Skip to content

Site selection criteria set for Qualicum Beach’s future parks and public works facility

Consultant to be hired to conduct evaluation process
The parks yard on Jones Road and Rupert Road is one of the potential sites that will be evaluated for the Town of Qualicum Beach’s centralized operations facility. (Submitted photo)

Town of Qualicum Beach staff members have introduced a criteria to evaluate the future workplace of the town’s operations department.

Council endorsed the proposed criteria at its regular meeting on Jan. 12.

The town has been working for quite some time to consolidate the public works and parks department into a single operational unit. Currently, both departments operate separately at Jones Street Parks Yard and Fern Road Public Works Yard. Director of planning and community development Luke Sales indicated this does not meet current health and safety standards and is not efficient for operations.

“Building a centralized operations facility would benefit the town and its residents by providing essential services more efficiently, co-ordinating critical responses, streamlining resources and equipment, enhancing collaboration and working relationships among staff, and allowing space for expansion of services as the town’s population and needs expand,” said Sales.

Expanding the Jones Street yard was recommended by staff as the ideal location but some residents strongly opposed it as it will require a number of trees to be chopped down and the park trail will also be impacted.

READ MORE: Enviromental impact report sought for Qualicum Beach’s proposed operation facility

Sales provided council information of potential sites and scenarios that include just upgrading existing buildings and facilities; expansion west of the Jones Street Parks Yard; constructing a new combined operations building adjacent to the existing parks building while continuing to use the public works yard for storage and vehicle maintenance; town lands on Garden Road E,; 865 Ravensbourne Lane; and triangular parcel at the end of Ravensbourne Lane.

The criteria that will be used to select the ideal site Sales explained included a prerequisite to the decision-making process.

“Regardless of which location is chosen, continuity of operations is an essential ingredient,” said Sales. “So in other words, the town can’t just cease operations while these facilities are being upgraded. If a scenario doesn’t allow for convenient and effective continuity of operations, it will be struck and eliminated from the list.”

Sales said the criteria has been established to make council and residents aware on how potential sites would be evaluated. They include capital costs for construction and servicing; operational cost that includes travel to and from works sites to the efficiency and operation of the building; Greenhouse gas emission and environment impact; and community impact.

In reaching a decision, council will take into account input from town operations staff, the comprehensive municipal service review and public input.

The Qualicum Beach Airport, which was not included in the staff’s potential site list, was discussed by councillors Scott Harrison and Robert Filmer.

Filmer said past discussions with provincial officials indicated a possibility of using the site for the public works and parks yard. Coun. Teunis Westbroek made a successful motion to direct staff to work with the provincial government to find out whether the town can use the south airport land for town’s operations. Council also agreed to add south airport lands to the potential site lists for evaluation.

Council has opted to hire a consultant, cost $100,000, to see oversee the site selection evaluation process. Sales said hiring a consultant would establish a neutral third-party evaluation system that some residents are more comfortable with.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Be Among The First To Know

Sign up for a free account today, and receive top headlines in your inbox Monday to Saturday.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.

Don't have an account? Click here to sign up

Michael Briones

About the Author: Michael Briones

I rejoined the PQB News team in April 2017 from the Comox Valley Echo, having previously covered sports for The NEWS in 1997.
Read more