Health centre, water top Parksville’s to-do list

New mayor and council want to roll up their sleeves and get to work

Chris Burger says city council has a lot of work on its plate.

Chris Burger says city council has a lot of work on its plate.

The new Parksville city council will be busy with “a very ambitious agenda,” said acting mayor Chris Burger.

With two new councillors, the inaugural meeting on Dec. 5 will include the routine first steps including  swearing in and assigning councillors to various committees and commissions, but they will also jump into a busy agenda.

After nearly a year as acting mayor, Burger will finally loose the “acting” after the official swearing in ceremony.

Aside from the initial details, Burger said this is always a good time to reflect on the big structural issues facing the city and his two biggest immediate priorities will be a scheduled meeting with the provincial government and health authority on the health centre progress and selecting a new firm to continue the official community plan update.

The city has been expecting building permit applications for the health care project since the spring and doesn’t have any new timeline information.

He said council will be meeting as late as Dec. 19 with a large agenda and going into the new year there will be work on areas like the Englishman River Water Service’s new water intake and treatment facility.

There will also be a lot of work reaching out to various partners like the school board, which is dealing with it’s own big issues and through things like the new Regional District of Nanaimo Drinking Water and Watershed Protection Service and the RDN’s Northern Community Economic Development Service.

New councillor Peter Morrison said he’s already eagerly learning everything he can, admitting it will be a steep learning curve.

“I have a lot of reading to do, Robert’s Rules of Order and those kind of things,” he said pointing out there are training and leadership educational opportunities available around the region for new councillors that he plans to take full advantage of.

He said once things get rolling his first priorities will be working on keeping young people in the area and working with business on downtown revitalization.