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Parksville city council briefs

To open the Jan. 20 Parksville regular city council meeting, Mayor Chris Burger switched up his usual new year state-of-the-city speech, providing an extensive list of staff and council's accomplishments in 2013, which he called a busy year.

Some of the more than two dozen items mentioned included completing the extensive official community plan (OCP) update, embarking reviews and updates of the city's development cost charges (DCC), water billing system and permissive taxation policy.

A number of major projects were completed, including the Oceanside Health Centre, renovation of the Community Park sports field and installation of electric vehicle charging stations among others.

Briefly from council's meeting Monday night:

• Faye Smith and Peter Law of the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society updated Parksville council on the health of the Englishman River, highlighting ongoing success in fish habitat restoration which has seen the number of spawning salmon increase dramatically over the last couple decades seeing chum increase four fold, coho five fold, pink salmon increasing by 10 times and a 20 fold increase in chinook.

• Council unanimously supported sponsoring the 2014 Parksville and District Glassie awards for Citizen of the year at a cost of $350. The 13th annual awards Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce awards will be held March 7 at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre honouring outstanding local contributions in volunteerism, entrepreneurship, leadership, community mindedness and customer service. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 30, visit the chamber or check www.parksvillechamber.com for more information.

• Rascal Trucking in Parksville's Industrial Park asked council to forgive some portion of its latest water bill, which was about three times the usual $1,200 amount due to a leak. There is a city policy which allows council to forgive high bills due to leaks, but only once in any five years, which Rascal already received a few years ago. Council asked for a staff report on how best to proceed.

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