Campbellton gets renewed support in new city budget
Campbell River council's support for Campbellton rejuvenation has been demonstrated anew in the latest city budget for 2016 and 2017.
As Mayor Andy Adams pointed out in a media briefing Thursday morning after the final vote on Wednesday, the new budget includes $7,500 to the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association for planning projects in each of 2016 and 2017, which means the CNA again will be able to involve students from Vancouver Island University's Urban Geography program headed by Dr. Pam Shaw in Nanaimo in the CNA's evolving efforts. In recent years students from that program have provided very useful boosts to Campbellton's urban renewal plans, particularly by producing professional-quality reports that identify specific needs such as sidewalks, better lighting and pedestrian-controlled crosswalks which the city has since been meeting.The VIU students also played a role in helping CNA directors convince the city to provide land and other services for the new Campbellton Community Garden on 15th Avenue near Petersen Road, and they have worked on other things like concepts for future bike paths and walking trails.
The new city budget also includes $10,000 for beautification projects in each of the city's three residential-commercial areas, Downtown, Willow Point and Campbellton (the latter being a relatively recent addition) which in Campbellton this year went mainly for artistic banners on lampstands along Tamarack and Willow Streets but which in 2016 remains to be determined and could include refreshing the planter boxes along the main thoroughfare and/or other priorities such as removing graffiti. And as Adams also noted that funding is on top of the one-time $1,500 grant-in-aid to the CNA for communications and public relations, which is being invested in a CNA website and a laptop computer to update it and carry other CNA administrative information such as minutes, images and other items such as a coming database of members, supporters and other contacts. The website likely will also include a link to the CNA's new documentary film on the making of the organic garden.
Adams also highlighted that the city is continuing to work on a Nunns Creek Master Plan for the large area on the south side of Campbellton; he said it will include improving the playing fields and logger sports areas there and developing an environment and ecological strategy for the bush areas. He said a public consultation process will be held next year.
CNA chair Brian Shaw welcomed the news of next year's assured funding for the CNA's planning efforts and thanked council for their ongoing support of Campbellton improvements.
"The City Council has to get a pat on the back for keeping their sight on Campbellton as an important Village in Campbell River," said Shaw, one of the founders of the four-years-old volunteer organization.
"This area of town is a hive of activity with B.C. Hydro's billion-dollar project to replace its John Hart dam and generating station and we all have to keep the momentum up to make it a better place for all to live and work in," he said, referring to several other urban renewal projects now in the proposal stage.
Shaw noted the VIU students will be steered towards helping with two developing projects, an entrance feature on the Inland Island Highway where it is crossed by 14th Avenue, and a possible river viewpoint and tourist information centre on public land near the Tamarack Street bridge. And they also could play a role in the upgrading of the Myrt Thompson Trail area which is the subject of a forthcoming report to council.
Other budget items of potential interest to Campbellton residents and businesses include a major upgrade coming to the Elk Falls Cemetery, a greater effort to co-ordinate city and regional tourism promotion and moving the city's economic development office back inside city operations after years of Rivercorp being semi-autonomous but perceived to have become somewhat ineffective.
Quinnie's restaurant has now reopened
The long-popular restaurant in the Quinsam Hotel has now reopened for business after weeks of upgrading its kitchen. New operators Brian Welz and Fred Mohammed have the restaurant serving home-style meals from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. They also have resumed offering live entertainment in the adjacent pub, which opened in 1917. Further information at 250-287-4515.
CNA AGM on Jan. 13
The annual general meeting of the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association will take place on the evening of Wednesday Jan. 13 in the Eagles Hall on 14th Avenue. Business will include the election of directors for 2016 and other administrative matters. There also will be a showing of the final edited version of the CNA's documentary film on the making of the Campbellton Community Garden.