Squamish to wait two weeks for input on location of O'Siem pavilion 

Squamish council has deferred a decision on the exact location of the O'Siem Pavilion Park in downtown Squamish for two weeks.

Although staff had recommended council chose one particular location of the three it proposed, councillors decided to give community groups two weeks for consultation on which location would be best.

The community groups can weigh in on three locations.

Staff's recommendation is the present Cenotaph Park, between the August Jack Motel Inn and the medical clinic.

The second option is north of Pavilion Park. The third option would be to place the pavilion on the south side of the Pavilion Park to provide one large event space northward.

Once community groups have had their say, staff will go forward with requests for design proposals for the pavilion.

The O'Siem Pavilion Park is made possible by a combined federal and provincial grant of $500,000. There is a building deadline of March 31, 2011. Earlier some downtown Squamish merchants had expressed displeasure at the delays that have slowed the project.

Squamish Mayor Greg Gardner said council was aware of the federal funding deadline. He said the project will be completed in time. He added O'Siem Pavilion will be a welcome addition to the downtown area.

"Any attractive structure will benefit by bringing more people into the downtown core," he said.


Traffic calming proposed for Buckley Avenue

Buckley Avenue in Squamish is a road that sees its fair share of traffic, and then some. It's often used as an alternative to Highway 99 and the presence of a university and two schools in close proximity to each other increases the traffic density.

Acting on numerous complaints of clogging and speeding vehicles, the District of Squamish hired a consultant to study the problem in depth and come up with solutions. Some of those solutions were highlighted in a staff report to council on Tuesday, Sept. 7. These include improved bicycle lane markings, three textured crosswalks, one median island, narrowed intersections, additional school zone signage and pavement markings. The consultant also recommended re-striping to provide narrower drive lanes and delineators to separate bike lanes from the travelled roadway, where possible.

At the Carson Place intersection, the report recommended the narrowing of the wide intersection and replacing it with a T-shape intersection.

There are more expensive options that include an additional median island, a special flashing pedestrian crossing light and additional sidewalks.


West Coast Railway Heritage Park gets $5,179

Squamish council decided to give $5,179 to the West Coast Railway Heritage Park from its economic development budget.

The decision was opposed by Councillors Patricia Heintzman and Bryan Raiser.

The grant will help the park to pay for advertising at the Squamish Adventure Centre from June to December 2010.

In January 2010 the District of Squamish authorized loan guarantees for the West Coast Railway Association in the amount of $500,000, repayable over a five-year period. It's expected that loan will be repaid in 2010.

"We're setting up for a number of community events and I think it's important to treat everyone equitably," said Heintzman.

Raiser said the park is valuable to the community but other groups come for grants and "it's tough to get behind this one."


Improvement sought for pedestrian trail

Squamish council has asked staff to review a request from the Squamish Climate Action Network (CAN) to make the Valleycliffe-Hospital Hill-Downtown trail a high priority when it comes to investing in trails.

"Despite being handicapped by land ownership complications, steep and unstable slopes, and its poor conditions, it is one of the busiest in the valley," said the Squamish CAN coordinator, Ana Santos.

Santos urged the district to carryout substantial improvements in the trail which has been marred by protruding stumps, soil erosion, loose gravel and steep passes that can be dangerous for users.




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