Following its successful first economic development meeting on March 1, Gibsons council continued its momentum, passing several items geared towards economic development at its regular council meeting March 5.
Council approved a motion, which originated from the Feb. 12 meeting of its economic development select committee, to direct staff to make an application to the Island Coastal Economic Trust’s (ICET) economic readiness program.
Chief administrative officer Emanuel Machado said ICET has created this program to assist local governments in efforts to support local business. Machado said by making this application, the Town hopes to get some funding to move forward its economic development plans.
Council supported and approved a request from Deer Crossing the Art Farm to partner with them to assist with flow-through funding with the Sunshine Coast Community Foundation to support its new Ignite program.
“This flow-through funding would support a program called Ignite that we are running in partnership with Community Futures and SFU through the FUSE community work hub project,” said executive director Chad Hershler in his request to council.
“This program will support and nurture six social enterprises for the Sunshine Coast through business training and community engagement, culminating in a final pitch event in May and a series of momentum-building gatherings in the fall.”
Coun. Gerry Tretick said Deer Crossing the Art Farm was asking for the Town’s support in this because they are not a charitable group.
“This proposal was discussed at the Com-munity Foundation, and based on their granting rules, there are sometimes problems when groups like Deer Crossing the Art Farm come forward and they are not charitable organizations, but they are good groups doing good things,” he said. “I think this project falls right in with our economic development initiatives. I’d like to congratulate them on this project and I am very supportive of aiding them in their application with the Community Foundation.”
Spring clean up
The Town will be taking a new approach to its annual spring clean up, but will be doing so in a transitional way.
Council said there have been numerous community concerns around the current clean-up concept. Staff presented a couple of options that would see the Town look at a coupon system similar to programs in place at the District of Sechelt and the Sunshine Coast Regional District.
Council asked staff to report back to a future committee of the whole meeting with a plan based on a coupon system for the spring clean up, which includes a transitional phase; and that staff also prepare a communication plan to allow an opportunity for community feedback.