By Lyonel Doherty
A third quarter update shows the Town of Oliver continues to chase down a number of strategic priorities.
Chief Administrative Officer Cathy Cowan reported that staff have identified different properties in the relocation of Town Hall to best serve the public. Considerations include the old courthouse property, Station Street and Main Street.
Another priority is reducing vacancies in the downtown core, Cowan said, noting the Downtown Working Group was established.
She also confirmed the Town’s “branding refresh” project is complete. And there is a funding application for an economic development strategy. A business improvement area is also being considered.
Cowan said they plan to enhance Town-owned land in the downtown core. For example, a parking area (with stairs to Main Street) has been developed on an empty lot between Oliver Garden restaurant and Edward Jones.
• Read more: Town updates strategic priorities
Cowan noted the revitalization of Station Street is complete (between Fairview Road and Banks Avenue). And the small lot beside the new hotel continues to be maintained with irrigation. (This lot is open for development, and Councillor Dave Mattes recently noted there is a business potential for a new RV park there.)
Cowan said another priority is a housing strategy, noting she met with Tracy Lydiatt from Oliver’s Affordable Housing Committee. The strategy includes a review of “tiny home” zoning and carriage house requirements.
Cowan said preliminary work on the Gallagher Lake siphon repair project has begun, such as securing right-of-ways and conducting environmental and archeological assessments. (The $10 million project involves re-routing the canal along Highway 97 south.)
Cowan reported the new sidewalk on Spartan Street is complete, adding the street lights will be installed soon.
Under policing, the Town is planning to develop a crime enforcement strategy, including advocating for an increased presence of RCMP and Crime Watch (via patrols).