Qualicum Beach town council has awarded a grubbing contract for the new fire hall despite concerns being raised by residents about parkland on the site near the roundabout.
At a special meeting Dec. 18, council awarded the site clearing, grubbing and grading contract to Locar Industries Ltd. for $157,893.75.
The minutes of the meeting suggest council discussed the fact about one-third of the site is designated as parkland, deeded to the town as part of a subdivision deal years ago. Despite numerous discussions at council meetings, open houses and information meetings related to the fire hall, the issue of the parkland hadn’t been openly discussed.
“Staff explained that a portion of the new fire hall site is designated as parkland, and that it has always been a part of the workplan to reconfigure or relocate this portion of park,” said the portion of the minutes released by the town last week. “There are two ways that the parkland can be amended by a municipality, and town is proceeding with the process so that it is finished before construction begins.”
Last week, Qualicum Beach resident Tony Wilde wrote The NEWS to express his parkland-related concerns about the site for the new $6 million fire hall.
“There’s a lot of wildlife in there,” wrote Wilde. “It’s not just a piece of scrubland. (The new fire hall) is in the wrong location.”
After the story broke in the Dec. 19 edition of The NEWS, Coun. Dave Willie said the project won’t be derailed or delayed by the parkland debate.
“It’s not an issue, but I think it should have been mentioned at the public meeting,” said Willie. “That would have been the right way to do it. But it’s not zoned for park, and it’s not Crown land.”
Town council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for January 13 7 p.m. at the civic centre.
• Also at council’s special meeting Dec. 18, a development permit to add 528 square feet to the north side of Hanger No. 8 at Qualicum Beach Airport (Sunwest Helicopters) for the purpose of adding a washroom and additional storage was approved.