The Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society will get a funding increase from the Regional District of Nanaimo.
The society appeared as a delegation at the RDN’s committee of the whole meeting on March 9 to request its annual financial assistance from the district be hiked from $7,500 to $17,500.
The committee endorsed a motion by Electoral Area H (Bowser, Qualicum Bay, Deep Bay) director Stuart McLean that the 2021-2025 financial plan be amended to increase the regular contribution to the society in the District 69 Marine Search and Rescue Service from $7,500 to $8,500 in 2021 and to increase the funding to $17,500 from 2022 to 2026.
McLean said at present, only Electoral Area H residents pay for the service and would like to see the increase happen.
Electoral Area G (French Creek, San Pareil, Little Qualicum, Englishman River) director Lehann Wallace supported the motion. She pointed out the RDN contribution to the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 27 in Nanaimo is $17,500.
“It seems that the areas their servicing (Lighthouse) is somewhat similar in size,” said Wallace.
Daniel Pearce, RDN director of transportation and emergency services, had indicated they are preparing a report regarding the Bowser service station and the discrepancy that has occurred .
Parksville director Adam Fras suggested they expand the report to include the Nanaimo operation to determine distribution cost across the region, not just the Deep Bay station.
Doug Dickson of the Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society indicated they fund the infrastructure acquisition and operational costs, including training and development costs of RCMSAR Station 59, that has been based in Deep Bay for more than 20 years.
The society has embarked on a number of initiatives to improve their services that include enhanced training and equipment upgrades. They’ve asked the regional district for additional funding as they’re unable to fundraise due to COVID-19.
The society plans to purchase night thermal vision equipment f0r its boat as most of its operations happen in the dark. They have made a request to the RDN for $25,000 assistance.
As well, the society is building a washroom, lacking in their floating building. It will cost $12,428. The society is asking the RDN to cover the $7,500 balance they need to complete the project.