TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO                                Port McNeill council met on July 15 to address a few new topics.

TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO Port McNeill council met on July 15 to address a few new topics.

News from Port McNeill’s July 15 council meeting

Next council meeting will be held Aug. 19 at 7:00 p.m. and the public is welcome to attend.

Commercial investment and housing starts are showing positive gains, according to new statistics made available at the July 15 Port McNeill council meeting.

Figures released at the meeting show the downward trend of 2018 has been significantly reversed.

A total of 14 building permits were issued in the first six months of 2019, with a combined value of $2,808,792, representing an increase of $2.4 million over the same period last year.

New housing starts and residential renovations accounted for nearly $700,000 with commercial investment in new construction and renovation accounting for the balance of just over $2.1 million.

With six months left in the year, town officials are confident those numbers will grow.

In comparison, 2018 saw a total of $373,000 in permits issued.

Tourism numbers are up over last year as well and despite the serious setbacks experienced by the Chinook fishery closure earlier in the season, daily pleasure craft use is up slightly over last year, while monthly (local) use is down by 12 per cent.

Harbour operations reported that Monday, the first day of the Chinook fishery, saw parking and boat launches return to near capacity use.

In other council new: A request by Martha Emmi Santin to have Port McNeill ban the use of all plastic bags and straws within the town limits was tabled until the fall.

Council felt it should await the outcome of a recent court decision reversing Victoria’s ban on the use of plastic bags.

OrcaFest committee requested a $3,000 donation from council to support the festival and specifically, the free family activities it provides for the community.

The donation request represented a $2,000 reduction from previous years and council approved their request for this year’s festival.

The Community Catalysts Town Beautification Club asked council for permission to clean and stain the ‘World’s Largest Burl’ near the community hall and to plant a small test area along Campbell Way with wildflowers.

While supporting the project, council postponed their final decision until they received clarification on issues relating to the Public Works Dept and union regulations.

The town’s next council meeting will be held Aug. 19 at 7:00 p.m. and the public, as always, is welcome to attend.

– Bill McQuarrie article