Regional Director’s Report July/August 2015

What a great summer we have had! As I write today there is a fine rain alternating with heavy downpours. Such a wonderful sound after a record dry period.

July started out with the Canada Day celebrations at the Village Foods parking lot, then a ride on GERTIE to the Brickyard Beach for the Gabriola gun club potato cannon shoot. This year’s entries as always had new and interesting designs; some worked very well some not so much. Mudge islanders were out to watch the festivities and, just to keep us on our toes, shot back. After all are they not a sovereign nation? If you needed more excitement, and why not – it’s Canada Day, it was off to the museum for the family celebrations there.

Things at the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) were busy in July: UBCM grant funding for regional community to community forums with the Snuneymuxw first nations, Snas-naw-as first nation and the Qualicum First nations was approved. These face-to-face community meetings are meant to help both staff and leaders get to know each other and how we can work together.

Approval for the $12,000 for the playground at Rollo McClay Park was passed and staff is working with the softball association to order the equipment needed. Right now it looks like late October for the association to install and finish the play ground.

The Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Committee (POSAC) have at new member, adding Megan Osmond-Jones to the committee. Megan will bring a younger view to the committee as she has younger children in the community and most of the other members do not.

Although there was only one meeting in August it was surprising now busy it was.

The first stop was the AGM of the community association on DeCourcy island /pot luck lunch/bake sale with Tom’s big fish loaf of bread for the raffle and, yes, the AGM. DeCourcy island residents are very proud of their new fire truck. It was just what was needed as the old truck could only be driven by a few people. The next step is to locate tanks around the island as extra water supply. The pot luck lunch was great, my pick this year for the best-of-the-best was the beet salad.

Then there was the Concert on the Green sponsored by the Lions Club. It was a busy day with something for every member of the family.

The 60th Annual Salmon Barbecue at the Community Hall was next, with about 600 tickets sold for dinner.

Then there was a few days rest before the library’s Summer Reading Club wrap-up dance party. About 60 children came to the party, and all seemed to have a wonderful time. Thanks to the library staff for the extra effort to bring this all together.

At the RDN board meeting of August 25 several motion were passed that will affect Gabriola.

The Village Way (V W) was approved for a increase of funding of $30,000 to finish the design, cost, and engineering. This will allow us to go to tender in September. This increase in funding will come from the Area B Community Works Fund.

Signage for Cox Community Park was approved along with two benches, and a welcome sign will be added to the 2016 parks budget.

The RDN has entered into agreement with EMCON to purchase the three lots on Paisley Place for future recreational facilities.

Why do we need these lots? They are the only place in the Village area where we could build recreation facilities in the future. They have the right zoning and the size is good, having a combined area of 8.5 acres.

The first step is to acquire the land and we will be going to referendum in Feb. 2016 for this. After community approval we can spend years, if we choose, to vision what we what there. Personally I think we should take some time – possibly years before doing anything at all. We would need to have a larger population to support almost any recreation facility so this is about securing the future.

REVISED: The tax requisition for the property would be $4.85 per $100,000, so for the average house on Gabriola about $17 for the first year and then it will drop to $3.25 per year, or about $13 dollars for the average home to secure the lands for generations to come.

The GERTIE Funding Report will be coming before the RDN board at the September 08 meeting. This report should outline how the service may be funded (if approved by the voter) and set up the bylaws and the referendum question. If the RDN board approves all that, we may go to the polls at the same time as the EMCON land purchase (Feb. 2016). I will be sure to report back to you on this issue.

Still having fun,

Howard

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