A WestJet aircraft comes in for a landing at Victoria International Airport, behind North Saanich’s airplane-themed climbing area in Jubilee Park. (Steven Heywood/News staff)

North Saanich park doesn’t make the high priority cut

District finalizes its Strategic Plan, a list of municipal priorities

Completing Jubilee Park this year is no longer a high priority for the District of North Saanich — but that doesn’t mean the work won’t get done.

Councillors on March 19 approved amendments to the District’s 2014-2018 Strategic Plan, finalizing three priority areas for this year. The Plan itself contains a list of 35 projects and initiatives that the District has been working on since 2014 — although various initiatives have been added or removed from that list over the term of the Plan. It also includes a ‘report card’ on the projects North Saanich has completed in that same time frame.

This week, council voted on the final three projects and their priority level, completing a draft report from staff on the latest iteration of the Strategic Plan.

A 3-3 vote on whether to make completing Jubilee Park a high priority, to be completed before the end of this council’s current term of office, killed the motion. A subsequent vote made the park project a medium priority this year.

RELATED: Airplane apparatus goes up in North Saanich’s Jubilee Park.

Items given high priority status in the Plan are generally those the council wants done by the end of their term this year. Chief Administrative Officer Rob Buchan pointed out, however, that while that’s the goal, circumstances that come up can delay high priority items — or even make them go faster.

Medium-level priorities reduce that urgency, while low priorities generally take longer. The rankings help staff set resources and time for the workloads related to each project.

Jubilee Park, located on Mills Road near West Saanich Road, was established when the District celebrated its 50th anniversary of incorporation in 2015. The Park and its playground apparatus were the subject of a District crowd funding effort to help pay for it.

RELATED: Crowd funding for North Saanich park comes up short so far.

Mayor Alice Finall voted against the amended Strategic Plan document, as she said she felt the Park completion should be a high priority for council.

An implementation plan for the District’s Whole Community Agricultural Strategy was made a medium priority and an information meeting for candidates in the fall municipal election was given high priority status, as that will have to be done this year.

The District’s Strategic Plan can be viewed on its website. Some of the high priorities include improving access to the Hospital Hill veterans’ memorial, emergency planning training for staff and council, considering the future use of the Sandown land and enhance communications with First Nations.

On the low priority list are items such as: prepare a secondary suite bylaw enforcement policy, prepare discussion paper on environmental asset management and reviewing of policies and bylaws that affect waterfront property owners.


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