Searching for funding fairness for Regional District of Nanaimo-shared facilities

Parksville will pay $11,000 more a year, while Qualicum Beach pays $6,000 more

The Regional District of Nanaimo is shifting its funding formula for recreational facilities to something believed to be more fair.

“It’s fundamental fairness,” said Parksville mayor Chris Burger, as that city’s council discussed their support for the change.

The change will affect the Oceanside Place arena and Ravensong Aquatic Centre and will shift from a purely assessment-based division of funding by different municipalities and RDN areas to a formula based on 50 per cent assessed property value and 50 per cent facility usage.

The change will mean that areas jurisdictions where people use the facilities more will pay slightly more, while the others will pay less.

Electoral area H, including residents as far from the facilities as Deep Bay, would pay an estimated $20,000 less per year.

The amount of funding from Parksville would go up about $11,300, Qualicum Beach would increase about $6,000 and area G (French Creek, Dashwood) would go up $10,500. Area E (Nanoose Bay) would go down $8,000 and area F (Errington, Coombs) would go down $800.

The usage rate would be based on an RDN survey and the changes will be phased in over five years.

“This is about as fair as you can get,” Burger said. “There was a lot of discussion at the board room table in Nanaimo . . . virtually everyone around the table was in agreement.”

Parksville council unanimously supported the RDN request. Qualicum Beach town council did the same Monday night.