Nanaimo city hall. News Bulletin file photo

Nanaimo councillors agree to spend $300,000 on increased downtown services

Costs are linked with the impending closure of Discontent City

City councillors have agreed to spend more than $300,000 on extending a handful of services to try to keep downtown safe and clean.

During an in-camera meeting on Monday, councillors approved extending a range of services currently provided by the city until the end of the year as well as adding more staff members. The additional expenditures will cost the city $301,000 and are part of the city’s closure plan for Discontent City, according to Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay.

The initiatives extended until the end of the year include needle pickup, downtown security and garbage pickup, which will now occur six times a week.

There will also be extra staff. Council, as part increasing service levels, has agreed to hire one additional security guard, one additional downtown cleaner and one additional individual responsible for needle pickups.

The costs associated with those initiatives are $190,800.

Meanwhile, park custodian hours have also increased to allow for a least five full-time workers to work night shifts and one full-time worker to work during the day for the rest of the year. That will cost taxpayers $90,000.

Three park auxiliary workers, who are currently seasonal employees whose positions were to be eliminated at the end of November, have also been made full-time for the month of December for a cost $21,000.

RELATED: Discontent City costs exceed $100,000

The B.C. Supreme Court recently granted the City of Nanaimo an injunction against Discontent City, an illegal tent city located at 1 Port Dr. The camp is expected be shut down by Oct. 12.

Coun. Gord Fuller said he’s generally pleased with the extended services. He said the services combined with the impending closure of Discontent City will come at a “considerable” cost but doesn’t know what that cost will be.

McKay said the increased service levels were needed, calling it a “real good start.” He said it is hard to predict what additional services might be needed following Discontent City’s closure and beyond December.

“We won’t know until we know,” he said. “That’s what it boils down to.

However, one thing is clear, occupants of Discontent City will not be welcome to camp on the lawn at city hall according to McKay.

“We are not going to be welcoming to anybody on city hall property,” he said.

Costs associated with Discontent City have exceeded $130,000 since the camp first formed in May.







nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Protesters blockading log-sort operation at Nanaimo’s Duke Point

Extinction Rebellion Nanaimo demands an end to all old-growth logging in B.C.

Nanaimo’s Jones will draw on her experiences in first political campaign

Retired social worker representing B.C. Liberals in Nanaimo riding in provincial election

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

Shoplifting suspect allegedly spits on worker at store in Nanaimo

Suspect became aggressive when confronted by loss prevention officer at Walmart, say RCMP

Nanaimo’s temporary restaurant patios to stay in place for another year

City council votes to leave patios out for winter and through till fall 2021

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

Nanaimo city council wants more info about pilot project to lower residential speed limit

Staff will report back on ministry of transportation pilot that could lower speed limit to 40km/h

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Most Read