Following is quoted material originally presented to the Committee of the Whole (COW), 20/03/17. With more detail, partly based on reactions from Colin McClure, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Robin Cherbo, Acting Mayor/Chair.
Absent are Mayor Kozak, Councillor Dailly, Councillor Purcell and Kevin Cormack, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).
"According to Council's approval and the CFO's announcement respectively: funding necessary for road-repairs is to be generated through cost-increases in seniors' bus-passes and meter-parking.
Once funding is in place - done this way surely a very long process - its appropriate use must be ensured: what with Public Works - at wasteful expense - superficially refilling old-familiar potholes for ages. Or not - thus dangerous for drivers and pedestrians! Not to forget - literally and please! - tectonic cracks in sidewalks.
These rate-increases are a simplistic solution, while - with linear foresight - such funds could reasonably be collected from about 40 parking-meters on Hall, between Herridge and Vernon.
It seems bizarre that drivers now may find free downtown-parking on Hall, while - if not so lucky - they not only pay for it just around the corner on Baker or Vernon, but on top of that with a rate-increase.
Substantial revenue from Hall meters - collected during almost a whole year, since completion of that part of Stores-to-Shores Phase 1 - could have been steadily fed into funds sought now.
Colin Innes of Public Works recently talks about replacing old meters with high-tech ones in a year or two - but then only the odd one when falling apart. So - it's actually not all new ones soon. We are vaguely looking at years!
And a good thing too, because - also according to Mr. Innes: we may be too squeamish about an across-the-board change. Therefore, installing these new meters in dribbles will be easier on our fragile collective psyche.
Actually - these newfangled ones - for some time already used effectively and comfortably in other communities - could have been installed a year ago on Hall: their testing-ground, if you will. Seamlessly logical and fiscally responsible.
My direct question to Council here/now: Why are there no parking-meters - old or new - on these 2 blocks of Hall?"
End of COW presentation
I ask Council specifically "here/now", because I want to know how far they are involved. And if they aren't - who is, what with Stores-to-Shores Phase 1 as a whole turning out to be such a clunker.
Robin Cherbo - as Acting Mayor/Chair - promptly turns to the CFO for the answer, an explanation. An answer in itself - so there goes Council's involvement!
Mr. McClure clearly is unprepared for this particular question, even though he - as the City's CFO - introduced the higher parking-meter rates for Nelson, thus might have considered strong-revenue-generating meters for this virgin-stretch of Hall.
His impromptu reasons are unconnected and non-linear. They come down to this-and-that still in a planning-stage for the Hall Street Plaza, while in my expressed opinion: all planning should have been figured-in, funded and actualized within the overall completion of Stores-to-Shores Phase 1, a year ago. Done - as of! And not still dithered over a year and possibly much more later!
In reality - this was not just a phase but seemingly can go on indefinitely: money for years!
While he says in all seriousness and his own words: parking-meters wouldn't look nice in the wonderfulness of the Hall Street Plaza - I have never known this so-called plaza to be anything but a parking-lot for 20 cars.
He has nothing to say about metered parking for another 20 cars between Baker and Vernon. Neither is he prepared for how meter-maids can enforce the 2-hour non-metered parking-limit along the 2 blocks between Herridge and Vernon. This essentially meaning: business-people in the area can park there all day without paying anything!
Just one example of institutional potholes is the series - for at least 8 years - covering much of the north-side crosswalk of Ward/Victoria. Bad in dry weather - absolutely treacherous in rain, snow, ice, slush. Think people who walk: particularly those with mobility-issues. Wheelchairs, strollers.
Just one example of over years periodically refilled potholes is the one on Edgewood, between High and Vernon. Particularly dangerous because cars and bikes love zooming along there.
The US Federal Highway Administration Manual "cites the throw-and-roll method (used to refill and refill this particular pothole and many more in Nelson) as the most basic method but notes that the failure rate of expedient repairs (such as this type) is high, and that they can cost much more than properly done repairs."
While Acting Mayor/Chair Cherbo cites the top-part of Stanley as an example of good road-work being done now. Why there is a head-scratcher, with minimal vehicular traffic - even counting fire-engines - in the area. Keeping streets most traveled - leading to/from downtown - in good repair would be more to the point.
While at least some road-work - no matter of what quality - has been done over time: sidewalks have been ignored.
No amount of additional funding for road-repairs will be of public benefit, unless a comprehensive, outward-from-the-
core vision is locked-in - and well-supervised while implemented.
Bringing the Cop Shop into this would help greatly: they know about the dangers of potholes - and where to find them for Public Works.
After I - several times - bring-up poor planning and the lack of fiscal responsibility - in connection with road-repairs and the theoretical loss of substantial revenue from 40 parking-meters - without receiving an adequate response: Acting Mayor/Chair Cherbo tells me that I am repeating myself.
God knows - I try!
City Hall floats vaguely connected in-house ideas in-house - but there is no vision of Nelson as an ever-evolving whole with all-interrelating components.
Committee of the Whole sounds good - but it's really a catchy name for a Council Meeting only.
Nobody is referring to Stores-to-Shores any more: it's just Hall Street. Kevin Cormack, CAO, made that quite clear the other day when he emphasized it was all about infrastructure. In other - not his - words: we are not to expect the leisurely green tourist-friendly/luring walk to the lake any longer, we were promised initially.
Silly us have been waiting and waiting for.
Huffington Post Canada
Colin McClure, CFO
Colin Innes, Public Works
Pam Mierau, Development Services Mgr.
Megan Squires, Sr. Planner