Events centre vote looms at end of marathon day for Nanaimo council

By Dominic Abassi
December 19, 2016 - 9:29am

NANAIMO — City of Nanaimo councillors are in for a long day of meetings before eventually voting on one of the priciest pieces of infrastructure in the city's history.

Council will gather in the board room at the Service and Resource Centre starting at 10 a.m. Monday for a special council meeting. It's anything but a light agenda. They will debate and vote on key items, including the establishment of an infrastructure reserve fund that would increase property taxes by 3.3 per cent over five years.

During the morning session there will also be a presentation from mid-island Medical Health Officer Dr. Paul Hasselback regarding safe injection sites. Mayor Bill McKay will bring forward a motion regarding the siting of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

After a short break, the group of nine will reconvene in the Lantzville Room at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre for an in-camera session at 4 p.m.

Councillors will then switch rooms to the Douglas Rispin Room at the conference centre for another in-camera session starting at 6 p.m.

Finally the marathon day ends with a public council meeting starting at 7 p.m. in the Shaw Auditorium at the VICC. Only two things are on the agenda — the proposed events centre project and reconsideration of a resolution to reduce staffing levels at the Nanaimo jail.

There will be a presentation from BBB Architects on phase two of the feasibility study into the multiplex. Council will also hear from the consultant hired to conduct public engagement on the $60 to $80-million proposed project.

What will likely be a 12-hour day of meetings will end with council voting on a list of 11 resolutions being recommended by staff, laying out the next steps for an events centre in Nanaimo.

Icy roads catch many Nanaimo drivers off guard Monday