The Regional District of Nanaimo will conduct a feasibility study regarding the building a new pool in the Parksville area.
The board, at its regular meeting on Dec. 5, approved a motion to establish a bylaw for the Parksville Pool Feasibility Service.
The cost of the study is $170,000 and will be shared by the City of Parksville, Town of Qualicum Beach and Electoral Areas E, F, G, and H.
Staff recommended the funding apportionment for the study should be based on 100 per cent assessment but Area E (Nanoose Bay) director Bob Rogers countered it should be based on 100 per cent population.
“Population is a better indication of usage and of the end result with respect to the feasibility study and what may happen within Parksville,” said Rogers, who added population significantly varies from each of the participating municipalities and areas.
“It’s population that really determines what the potential usage and so on of that pool facility if the feasibility says it should go ahead will be,” he said. “And it’s also the population that will determine how many people are available to use it.”
Nanaimo director Leonard Krog understands Rogers’s rationale, as homes in Nanoose Bay are more expensive compared to other areas and will likely end up paying more. He found the proposition interesting as the RDN collect taxes on the basis of assessment and if it’s based on population, it will impact the electoral districts and communities.
Parksville director Doug O’Brien supported Rogers’s proposal as a way of getting the feasibility study moving forward.
“If it was by 100 per cent assessment, Area E would be considerably more,” said O’Brien. “But speaking of the usage of the pool should be really based on population. That’s the fairest way to spread this funding.”
Area F (Coombs, Hilliers, Errington, Whiskey Creek, Meadowood) director Leanne Salter was not in favour of Rogers’s motion as she feels Area E will end up paying less compared to the other areas. Salter proposed an amendment to the motion to make it 50 per cent assessment and 50 per cent population.
“That would be easier to manage than the 100 per cent population,” said Salter. “I think the numbers are clear for all of us. We see what’s in front of us.”
The board eventually voted in favour of Salter’s motion to make the funding apportionment for the study based on 50 per cent assessment and 50 per cent population. Rogers was opposed.