The School District 69 (Qualicum) board supports an eight-lane competitive track for the Ballenas track upgrade project. (File photo)

Qualicum school district board reiterates support for 8-lane track at Ballenas Secondary

Officials pen another letter to Regional District of Nanaimo to clarify position

The School District 69 (Qualicum) board had the impression Parksville Mayor and Regional District of Nanaimo director Ed Mayne, knew of their support for an eight-lane option for the Ballenas track upgrade.

Chair Eve Flynn wrote another letter to the RDN to supplement an earlier correspondence requesting a $500,000 commitment towards the track upgrade. Mayne, at the RDN’s committee of the whole meeting on Jan. 14, did not support the financial funding request as he felt the school district has not made it clear the type of track it wants to established.

“As a board, we understood that Mayor Mayne, as the RDN board representative on the Ballenas Track Renewal Steering Committee, was aware of our board’s support for an eight-lane competition track, and would have represented to the RDN the commitment of the steering committee and our board to that objective,” Flynn stated in her letter.

“Judging by comments attributed to Mayor Mayne at the January meeting, we now understand that that was not the case. We regret any lack of clarity in that regard.”

READ MORE: Regional District of Nanaimo not ready to commit $500K to Ballenas track project

The RDN committee of the whole decided to defer the request to the Oceanside Services Committee for further discussions. Area H director Stuart McLean made the motion.

Prior to passing the motion, Mayne stated, “I find it hard to understand what we’re going to defer quite frankly, since they don’t know what kind of a track they’re going to build. They don’t know whether it’s going to be three lanes, eight lanes or six lanes, whether they’re going to level the park. What are they going to do yet they’re still asking for $500,000? I think we should just send it back and suggest to them when they know what they’re going to do as a board. Then perhaps at that point in time we could evaluate whether we’re willing to donate $500,000 to them.”

Flynn, in her latest letter to the RDN board, pointed out the school board passed two motions at its public meeting on Dec. 14, 2019. One was asking the RDN for financial support and the other was to support in principle the recommendation of the Ballenas Track Renewal Steering Committee to plan for the construction of an eight-lane competition standard track at Ballenas Secondary, with the final decision to come after reports from the committee on all implications including in relation to funding of both the construction and the ongoing maintenance of the track.

The school board aims to present more details of the plan at the RDN’s Oceanside Services Committee meeting on Feb. 13.

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