September is already shaping up to be a busy month for Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan.
Ruttan has returned home Friday following a series of "cold call" meetings in Calgary to sell the economic virtues of Nanaimo during a two-day trade mission.
Ruttan met with his Calgary counterpart Naheed Nenshi as well as with officials from Calgary Economic Development, Air Canada and the Alberta Economic Development Authority, to name a few.
"We were just trying to touch base on what we can do to expand business opportunities between Calgary and Nanaimo," he said.
Ruttan said Nanaimo's offering of affordable industrial property taxes and competitive land prices could be an enticing draw for Calgary companies seeking to relocate or expand.
The trip had been postponed due to severe floods that ravaged Calgary earlier this year.
Ruttan next heads to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities 2013 convention in Vancouver on Monday, along with five city councillors.
On the agenda is a meeting with Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Minister Steve Thomson to discuss the city's work on the middle and lower Colliery dams in Harewood.
The B.C. Dam Safety Section says the structures are unsafe, and has told the city to bring the dams up to current safety standards. The city, Snuneymuxw First Nation and the Colliery Dam Preservation Society are currently involved in a joint review to try to find a long-term proposal for the dams to satisfy safety concerns, while addressing a desire from park users to maintain as much of the original structures as possible.
The costs and funding source for whatever proposal gets put forward are unknown at this stage, but Ruttan said he will ask Thomson if the province is able to provide financial assistance to address the situation.
Ruttan noted that cost estimates show rehabilitating the dams could cost tens of millions of dollars.
"We certainly don't have that kind of money in the bank, and it may require extended financing to do that," he said.
Councillors Bill McKay, George Anderson, Diana Johnstone, Diane Brennan and Ted Greves are also attending the conference, which runs from Sept. 16 to 20.
Facility lease approved City council has authorized a five-year lease for part of the Beban Park Field House on Bowen Road.
The lease of the city-owned facility will go to the Harbour City Football Club, which have occupied space in the building since 2001 under the moniker Nanaimo Youth Soccer Club, according to a city report.
The building provides washroom and change room space for athletes. Under the terms of the proposed lease HCFC will be responsible for "routine" interior maintenance and repairs..
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