The next, and last, phase of Temple Street upgrades will begin in the next couple of weeks after city council chose a contractor for the $3 million job.
Knappett Industries of Nanaimo will have nine months to finish the work, which includes paving, sidewalks, a bike lane and other improvements. Knappett was the lowest of four bidders for the contract.
“Once completed, the Temple Street corridor upgrades will significantly improve the safety for all vehicular traffic and pedestrians and promote more walking and cycling on this corridor,” said report to council from staff.
This final phase will see work completed from Chinook Avenue to the end of Temple Street at Bay Avenue. Some residents were not happy with how things went in the first phases, specifically in regards to tree removal, the direction of street lights, driveway access and communication between the contractor, city and people who lived on the street.
“Residents felt they weren’t being heard,” said Coun. Leanne Salter. Coun. Teresa Patterson also questioned staff about how communication might be improved this time around.
“We are doing a lot more proactive things (this time),” said Vaughn Figueira, the city’s director of engineering.
Also from city council’s meeting last week:
• Fire Chief Doug Banks provided statistics for council from the first six months of 2015 that showed medical calls jumped to 47 from 21 during the same time period last year.
“There are times when there are no ambulances in the area,” explained Banks. “They are committed, on calls, so we go in and stabilize the patient.”
Mayor Marc Lefebvre picked up on this part of Banks’ presentation.
“I have been told by people in the medical community there aren’t enough ambulances in the city,” said the mayor.
Chief banks later asked for permission to staff the fire hall with a stand-by crew daily during these extreme fire hazard days. Council unanimously provided the go-ahead.
• Council passed motions that upgraded its cheque-signing procedures and also approved a land swap to adjust property lines on Island Highway and Northwest Bay Road.
• Council got behind a request from Communications Officer Debbie Tardiff for the city to be part of the Canada 150 Mural Mosiac program. See more on this story in future editions of The NEWS.
• Five vacant properties that have been the source of complaints regarding overgrown grass and weeds for the past eight years were dealt with last week by city council.
The city will now clean these properties up and pass along the expense for the job to the property owners. The properties in question are: 421 Morison Avenue and four properties on Moilliet Street — 119, 139, 161 and 173.