COLUMN: Nelson bustles with construction

Councillor Robin Cherbo says with construction projects have come tough decisions.

Over the last few weeks, a cross-Canada road trip my wife and I took was wonderful and scenic, but Nelson still is one of the best places to live. The city concerns and projects have not slowed down and just to reiterate, it has been a whirlwind six months on council. There has been a lot to learn, even for the mayor and seasoned councillors along with the steep learning curve for the new councillors. We have covered a lot of issues, budgets, by-laws and projects, not all of which has been smooth sailing.

The Nelson Police Department staffing issue is still outstanding along with police having to continue to deal with people with mental illness. Council has had some good discussion with the police board and Interior Health Authority over mental health issues and has planned to have continued discussions.

Just about everyone in the city knows we have a number of projects on the go, including Nelson Commons, Nelson Landing, Ancron Medical Clinic across the road from Kootenay Lake Hospital and of course the Stores to Shores Hall St. upgrade. Also, we have reviewed the process for city by-laws and reset the priority by-laws for updates.

All the projects have had concerns at one time or another; Nelson Commons in getting an agreement to provide high-end affordable condos; Nelson Landing over the issue of construction traffic down Sproat Dr. and having a second access to the north waterfront; possible issues of traffic congestion at Kootenay Lake Hospital due to the Ancron Medical Clinic development and the Hall St. Stores to Shores project disrupting city traffic and businesses with the ongoing construction.

I do not believe we have had this much going on within the city limits for a number of years.

With the Nelson Commons and Hall St. construction, a left turn lane is being painted on the intersection of Front St. and Cedar St. and Cedar St. is being made a one-way up to Vernon St.

After last week’s council meeting, staff is also looking into the possibility of getting an emergency access to Sproat Dr., in case the single railway crossing is blocked. Nevertheless it is a long process in dealing with CPR. Along with this, council has asked staff to look into the possibility of having traffic calming measures installed on Sproat Dr. on the route to Nelson Landing.

Access into the city campground has been a chore for campers. However there have been a few construction-related complaints but most of the city drivers have figured out how to get to businesses and work their way around the city.

Along with regular duties, there is still a lot of business this year for council to work through, and I look forward to continuing to work with all our staff along with new mayor and council.

Nelson city councillor Robin Cherbo shares this space weekly with his council colleagues.