Highlights from regular Council meetings provide a brief summary of some items of broad public interest. The summary is not inclusive of all agenda items. Please refer to www.sidney.ca for the full agenda, minutes, and webcast.
Draft 2022-2026 Financial Plan presented to Council
The draft 2022-2026 Financial Plan was introduced to Council and starts out with a proposed general tax increase of 4.98%. The amount includes several internal and external requests that have not been approved by Council and is simply a starting point for budget deliberations. Over the course of the budget process which continues on February 7th and 22nd, Council may choose to add or remove certain projects and initiatives, which would have an impact on the final tax increase.
Public input on the budget is welcome. All persons wishing to comment on, or inquire about, the Five Year Financial Plan may do by registering to speak virtually through Zoom at the February or at any regular Council meeting following introduction of the budget. In order to comment, speakers must register to speak by no later than noon on the day of the meeting by sending an email to email@example.com, or by calling 250-656-1139. Written comments on the budget may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Draft Budget Documents Video (3:00 – approx. one hour presentation)
Downtown waterfront washroom will be designed to offer increased accessibility
As part of an effort to make Town amenities accessible for users with complex disabilities, Council has asked that plans for a downtown waterfront washroom include a Changing Places washroom. A Changing Places washroom is larger than a standard accessible washroom and includes specialized equipment, such as a hoist and an adult-sized changing bench. The new public washrooms are being designed for a location adjacent to the Waterfront Walkway just north of Beacon Park. The forecasted date for washroom completion is spring 2023.
BC Transit shares updated Peninsula Local Area Transit Plan for next 10 years
Council received an update on the Peninsula Local Area Transit Plan from BC Transit that outlines goals over the next 10 years. Examples of short-term goals include increased service to the Victoria International Airport, the University of Victoria, and Camosun College, among other destinations. A key long-term goal is the expansion of the rapid bus line (Route #70) running from Swartz Bay to downtown Victoria, with a target for the bus to eventually run every 15 minutes from 7am-7pm, seven days per week. This improvement could involve the development of a rapid bus station in Sidney, potentially near Beacon Avenue and Highway 17. Implementation would depend in part on ridership levels and available funding.
Peninsula Local Area Transit Plan Update Video 1:18:58
Council increases budget for stormwater repairs
A report related to the November 2021 storm event found that the Town’s sewer and stormwater systems continued to function in Sidney through the 1-in-100-year rainfall. To support the ongoing maintenance of the stormwater and sewer systems, Council increased the budget for related repairs by $10,000 annually.
Examples of initiatives being taken to improve the stormwater and sewer systems in Sidney include:
- Addressing some inflow and infiltration issues, where stormwater is seeping into sewer systems and putting unnecessary pressure on sewer systems during major rain events
- Updating our utility modelling to identify any existing and future capacity deficiencies in the Town’s storm, sewer and water utilities
- Studying ways to manage the impacts of anticipated climate change on the Town’s storm drainage network that could serve as an alternative to the costly solution of increasing the capacity of pipes throughout the Town’s drainage system.
Staff Report Video (1:20:53)
Building Permit Report for 2021 shows housing development continuing at a slower pace
Council received a year-end Building Permit Report for 2021 which stated that the number of building permits issued will create an overall increase of 83 housing units in the community. The figures represent continued growth in Sidney but also a decline from 2020 when permits were issued to create an increase of 222 housing units. The new units for 2021 were primarily multi-family residential with eight homes built within duplexes and three single family homes. These fluctuations are in keeping with the cyclical nature of development with many developments that received building permits in 2020 continuing construction through 2021.
2021 Building Permit Report Video (1:22:40)
Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith