Regional Director’s Report September/October 2015

Things really picked up at the RDN after a slow August . The RDN board meeting of September 08 passed bylaw 1734, this bylaw was the start towards a referendum in February 2016 for GERTIE : Gabriola’s Community Bus Service.

GERTIE bus schedule
GERTIE bus schedule

When you read the bylaw you may notice that the tax requisition is for up to $250,000 per year. It is common for these bylaws to ask for more then what is needed now for the service. The Gabriola Reaction society (GRS) is a example of that, the referendum tax requisition is for up to $262,000 but has only now needed $101,000 per year. The reason is as costs increase over the years that we do not need to hold another referendum at the cost of $15 to 20 thousand dollars to get an increase of a few thousand dollars. The GERTIE bus service is asking for $146,000 a year to run the system and that includes a $6000 dollar administration fee for the RDN.

GERITIE funding will be administered similar to the way the Gabriola Recreation Society (GRS) is with the RDN has nominal responsibility for operation of the service. This will allow the service to be flexible to met Gabriolan’s needs. Part of the agreement will be regular reporting to the RDN with audited financial statement and the RDN board approves their budget yearly.

The Village Way (VW) has move another step forward with the final plans going to MOIT for their approval .With that process going on our engineer will do a material estimate and costing on the project. If all that goes well and depending on the cost we could decide to do it all at once or in phases, we should be going to tender in late November. When the VW is built it will be the just the Way then we will need to see how the community uses the space and add things like benches, a plaza??

The Fall Fair was fun to be at but the best part after all the animals and crops was the Annual Zucchini RACE. The creativity of the race cars is amazing and the crashes spectacular; it may be a good place the try out safety equipment next year.

I see the RDN rain water harvesting rebates are full for 2015.If you are planning to apply for a rebate you will need to wait until 2016 to buy what you need and do the work to be eligible for the program. There are a number of rebates available through the RDN go to our web site look under RDN A-Z scroll down to rebates click and you’re in. B.C hydro has rebates to help people covert from oil to a heat pump and form electric base board heaters to a heat pump. Do not forget the local heat pump group who can sell you a heat pump at cost and have people who have installed over 300 heat pumps on Gabriola. You can call Bob McKechnie 250 247-8197 for more details.

Mudge Islanders are back at finding the water access on Mudge, this project will show people where the accesses are with a small trial to the water and may be a bench to sit and take in the wonderful views.

People have been asking about the increases to the tax requisition from the Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) these past few years. The increases are to correct what happened in the past. The VIRL board decided to deferrer maintaince in favor of expansion and yes that bear bit them in the back side a few years later. We are now back on track and have put in place a much better plan but I believe we can still do better for the taxpayer.

The Union of B.C municipalities ( UBCM) was interesting the most silly resolution was to change the title of electoral area directors to Rural Mayor. I could just see the RDN board room with 17 Mayors, the conventions must have seen the same thing and crushed this one right out of the starting gate .There was lots of good debate on the really motion on the Environment, transportation, taxation ,land use, community economic development and more.

This past September 30 the Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Center celebrated their 50th anniversary with an opening address from Grace Elliott-Nielsen reviewing the last 50 years. After all the speeches and lunch we were offer a guided tour through the 6 different services building of Tillicum Lelum.

Village visioning had a meeting on water in the village core with about 30 people in attendance. The guest speakers offered different views on the possibilities follow by group discussions.

A hardly cheer of Sheila our MP It was a long election but after 11 weeks of very hard campaigning Sheila step out front as the best choice to represent us in Ottawa. I know she will work very hard for us in her new job.

The RDN has had their first community to community forum , this one was with the Qualicum First Nation(QFN). The QFN received funding from the UBCM meant to provide opportunities for local governments and first nations to come together to discuss topic of mutual interest or concern .

 

Still having fun

Howard

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