RDN parks and trails funding service review completed

Board not quick to adopt solution to make funding allocations fair

The Regional District of Nanaimo has had its regional parks and trails service funding allocation reviewed to determine if it is fair to all participating jurisdictions.

The review was completed by Neilson-Welch Consulting and a report with recommendations was presented for consideration at the RDN’s committee of the whole meeting Nov. 28.

The objective was to assess the funding model that the regional district currently applies to support acquisition, development and operation of parks and trails in the RDN’s Regional Parks and Trails Service.

A variety of criteria was considered and one of the most vital elements is equity among the municipalities and electoral areas participating in the service.

The review was conducted earlier this year. It included research on funding models and financial tools used by other regional districts and local governments; examination of the acquisition, development, management and use of regional and community parks; and proposed funding options and recommendations based on the research.

The consultants’ review concluded that the level of equity across participating jurisdictions and among individual taxpayers in the Regional Park Service would be “improved by allocating acquisition, capital development and operating costs using an equal combination — 50 per cent-50 per cent — of converted assessment and population for regional parks,” the report stated.

That formula would see the City of Nanaimo’s rate share go up by $24,309, while Parksville and the Town of Qualicum would pay less — $12,913 and $520, respectively. Electoral Area B would also see a sizable decrease, of $18,372.

Upon learning the impact of the proposed funding recommendation, Nanaimo director Jerry Hong expressed his opposition and asked why the city should be paying for trails and parks that may not “directly or even indirectly” benefit them.

“If an area wants that park, it should come out of their budget,” said Hong, who added, “when do we stop paying our fair share?”

Instead of considering the recommendation of the consultant, the board decided to refer the matter back to staff. In the meantime, the committee of the whole suggested that the regional district use the existing regional parks parcel tax for the 2018 budget.

Just Posted

Mediators appointed to help address issues in IHealth review

B.C. health minister appoints Jane Morley and Jean Greatbatch as mediators

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

Homes, roads flooded in Whiskey Creek following downpour

Crews aid flooded homeowners while roads near Hwy 4 closed Sunday morning

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Oceanside Generals stun Victoria, 3-2

Junior B club snaps seven-year losing streak to Cougars

Parksville MakerSpace members ride the rails

New room added for model train enthusiasts; workshop set for Jan. 21

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

UPDATE: Ferries sailing again after stormy weather caused cancellations

B.C. Ferries cancelled numerous sailings around Vancouver Island today, Jan. 21

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

UPDATE: Police continue to seek missing Qualicum Beach woman

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Most Read