The Regional District of Nanaimo board wants to review the options before they amend a bylaw that would require residents of Nanoose Bay to pay taxes for the Ravensong Aquatic Centre in Qualicum Beach.
Chair Tyler Brown presented a motion to defer the issue to the District 69 Swimming Pool Service Select Committee, consisting of City of Parksville directors Ed Mayne and Adam Fras, Qualicum Beach director Brian Wiese, Electoral Area E (Nanoose Bay) director Bob Rogers, Area F (Coombs, Hilliers, Errington, Whiskey Creek, Meadowood) director Leanne Salter, Area G (Englishman River, San Pareil, French Creek, Little Qualicum, Dashwood) director Lehann Wallace and Area H (Bowser, Horne Lake, Deep Bay, Qualicum Bay) director Stuart McLean.
At the board’s regular meeting on May 10, Brown said he wants a review of the options due to the narrow margin of the vote last month when they gave the proposed bylaw amendment second and third reading, and also on previous occasions when they have voted on the issue.
“I don’t want to punish someone… (if) they made a voting error especially on this topic which has been very confusing and very fluid and very close in the vote,” said Brown, who wants to workshop it and see if there is a path forward.
“We’re giving ourselves one last opportunity with the participants that are directly affected by the discussion to see if there is a position that is slightly different from what has been contemplated before.”
Area A director Keith Wilson agreed residents in Area E should be given the opportunity to provide input and also be consulted.
“Without that happening is a bit of taxation without representation,” said Wilson. “So that’s my case. I am willing to listen about this select committee and hope they can find a solution. If they don’t, I am quite happy to see it come back here.”
The board unanimously approved Brown’s motion.
Area E residents have not paid for the pool service and its maintenance since it was constructed in 1995. They are now being asked to pay their share of the cost. Statistics indicate less than four per cent of the residents in Nanoose Bay use the pool.
The bylaw amendment recommends Nanoose Bay residents pay taxes based on 50 per cent usage and 50 per cent on property assessments. Residents simply want the usage pay options.
— NEWS Staff