Qualicum Beach will replace specifically-dedicated picnic tables that have been damaged, reversing an existing policy that would have seen some of the tables not replaced at all.
Town council voted unanimously on Aug. 13 to discontinue a portion of its own donated picnic tables policy that would allow the town not to replace them in the case of damage.
“We’re letting people put their name and cash forward to beautify the town,” said councillor Dave Willie, in agreeing with both coun. Bill Luchtmeijer and mayor Teunis Westbroek that the town should be replacing the tables.
The town has historically offered dedication of picnic tables, for a fee, to the families of deceased residents. The fee to do so has been $750. Now, under a revised policy, the town will charge a one-time fee of $2,250 to buy and maintain the picnic table for 12 years.
Town staff had been seeking to renew the existing policy, with the addition of the increased fee. Council, however, voted to remove the part of the policy that removed any obligation to replace damaged picnic tables.
“I’m not happy with the point that the town doesn’t have anything in place to replace a vandalized table,” said Westbroek.
Corporate administrator Trudy Coates pointed out the town does eat a lot of the extra costs associated with installing and maintaining the tables — which can be well over the $2,250. Chief administrative officer Mark Brown noted the tables themselves are pretty vandal-resistant.
“The risk is low that we’ll have to replace them,” he said.