There have been suggestions that the spending in municipalities is out of control. Nowhere is it more evident than in Qaulicum Beach.
Yesterday, a truck and trailer load of large concrete pipe was on site to remedy perceived by the Town engineer to fix a problem that does not exist, the rain that accumulates between the tracks and Village Way.
During the Community Plan review it was reported that one person had expressed a need for a trail to the beach. It just happened that the Town had an engineering study done by consultants to widen the road and install massive storm drains to the ocean. Residents close to Memorial gathered 400 signatures in opposition but were ignored by council.
My concern was twofold. The removal of the trees would expose the parking at the back of the apartment building, and any privacy they enjoyed but also require a massive, expensive retaining wall.
The other concern was that the first OCP contained a zero runoff policy (that rainwater should be allowed to drain into the aquifer on site). The first review of the OCP after the engineer was on staff was changed to read that there was a zero runoff policy if it did not interfere with the drainage system. It looks as if the engineer does not understand the concept of zero runoff or is obsessed with building drains. Most areas of Qualicum Beach sit on pure white sand and all that is required is something to slow the runoff such as coarse rock.
I called the mayor and drove him to Memorial and showed him how by extending the shoulder six feet to the west the same results could be achieved at saving of $1 million-plus. Two weeks later he and I did the same trip with the engineer. Because of the poor response, I went to the next council meeting and addressed council. I went to the following council meeting to see their response and was told during one conversation that the project was put on hold for one year. Next, I was told that a reply would be given in August. At the August meeting they awarded the contract.
This lack of constraint on spending fixing things that are not broken is why our tax rate is double the rate compared to my relatives that live in Vancouver. Maybe a provincial auditor is what is needed.
Art Skipsey, Qualicum Beach