News

Councillor tries to reduce Parksville tax increase

An hour after auditor Mark McGorman told council the "city is in good stead," Coun. Bill Neufeld decided that good financial news should equal  some relief for Parksville taxpayers.

Neufeld made a motion to reduce the planned two per cent tax increase to one per cent.

"We can afford to back off on some of the increase," Neufeld said. "We are in a tremendous position as far as the welfare of the City of Parksville is concerned."

The motion was defeated, with only Neufeld and Coun. Al Greir in favour. Councillors Sue Powell, Peter Morrison and Carrie Powell-Davidson voted against the motion. Mayor Chris Burger did not indicate a vote, and Coun. Marc Lefebvre was absent.

See the city's website (www.parksville.ca) for details about the city's finances.

In other news from Parksville city council's meeting Wednesday night:

• Council heard about an idea put forward by the Parksville Historical Society to hold a summer farmers' market on Friday evenings at the museum on the Island Highway and Northwest Bay Road.

Society spokesperson David Haynes  said the plan is to have 30-plus vendor spots for farmers and 15 for artisans. Haynes said a byproduct of the market would be to "expose the museum to a whole new audience."

"We're not asking for money," said Haynes. "We're just asking for permission to allow us to raise our own funds through a minor change in our agreement (its lease with the city)."

Nothing was finalized on Wednesday. Council asked staff to have a look at proposal and report back. The society was also encouraged to have meeings to iron out any issues with the chamber of commerce and Craig Bay residents. The current zoning of the museum lands might be an issue, according to CAO Fred Manson.

"It would be a stretch to put a farmers' market in that zoning," he said.

• Despite the fact council has not passed anything to change the curling club's current tax situation, Greir, who was absent last meeting said he was "extremely disappointed" his colleagues may be even considering changing the rules for the club.

"I guess you should have been here then," quipped Powell.

For more from council's meeting Wednesday, read Thursday's edition of The NEWS.

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