Thursday, March 29, 2018

Quesnel Council Highlights - March 27th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Highway 97 Quesnel Transportation Plan – Phase II
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure representatives Oliver Schwuchow, Regional Project Manager and Kathryn Weicker, Senior Regional Transportation Planning Engineer reviewed Phase II of the Highway 97 Quesnel Transportation Plan. Included in this presentation was an overview of:
  • Project Development Life Cycle – Over the last two years, the Infrastructure Planning Phase of this initiative has been completed. The remaining subsequent phases, if options proceed, are Preliminary Design, Functional Design, Detailed Design, Tender and Construction phases.
  • Study Areas
    • Study Segment A – South Quesnel/Commercial
    • Study Segment B – North Start Interchange
    • Study Segment C – Downtown Quesnel
    • Study Segment D – Two Mile Flats
  • Public Input Results and Key Findings from February 7 and 19, 2018 Public Open Houses
    • 903 residents and community members participated
    • 843 survey feedback forms submitted
    • 25 survey questions organized around 12 topics
    • 84% chose Option AR-1 North South Interconnector as their top potential highway improvement
  • Option Evaluation and Recommendations (Short Term and Long Term Potential Options)
    • AR-1 North-South Interconnector – Implemented 0 to 5 years
    • AR-2 North-South Industrial Connector – Screened Out
    • AR-3 East-West Connector – Screened Out
    • A1-A3 – South Quesnel Access Management
      • Racing Road and Quesnel-Hydraulic Road Access Management – 0 -5 Years
      • Highway Realignment onto Legion Drive – Screened Out
      • Front Street 3-Lane Reconfiguration – 0–5 years
    • D1-D2 – Two Mile Flat Access Management – 15 – 25 Years
Next steps include:
  • Finalize Quesnel Transportation Plan report by March 31, 2018 and present final reports to Elected Officials and First Nations.
  • Project Development
    • Front Street - finalize design and stakeholder input, construct fall 2018
    • Racing Road - request funding for next level of design
    • North-South Interconnector – request funding to develop business case
Council Remuneration
Council remuneration policy options were reviewed by Council. Council approved the following draft options to be finalized in November/December 2018. The draft options approved are:
  • A model for remuneration that includes additional pay for positions such as Acting Mayor and Committee Chair that require additional time and effort on the part of the Councillors.
  • A model that includes a penalty for missed meetings above a set amount of missed meetings.
  • Look at possible options to address the anticipated January 1, 2019 loss of the one-third tax exemption for Council remuneration in the fall after reviewing practices of other municipalities.
Housing Agreements
Council approved Housing Agreements for two housing developments located at 424 McLean Street and 255 McNaughton Avenue through the City’s Multi-Family Housing Incentives Program. This Program entitled these two eligible projects to a 10-year revitalization tax exemption on assessed value of improvements of municipal portion of property taxes and 100% waiver of Development Cost Charges because the projects offer affordable housing for at least 10 years.
Tourism and Social Media Marketing Progress
Tourism Website:
The Tourism website is divided into four major categories: Stop and Eat; Stop and Sleep; Stop and Play; and Stop and Discover. The Tourism website helps users narrow down their search for activities and provides contact information for individual businesses. The Tourism website also links to the Instagram page that has a constant updating feed of local tourism content.
Adventure Cards:
The Adventure Cards program is meant to infuse the City’s new brand throughout the community and change the community’s culture to be more knowledgeable about tourism/adventure opportunities. The Adventure Card program allows stores to provide adventure cards to customers with a business’s personal activity/adventure recommendation(s) for visitors and locals. The aim of this program is to eventually lead to broader scale culture change where residents increasingly view Quesnel as a place to adventure, all while providing tourists with easier access to information on local activities.
Social Media:
The City’s Social Media program has seen increasing growth, both with #ExploreQuesnel Facebook account and Instagram Page. The #ExploreQuesnel Facebook account has grown 34% since February 2016, up over 10% in the last month, coinciding with the publication of the Winter Tourism Video. This video received over 20,000 independent views, and was “liked and shared” over 100 times. The City’s Instagram Account, started in July 2017, has grown to nearly 500 followers, with 2000 “likes“ in the third quarter of 2018.
Business Improvement Levy
All three Business Improvement Associations (“BIA”) submitted an update on BIA’s activities and budgets. Council approved the following grants:
· $80,000 – South Quesnel Business Association
· $65,000 - Quesnel Downtown Association
· $40,000 – West Quesnel Business Association
All grants to these organizations are funded through a local service area tax on the commercial properties in each Business Improvement Area.
Hosting Precinct Grant Application
Council approved staff to submit a grant application to the Northern Development Initiative Trust Strategic Initiatives for a Hosting Precinct project. The City has partnered with the Quesnel Curling Club on a major placemaking initiative aimed at creating a new “hosting space” at the City’s Arena Precinct (West Fraser Centre, Arena II, curling rink, the Plaza and parking lots surrounding these buildings.) Major aspects of the funding request include:
· Upgrades to the curling rink façade and lounge
· Integrating the plaza and parking lot with the Reid Street redevelopment design
· Murals on the curling rink and Arena II
· Closed-caption TV’s between the three buildings
· Adding a dry floor and stage to the West Fraser Centre
· Installing wayfinding signage throughout the community
Bylaw of the Month Program
For the month of April 2018, the City’s Bylaw of the Month Program will focus on providing educational awareness, through the Bylaw Enforcement Department, around the following third-party sign regulations:
  • Third party (off-premise) signs are any signs which advertise goods, services, or events that are not sold or offered on the same location as the sign.
  • Third party signage (whether from businesses, individuals, or non-profit organizations) is prohibited in the City.
  • The purpose of this provision is to ensure pedestrian and vehicle traffic safety is maintained and to preserve citizens’ right to enjoy an aesthetic visual environment without the proliferation/clutter of signs.
  • 1783 Quesnel Lions Society Housing Agreement - Reid Street/McNaughton Avenue Housing Development – First Reading
  • 1840 Dakelh Housing Agreement (2017) – 424 McLean Street – Bylaw Rescinded
  • 1847 Dakelh Housing Agreement (2018) – 424 McLean Street - First Reading
Next Meetings
  • 7 pm, April 3, 2018 – Regular Council Meeting
  • 5:30 pm, April 10, 2018 – North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee

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