Keeping in touch
Welcome to the second issue of Electoral Area B Update.
Welcome to the second issue of Electoral Area B Update.
Thanks to the dedication and hard work of many volunteers and RDN staff, significant progress is being made to improve Gabriola s community parks and public beach accesses. The Area B Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee (POSAC), appointed by the Regional District Board last April, is working closely with island residents and providing leadership and input on community parks, trails development and waterfront access.
|Gabriola Island resident Donald Omlid is a good neighbour who is helping the RDN improve beach access for residents at Bells Landing. He maintains a bench (on his property)for seniors to enjoy the view.|
A major project of the POSAC is updating an inventory of public beach accesses completed in 2000. Committee members want to identify a priority list for development and raise awareness about the 100 or so public access points along Gabriola s waterfront. Beach access work planned for 2004 includes major improvement to the El Verano boat launch and parking area serving Mudge Island. POSAC members and the RDN are also busy planning the rehabilitation of the steps to the beach at Joyce Lockwood Community Park.
Another important initiative being supported by your POSAC is the development of the Stephen Smith Memorial Skate Park at Rollo McClay Community Park. Fundraising efforts are underway by the community based non- profit group, the Ride Free Community Association, to establish a memorial park in honour of Stephen Smith, the Gabriola teen tragically killed last year. To make a donation to this worthwhile project, please contact Justin Smith at 247-9550 or email@example.com. As you can see, there are many positive developments taking place in Area B. If you have any comments or suggestions about community matters, I welcome your feedback. Please feel free to reach me by phone, fax or email contacts on the back of this newsletter. Also, you are welcome to observe the next POSAC meeting, scheduled for Monday, March 8, 2004 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Women s Institute Hall.
Gail Lund, Director,
Electoral Area B
Construction of a new wharf at Descanso Bay is underway.
Tenders for the project closed in November and Gadd Marine Constructors Inc. of Coombs was awarded the contract. The purpose of the wharf is to provide for B.C. Ambulance Service medical emergency evacuations from Gabriola Island when B.C. Ferries service is not available. A referendum asking voters to finance the project passed in November with a high percentage of support 71 percent. Thanks to a generous donation from the Nanaimo Port Authority, project costs have been kept to a minimum. The Port Authority donated a 40-foot long, eight- foot wide floating wharf and provided a 60-foot ramp at a cost of $4,000.
The Regional District of Nanaimo will host a full day Drinking Water Protection Workshop in May. Specific stakeholders with concerns about the provision of drinking water in the region and the general public are invited to attend. The purpose of the workshop is to clarify agency roles in protecting drinking water and identify where the gaps are to ensure our water supply is safe. Right now, drinking water is provided to residents in many different ways. Residents receive drinking water from municipal water systems, improvement districts, private water utilities, water user communities, individual wells or other systems. The catalyst for the RDN Drinking Water Protection Workshop was the Provincial Government fs new Drinking Water Protection Act passed in 2003, which sets new requirements for providers of drinking water. Some of the new requirements could present challenges to non-municipal water service providers in terms of having appropriately skilled personnel, the necessary infrastructure and financial resources to fulfill new obligations under the Act. A Drinking Water Protection Workshop was also identified as an action item in the RDN Board's Strategic Plan. Watch for more details about the workshop in community newspapers and on the RDN website.
The RDN Board approved the Descanso Bay Regional Park Management Plan in December. The five year plan includes policies that form the guiding framework for the day-to-day operations and longer-term management for the park between 2004 and 2008. The plan details operational requirements for the Park Operator and administration requirements for the RDN. The 40-acre oceanfront property became the RDN fs sixth regional park (and Gabriola fs first)when it was purchased in 2002. The park, located on Taylor Bay Road one kilometre from the ferry terminal, includes a campground with 32 wooded sites. The campground will operate again this year under an arrangement with a contractor. The Descanso Bay Regional Park Management Plan was developed following an extensive public consultation process, including input from island residents, Islands Trust Trustees and staff, B. C. Park fs staff and relevant Provincial and Federal agencies. Two open houses were held seeking comments and input from the general public, community and user groups.
The Regional District of Nanaimo fs 2004 Annual Budget and five year Financial Plan (2004 to 2009)must be adopted by March 31. The requirement to prepare a Financial Plan reflects changes in the Local Government Act that took effect January, 2003. The RDN Board will review the Financial Plan at meetings scheduled on February 17 and March 2 at 7 p.m. in the Board Chambers at the RDN Administration Building, 6300 Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo. The meetings are open to the public. Open houses regarding the Annual Budget and Financial Plan are scheduled for March 4 (District 68)and March 11 (District 69). Locations will be advertised in community newspapers and on the RDN website.
The Provincial Solicitor General Ministry, responsible for policing, has deferred the issue of additional policing costs for residents in unincorporated areas and municipalities under 5,000 until the year 2007. The RDN remains opposed to the proposal in its current form because it would significantly increase taxes in an unfair and inequitable manner. Under the provincial plan, rural areas and municipalities under 5, 000 would contribute an average of 50 percent towards the cost of rural policing. The formula is based on a Province wide assessment, which would result in RDN residents in the unincorporated areas paying 86 percent of our policing costs. The RDN has prepared a position paper that states that any formula implemented to recover policing costs should be established on the principle of fairness and equity, in which all regional districts pay their share based upon service provided to their area. The RDN will continue to advocate its position to the Province.
Cold winter weather means more people are using woodstoves. Wood smoke has become a serious kind of air pollution in B. C. That fs because it contains fine particulates. Exposure to high levels of fine particulates can cause respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and emphysema. A few simple steps can make wood stoves more efficient.
Source: Ministry of Water, Land & Air Protection brochure °Reducing Wood Stove Smoke: A Burning Issue. "For more information on wood smoke issues, check the ministry's website at http://www.gov.bc.ca/air/ particulates www.gov.bc.ca/air/particulates.
Electoral Area Director |Gail Lund
250-247-8847 /Fax 250-247-8825 |firstname.lastname@example.org