JOHN GRIFFITHSNEWS Contributor
The beleaguered Island Corridor Foundation, long hoping to resurrect mid-Island passenger rail service to Victoria, now faces the spectre of losing its 2017 property tax exemption from the City of Parksville.
What seemed a routine staff recommendation to approve the exemption of $7,713.18 along with others was thrown into doubt by Coun. Leanne Salter.
“There is no train any more,” observed Salter. “I don’t know what they (the ICF) are doing.”
Mayor Marc Lefebvre said only Langford in Greater Victoria had made similar threats to the best of his knowledge leading to some railway crossing difficulties. The mayor also wondered if Parksville might have to pay retroactively if rail service were eventually resumed.
Council directed municipal staff to investigate what impacts might arise from withdrawal of the subsidy and to report back so that the matter can be dealt with at a future meeting. Meanwhile, a 100 percent property tax exemption for the Parksville Lawn Bowling Club in 2017 was approved.