RDN Director’s Report for July 14, 2015

Howard Houle, Area B Director

Regional District of Nanaimo

Tuesday, July 14 2015

Now that the Madrona West project is finishing it has become more noticeable that there is no Village Trail. 

It was probably the walkways leading to the invisible trail that gave it away.

Last week all the players walked up and down the proposed Village Trail working out drainage issues so we will get all that on paper and be able to move on. 

When will we see the trail, you say? Your guess is as good if not better than mine but we are working on it.

GERTIE has been serving our community very well, but the pilot study will be coming to a close in June 2016.

There are few options to replacing GERITE - BC Transit has announced no increase in service hours. What that means is there are no funds from transit to cover part of the service. That leaves us with funding from the tax base of Gabriola - something in the neighbourhood of $11.52 per $100,000 of your home’s value. This tax would raise $120,000 per year to run the service. This option still has a way to go as there are a lot of hoops to jump through. 

The other choice is no service, which would be very sad to see after there has been a great number of volunteer hours put into making this service what it is, and have it enjoyed by so many. GERITE serves about 300 people per week - that number does go up and down but over the weeks the passenger load goes up. I am hopeful that those 800 Gabriolans who signed a petition to start GERITE will support a tax increase to continue this service.

I also attended a workshop on health partnerships; went on a facility tour of the Nanaimo pollution control centre; attended an emergency planning session; a presentation by the forest council; and emergency management planning on rapid damage assessment of buildings after a flood or earthquake.

With a federal election around the corner there are grants out there that the RDN hopes to use to help fund the improvements at Huxley Park. 

We already have two grants on the go as I write this report - one for $25,000 and the other for $100,000, so keep your fingers crossed and hopefully we will be successful.

The playground at Rollo McClay is closer as the Softball Association raised $12,000 for the project and has requested matching funding from Area B Community Works Fund.

Once the RDN board approves that request they can get started leveling and building. This playground is for 5 - 12 years of age and the one for Huxley Park will be for 2 - 5 years of age. 

With those two and the one at the Community Hall we should be well served on the playground front.  

The big concern of residents right now is possible wildfire. We have a highly trained fire department and the Emergency Services (Gabriola) Branch of the RDN is ready to help people and their pets if there is a need. I am confident that by pulling together we will be okay, so help your neighbours and be watchful. 

That is about it for now and there will be more to come in the future.

Oh, I just have one more comment: no, that is not our house that sold – it’s the neighbours. Still having fun!