A view of Queen Charlotte harbour (Archie Stocker Sr./Haida Gwaii Observer file photo)

Queen Charlotte council sets top 2018 priorities

Sewage treatment, bicycle racks, bear-proof bins and stairs to the beach by the visitor’s centre are a few of the 2018 priorities remaining for Queen Charlotte council.

Councillors recently approved a 2018-2022 strategic plan that sets out what projects they would like to complete this year, and which they would like to pass on to the next council following the October election.

Under economic development, councillors plan to identify the next option for a sewage treatment plan after their proposal for 4603 Martynuik Road was voted down 322-21 in the Feb. 24 referendum.

Other economic development plans include appraising and selling the Honna industrial property, seeking ways to quit using plastic bags in the village, and looking at zoning changes for marijuana shops and Airbnb-type rentals. Councillors are also applying to the B.C./CHN Solutions Table for access to some vacant Crown lots in the village that could be used for housing.

Upcoming infrastructure projects for the village include road paving and crosswalk painting, designing a Welcome to the Village of Queen Charlotte sign, appraising the Kagan Bay log sort, and working on improving access to affordable housing.

For the next council, the suggested to-do’s on infrastructure include developing an emergency access route connecting each section of 2nd Avenue, a new gate and kiosk at the cemetery, removing knotweed from village properties, and making a plan with Skidegate to encourage cycling between the villages.

Regarding public spaces and recreation, council is offering businesses a chance to operate the Hadyn Turner campsite, allowing for temporary camping permits, building steps to the beach by the Visitor Information Centre, and allowing the village fire department to refill scuba-diving tanks for a fee.

Finally, for emergency services, top priorities include designing a new fire hall, looking at bear-proof garbage bins, and making sure a “polluter pay” principle is in place for any local oil spills.

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