Untitled Resource

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, May 2 2017

The Regional District of Nanaimo is evaluating whether the Gabriola Island Community Hall should remain the designated emergency reception site for the south end, or whether to move the designation to the Gabriola United Church.

Howard Houle, RDN Director for Electoral Area B (Gabriola, Mudge, DeCourcy) said this past week the RDN staff are evaluating the two sites and will be bringing a report forward to the RDN Emergency Services Committee on May 9. That committee will then forward a recommendation and report to the entire RDN board on May 16 for a decision to be made.

A key part of having the designation as the emergency reception site is that the RDN pays to have an emergency generator installed.

The Rollo Centre is the reception site for the north end of Gabriola, and a generator was installed there in 2009 through the RDN’s emergency preparedness program.

In 2012, the federal government terminated the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program which had helped to provide funding for other generators to be installed throughout the RDN for reception sites.

The Gabriola Island Community Hall has been the on-paper site since the Emergency Preparedness Program was started. Houle said, “In order to have a generator installed, the building needs to be evaluated for readiness and that it is appropriate.”

RDN staff met with representatives of the hall board to discuss issues and whether the hall was ready, and whether the building was capable.

Houle said RDN staff found out during those discussions that the electric boiler for the hall is 48 kilowatts. The generators installed by the RDN put out 20 kilowatts, less than half of what is needed.

He said that as part of the discussions, RDN staff evaluated other potential locations - the other one being looked at is the United Church.

“We’re now waiting on a staff report on the suitability of the two locations as a reception centre.”