The Town of Qualicum Beach is supporting the track upgrade project at Ballenas Secondary School.
Coun. Scott Harrison made a motion that the mayor write a letter to School District 69 on behalf of council that Qualicum Beach is prepared to provide financial support to the construction of the eight-lane track.
The suggested commitment, however, does not indicate any dollar amounts or ratios. Harrison said it’s too soon for that and prefers to wait until they know what Qualicum Beach is getting into.
“It’s just a litmus test that we’re ready to contribute in some way,” said Harrison.
Coun. Adam Walker is concerned the town is committing to something without knowing the full cost. He prefers staff prepare a report so as to give council a better idea of the financial considerations.
“If we’re agreeing to an amount that’s undisclosed and then we find out it’s a lot of money, that’s really awkward,” said Walker. “Next year our capital projects balance that we have to spend is only $200,000. And as we’re looking though this agenda, there’s a lot of commitments for funds so I think it’s premature to agree to request, submit to for funds.”
Harrison reiterated that his motion does not indicate any dollar amount.
“We just want to tell the school district that we’re ready to help. We don’t know how much yet,” said Harrison. “It can be a small amount. It can be a significant amount. But that’s a decision council will have to make.”
The School District 69 has already committed $200,000 to the proposed eight-lane competitive track that is going to cost close to $2 million. The steering committee that was formed to spearhead the project has been working on raising funds for the projects.
School District 69 recently approached the Regional District of Nanaimo for a $500,000 donation as well as partnership in the maintenance of the track.
But the RDN wasn’t able to financially support it at this time as the directors want some of their concerns addressed, particularly the total cost of the project.
Westbroek said it’s a long time coming to see the track improved.
He said that the funding formula they would follow is that one similar to the Oceanside Arena. He agreed with Harrison that they should look at the cost.
Walker argued against it.
“The concern we have is we basically know what the formula is and we’re going to get stuck with a very large portion of the cost of a multimillion-dollar project. And we’re doing that on a whim without staff report,” said Walker.
Council voted in favour of Harrison’s motion with Walker opposed.