Pat Horgan appeared as a delegation before council last week to inform councillors on United Way’s Better at Home Project and to ask for council’s input on progressing with the program.
“We’re presently trying to put legs on this program,” he explained. “It offers a basket of non-medical services to help seniors remain at home longer. It’s been developed by seniors for seniors.”
The project aims to implement services such as shopping and cleaning to make it easier for seniors to retain their independence. Initially the project will roll out in Port Hardy and Port McNeill offering transport services.
Horgan explained that the program is very consciously avoiding overlapping existing private companies which offer similar services. Instead, the program would look at working with local businesses to subsidize services for senior citizens.
In order to be self-sustaining the project would require volunteers to assist in offering services, but an interesting dilemma has emerged inasmuch as it is primarily seniors themselves who do much of the volunteering in the community.
Horgan plans to appeal to service organizations such as the Lions Club and the Rotary Club once they reconvene after the summer.
Mayor Bev Parnham thanked Horgan for his presentation and recommended working closely with local businesses to forward the program.
Councillors praised the volunteers who combined to make this year’s Filomi Days celebration in the town such a success.
“The community really put its best foot forward,” said Coun. Debbie Huddlestan.
“I have to agree,” echoed the mayor. “My sincere thanks, you have the gratitude of the community.”
Representatives from the Sporty Bar and Grill in the town appealed for a Development Variance Permit for the premise’s new deck.
After receiving letters from residents on noise and parking issues, the mayor made clear to the council that the only issue up for discussion was that of the permit.
“We’re here about the variance. The other issues are issues for the Liquor Board and RCMP,” she instructed council.
The construction of the deck had been halted after it was found to be done without the necessary permit. It was then decreed that the project could not be grantted a permit.
Dan Nowosad and Cory Klassen explained that the work had begun in good faith, on the footprint of the previously approved structure.
“It was an honest mistake,” said Nowosad.
Councillors accepted the explanation and granted the request for a Development Variance Permit. The property owners were also urged to work with their neighbours to resolve disputes over issues of noise and parking.
A request from the Emergency Preparedness Committee asking that council approve the purchace of a siren warning system was defered to budget time at the mayor’s request.