on Gabriola that do not come from your property taxes and therefore there was no tax increase to fund them. Some of those projects in 2016 were:
- roofing for the Community Hall;
- sidewalk at the Museum;
- renovations at the Rollo Center;
- solar power at the Commons,
- equipment for the Golf course.
All were financed through the Community Works Fund (CWF)some $93,000 that did not from your local tax payer wallet.
In 2017 we will be moving forward with Huxley Park, including design and costing of the skate board bike park, a new sports box, repairs to the tennis courts and resurfacing, along with a tot lot play ground. We hope to fund this all from grants, community fund raising, CWF, and community labour
Wising you all the best in the New Year,
Still having fun,