Ravensong Funding

Ravensong Funding Q&A

The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) Board is reviewing the funding model for Ravensong Aquatic Centre and has proposed to include Electoral Area E in funding aquatic services. The FAQs provide information about the funding history, proposed funding amendment and process for making amendments. 

Facility Background
  • Ravensong Aquatic Centre is a Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) owned and operated facility located Qualicum Beach that is currently funded by Parksville, Qualicum Beach, and electoral areas F, G and H.
  • Ravensong Aquatic Centre was constructed in 1995. The construction debt was paid off in 2015.
  • In early 1993, the District 69 Recreation Commission recommended that both an aquatic services bylaw and a separate loan authorization bylaw to borrow funding to construct an aquatic facility in District 69 be established. In April of 1993, the RDN approved the readings of both bylaws that were subsequently established after a referendum on both was held on June 19, 1993. The question on the ballot was:
    • "Are you in favour of proposed "Regional District of Nanaimo District 69 Swimming Pool Local Service Area Establishment Bylaw No. 899, 1993" and proposed "Regional District of Nanaimo District 69 Swimming Pool Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 900, 1993" pursuant to which bylaws, if enacted, the Regional District of Nanaimo would establish the swimming pool local service, operate the facility as a local service and borrow up to a maximum of $4.2 million to construct the swimming pool facility?"
  • Approval of the bylaws was sought from the electors in the entire proposed local service area and not for each area separately. The referendum for both the bylaws passed with 57.39 per cent in favour.
  • Prior to the referendum, it was determined by the Board that Electoral Area E would not be part of the aquatic service. Therefore, Electoral Area E did not participate in the referendum and no polling was completed for the area.
Who uses Ravensong Aquatic Centre?

Accordion Based on 2015 data, the following are the usage rates by member municipality and electoral area residents:

Usage

Note: NA = Nanaimo, PV = Parksville, QB = Qualicum Beach, LZ = Lantzville. Visit rdn.bc.ca/electoral-areas to see a map of the region and electoral area boundaries.

Who funds Ravensong Aquatic Centre?
  • The current funding participants are Parksville, Qualicum, EA F, EA G and EA H.
  • $3,866,000 in reserves to date has been contributed by the funding participants for continued maintenance and/or upgrades.
How is Ravensong Aquatic Centre funded?
  • The current funding participants pay through a combination of 50 per cent assessment and 50 per cent usage.
Do Electoral Area E residents pay to use Ravensong Aquatic Centre?
  • Currently, EA E residents only pay an admission fee to use Ravensong Aquatic Centre.
  • No surcharge is applied at RDN facilities based on where you live or if you are not contributing through taxation.
  • In the existing funding model, there is no surcharge to EA E residents for aquatic services in the Oceanside area.
How are funding allocations for services determined?
  • Based on the review of aquatic services done over the past two decades, elected officials have determined that some form of assessment and/or usage formula be included in the formula for funding aquatic services in the Oceanside area.
  • The usage agreements are intended to allow equitable access for all RDN residents to local government-operated recreation facilities within the RDN. 
  • When Ravensong Aquatic Centre opened, it had a two-tier fee admission in place - a regular admission fee for residents of the participating areas EA F, G, H, Parksville and Qualicum Beach and a higher fee for residents outside those areas which includes EA E. This system was difficult to manage and not cost-effective. This approach also discouraged the use of the pool by tourists and guests of residents, resulting in limited pool revenue.
  • The April 26, 2022, Report to the Board has general information on RDN service funding.
What new funding model is the RDN proposing for Ravensong Aquatic Centre?
  • The RDN Board has proposed that the Regional District of Nanaimo District 69 Swimming Pool Service Establishment Bylaw No. 899, 1993 (Bylaw 899) be amended to include Electoral Areas E, F, G, H, the City of Parksville and the Town of Qualicum Beach, based on an apportionment model of 1/3 assessment, 1/3 population and 1/3 usage.
What is a service establishing bylaw?
  • Generally, a regional district must adopt a service establishing bylaw to provide a new service to the community. This bylaw describes what the service is, defines the boundaries and identifies the participating areas of the service, sets the maximum amount that can be requisitioned, and indicates the method of cost recovery for the service.
How are changes to service establishing bylaws made?
  • The Local Government Act (LGA) allows the Board to amend a service establishing bylaw with the consent of at least two-thirds of the participants in the service (for Ravensong Aquatic Centre, the participants are Parksville, Qualicum, EA F, EA G and EA H). As a result, in the case of adding a participating area to the service(s), the Board may amend the service establishing bylaw in the following two ways:
    • With the consent of at least two-thirds of the participants in the service (including any proposed new participant) and Inspector of Municipalities' approval; or
    • In accordance with the requirements applicable to the adoption of the bylaw that it amends (such as a referendum or alternative approval process), and Inspector of Municipalities' approval.
  • The RDN Board is currently considering option (b) to amend the pool service bylaw. The Board has asked staff to prepare a report on the possibility of holding the referendum during the upcoming election on October 15, 2022, as well as other options.
Where is the RDN at in the process of amending the service establishing bylaw?
  • A service amendment bylaw has reached third reading by the RDN Board.
  • Further consideration of the bylaw amendment by the RDN Board has been put on hold while the funding model and process is reviewed by the District 69 Swimming Pool Service Select Committee and RDN Board.
  • The committee met on May 17 and June 7, 2022 and reported back to the RDN Board with its recommendation at the June 14, 2022 board meeting.
  • The Board approved the funding model recommendation of 1/3 assessment, 1/3 population and 1/3 usage and will determine next steps after receipt of the staff report.
Has the Inspector of Municipalities approved the proposed amendment to the service establishing bylaw?
  • The bylaw has been sent to the Ministry but is on hold pending the outcome of the meetings and any further direction from the Board.
Additional Information