Qualicum Beach council recently debated a pair of major projects with applications in for funding from Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
The first is an all-season turf surface to be built on the town’s Community Park; and the other is a roundabout located at Village Way and Island Highway West near Eaglecrest.
Coun. Scott Harrison said they were informed by staff it is highly unlikely the town will get two grants.
“We’re going to get one,” said Harrison. “The question is, which one?”
Harrison suggested the town should focus on the turf-field project as it has received unanimous support from the Regional District of Nanaimo’s Oceanside Services Committee. And for that reason, Harrison said perhaps the Eaglecrest roundabout project should be withdrawn.
“I think it would be very wise to look at which one we should have, a single application for the turf field, withdraw the application for the roundabout and ask staff how we can pay for the roundabout for five years. I think that may be a better way of doing things,” he said.
Coun. Teunis Westbroek said council had already acknowledged the roundabout as the top priority.
Westbroek suggested if the Oceanside Services Committee supports the all-turf project, as a bigger body, they should go after the grant on behalf of the regional district to build the all-season surface in Qualicum Beach.
“They should be applying for the funding if it’s important to them and not use our ticket,” said Westbroek.
He said the town has already invested a considerable amount of money and staff time on the study and design of roundabout. Westbroek suggested council sit down with new elected MLA for Parksville-Qualicum, Adam Walker, to provide him with all the background reports on the project that may help him convince the province why the roundabout is important to Qualicum Beach.
Harrison made a notice of motion to be discussed at the next regular council meeting, Jan.13, that council withdraws the application for the community infrastructure grants for the Eaglecrest roundabout and direct staff to provide a reasonable plan for the construction of a roundabout in Eaglecrest within the next five years.
The roundabout project will cost $1,986,510.42, while the community park field upgrades will cost $4,959,590. The Oceanside Youth Soccer Society has committed $235,000 to the turf plan.