Ladysmith Mayor and Council 2018 inauguration photo (Submitted photo)

Town of Ladysmith economic progress report

The Town highlights economic development achievements over the past 12 months

By Mike Gregory – Town of Ladysmith

Ladysmith Council is marking its first full year of working together following the October 2018 municipal election. Below are just a few of the highlighted achievements from the past 12 months as we continue to make our town a vibrant and affordable community for all.

2020-2023 Strategic Plan

In early 2019, Council began a strategic planning process designed to set the vision and strategic path for the organization and the community that we will follow over the coming years.

Through this planning process, Council confirmed its guiding principles, laid out its vision for the future of our community, and determined the strategic priorities and supporting projects that will provide direction to Council and Town staff.

Council then held several follow-up sessions to confirm the specific details of just how to accomplish the 2020-2023 Strategic Plan and steps to keep the community informed of achievements. .

The 2020-2023 Strategic Plan is being presented to the community at the Council meeting on Monday, November 4, 2019. The document will then be available on our website, www.ladysmith.ca and hard copies can be picked at City Hall.

The Town will provide regular updates to residents on achievements in the Strategic Plan as we work to facilitate effective two-way community with our citizens and partners.

We look forward to hearing your feedback.

Lot 108 Park Plan Update

The Lot 108 Park Plan Update was adopted by Council in October and provides a path forward on building and enhancing sports and recreation amenities at Forrest Field.

As a first step, the Town is collaborating with local service groups to build an accessible walking path around the existing site, with funding to come from service group grants, donations and in-kind contributions. The updated Lot 108 plan includes new amenities such as a practice pitch, baseball and soccer field, multi-sport court and bike skills park and pump track. Feedback received in community and field user meetings confirmed what the Town previously heard as part of the 2016 Parks, Recreation & Culture Master Plan, which is the desire for more facilities for a wide range of users, and greater accessibility through onsite and street parking improvements.

You can view the plan on our website, www.ladysmith.ca.

Machine Shop Renovations

Construction continues at the heritage Machine Shop on the waterfront as we complete structural, code and seismic upgrades to this historic building and help to ensure it is retained as a community asset for years to come.

The Town was awarded $1.8 million in federal Gas Tax funding in March 2018 to make improvements to the building. The Machine Shop is the anchor of the Arts and Heritage Hub contained within the Waterfront Area Plan.

In recent weeks, necessary repairs were made to the roof beams and a new roof membrane was installed over a five-inch layer of insulation.

The Town also worked in partnership with the Nanaimo Ladysmith Public School District to allow the Arts Council of Ladysmith and District to temporarily use the former École Davis Road School building during this phase of renovations for the Waterfront Gallery.

All existing Machine Shop tenants will be able to return following the completion of construction and Requests for Proposals for any new space allocations will be issued in the coming months.

The Machine Shop was built by the Comox Logging and Railway Company in the 1940s to maintain its fleet of logging equipment and rail cars. The Town acquired the building in 1986.

Water Filtration Plant

The Town continues work to complete construction of the Water Filtration Plant (WFP) – a significant infrastructure project for the community that will provide safe, reliable drinking water for generations to come.

Members of the public who regularly hike the Holland Creek loop will have noticed the steady progress we’re making on the facility which is located near the Arbutus Reservoir just past the Upper Bridge.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 2020.

In the spring, we also improved accessibility in that area of the trail by creating a new switchback route and alternate trail that bypasses the WFP and connects to the Heart Lake and Stocking Lake loop.

In recent years, Ladysmith has made major investments in renewing our core infrastructure such as upgrading the Waste Water Treatment Plant facility to significantly reduce the effluent discharged into the harbour.

4th Avenue Culvert Replacement at Rocky Creek

The Town of Ladysmith is in the final phase of the 4th Avenue at Rocky Creek culvert replacement project and on track to have the job completed in November, and within budget.

In this final stretch, we are filling the roadway and getting ready for road and sidewalk paving. Sewer and water services are now installed. The Town started work on the necessary infrastructure project on June 15 and finished all the stream work within the provincial fisheries window, which closed on October 11. Replacement of the culvert at the Rocky Creek dip is critical to ensuring our core infrastructure can withstand the impacts of climate change – especially high water volumes during major storm events. The new steel arch culvert is designed and built to modern engineering standards that anticipate major storm events. It is also double the size of the previous culvert that was replaced.

Thank you to residents for your patience during the construction phase.

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