Hope everyone is enjoying spring moving into summer, now if there was just away to stop the grass from growing my mower and I would be much happier.
The RDN held a emergency table top exercise at the end of may in the RDN board room (action room central ). These exercises involve all the RDN emergency planning staff , electoral area directors ,fire departments, and emergency services and planners from Parksville, Lantzville and Qualicum Beach. The exercise was a brush fire that developed into a very big fire that endanger life and property .With very hot dry august conditions toss in a bit of wind and you have a fire with a mind of its own .The directors signs the orders but you rely on the experts to do their magic and it was a impressive show.
I went on a tour of the Railway track from Nanaimo to close to Parksville and it was interesting to see how many rotten the rail ties there are. Southern rail would replace on the average of 1 in four ties . I just do not see how 20 million dollars from the province, the federal government and 5 regional district is going to be enough to repair the tracks and bridges. If the funds do not do the job who will pay the rest? We could be on the hook for millions more. Would you ride a train to Victoria on a regular basis to work if the train takes almost 2 hours to get there and would not end in down town as the infrastructure has been removed? What needs to happen if we still want rail for commercial and tourism use is for the higher levels of government to step up and rebuild to line from one end to the other. If the rail died there could be a great multi-use trail built on the rail bed, which may be a be a great tourist attraction and open up recreation possibilities.
The RDN Agriculture Advisor Committee (AAC) is moving along with implementing the agriculture plan. One of the things on the list is dogs harassing livestock and compensation for loss or injury caused by these dogs. Three recommendations have been made and staff are fine tuning bylaws for this one.
Gabriolans did well with the district 68 Grants in Aid with two grants the Gabriola Arts Council receiving $2248 for electrical and septic up grades .The Gabriola athletic movement got $650 to use for signs at the brick yard beach classic.
GERTIE has just completed its first year of service to Gabriola with over 10,000 riders; a big round of applause needs to go to the volunteer drivers who keep this service going. Next year the RDN will start talks with the community to see what kind of service the community is willing to pay for or not .The present service is a pilot study, it has and will give us a good understanding of routes and ridership. After the completion of community consultation in late 2015 we could go to a taxpayer funded/BC transit service in 2016.
RDN staff and I met with MOTI to walk and talk about the village trail after that we have a much better focus on what we can do .The next step is for the consultants to put those things into drawings that we can all understand.
Huxley parks master plan is in the final stage as well and we are waiting on those plans
The Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Committee met and reviewed the work plan and set the priorities for the next 5 years .They also received a request for a fenced off lease dog park .These parks are common in urban areas as they allow dogs to socialize and exercise which is very help full to people who are not able to walk their dogs daily .It also gives the owner some place to work on training and your dog can not run away.
If you have a skate boarder or bike rider at home you have to go to the Cedar Skateboard /Bike Park.This Park is the best in Nanaimo and gets a lot of use, it would be nice to have a smaller one for Gabriola in the future.
Still having fun.
Regional District Director,