Port McNeill council looks at funding opportunity for a community based transportation system

The goal is to encourage people to commute by foot, bike or other forms of active transportation.

There was a full agenda of reports and updates at Wednesday’s (Jan. 28) Port McNeill Town Council meeting and included in those reports was a funding opportunity to work with the Provincial Government to develop a clean air and healthy community based transportation (infrastructure) system.

According to Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure for BC, the grant program should, “meet the needs of rural and urban communities with respect to better connections between neighbourhoods, schools, work offices, transit stations and town centres.”

Referred to as, The Active Transportation Network Plan (ATNP) and replacing BikeBC, this revised program will move away from BikeBC’s singular focus on cycling to a more inclusive focus that supports all types of healthy and active transportation.

With the goal of encouraging more people to commute by foot, bike or other forms of active transportation, the Minister suggests work could include such things as, “pedestrian safety improvements to sidewalks, new sidewalks, improved lighting along pathways and end-of-trip facilities.”

Coun. Derek Koel feels the grant program is a, “good opportunity” for Port McNeill to develop a comprehensive transportation network built around an integrated system of sidewalks, pathways and improved or expanded trails.

Coun. Shelley Downey reminded fellow councillors of the often discussed but as yet to be built sidewalk along Mine Rd. that could potentially connect government offices, hospital, schools and residential areas.

Mayor Gaby Wickstrom noted the options and ideas were extensive and suggested it would be helpful to involve local residents in the process of determining priorities and goals.

Koel then put forward a motion to apply for an ATNP planning grant totalling $50,000, of which the town’s share would be up to a maximum of $25,000. The motion was passed and included a provision to form a community based planning committee.

In other news, the Gate House Community Association requested a grant of between $200 and $500 to support their children’s theatre group. The grant would be used as part of a fundraising event to bring in two professional actor directors from the Missoula Children’s Theatre.

They would spend one week here, working with approximately 60 local elementary aged students and in the end produce and present a musical drama performance.

Total cost for the event would be $4,000, which the Gate House plans to cover with a combination of workshop fees, ticket sales and local sponsor support. A motion by Downey to provide a $400 grant was passed.

First reading of a bylaw, amending the zoning on a property located at 1836 Beach Dr. from Residential 1 to Residential Multiple was presented and passed.

The purpose of the change is to divide the existing building into four separate dwellings.

The Finance Department, Public Works, Harbour & Information Centre and the Port McNeill Volunteer Fire Department submitted monthly reports to council.

Those reports along with the monthly cheque registry are available for viewing on the Town’s website.

– Bill McQuarrie article

City Council

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