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RDN gets backing to include Electoral Area E (Nanoose Bay) into aquatic services funding

District must still receive approval from inspector of municipalities
The Ravensong Aquatic Centre at 737 Jones St. in Qualicum Beach. (PQB file photo)

The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) has consent from Parksville and Qualicum Beach for their District 69 Swimming Pool Service Amendment Bylaw, that would have Electoral Area E (Nanoose Bay) participate in funding for aquatic services in the RDN.

As part of the approval process for the bylaw, under the Local Government Act, the RDN required the consent of at least two-thirds of local participants, including both the City of Parksville and the Town of Qualicum Beach.

The town voted unanimously in favour on Wednesday, Feb. 2, during a regular council meeting (as moved by Coun. Teunis Westbroek, seconded by Coun. Anne Skipsey). The city also voted unanimously in favour during their regular council meeting on Monday, Feb. 7 (as moved by Coun. Mark Chandler, seconded by Coun. Doug O’Brien).

The motion to include Area E into the bylaw was first introduced by Lehann Wallace, Electoral Area G (French Creek, San Pareil, Little Qualicum) director at the Oceanside Services Committee meeting on Feb. 11, 2021. Wallace’s motion passed, with Area E director Bob Rogers and Area F (Errington, Coombs and Hilliers) director Leanne Salter voting against.

READ MORE: RDN director wants Nanoose Bay residents to contribute for Ravensong pool services

“We need to look at this and be able to provide a more equitable means of moving forward as a committee for the deliverance of services in Oceanside (Parksville Qualicum Beach region),” said Wallace.

As Area E has not contributed any funding to the construction, maintenance and operations cost of the Ravensong Aquatic Centre, built in 1995, it will now be phased into the service over a five-year period, at 20 per cent increases per year, with an apportionment based on 50 per cent assessment and 50 per cent usage formula.

The funding includes contribution for both operating and capital costs for the service per the RDN’s approved five-year financial plan.

“I want to thank the board for making sure that if Oceanside (Parksville Qualicum Beach region) is going to be treated as a region, we all contribute to everything equally. We all support each other equally. And this is a good direction,” said Coun. Scott Harrison at the Town of Qualicum Beach’s Feb. 2 regular council meeting.

According to the RDN, Delcy Wells, general manager of corporate services, indicated the funding bylaw is not yet approved as there are still a few steps in the process to complete.

“The RDN must receive approval from the Inspector of Municipalities (which we are currently waiting on); this approval is required before the bylaw can then be adopted by the board,” read an email to PQB News from RDN communications.

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Mandy Moraes

About the Author: Mandy Moraes

I joined Black Press Media in 2020 as a multimedia reporter for the Parksville Qualicum Beach News, and transferred to the News Bulletin in 2022
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