RDN report for April

Vanessa Craig Director,

Electoral Area B, Regional District of Nanaimo

Wednesday, April 21 2021

New Emergency Reception Centre at the Community Hall

Another support structure for our community’s emergency response is in place now that the Community Hall has a generator, financed by the RDN. Congratulations and thanks to the Community Hall Board for their perseverance in meeting the criteria to become a designated Emergency Reception Centre. 

In the event of an emergency, when activated through the RDN and Emergency Management BC, the Hall will be able to serve as an official reception centre.

Neighbourhood Emergency Preparedness Program (NEPP) Webinar

Thanks to those of you who were able to join the RDN’s webinar on the NEP program yesterday! There will be other opportunities to attend webinars. If you’re interested in learning more about the NEP program, please see https://www.rdn.bc.ca/neighborhood-emergency-preparedness. There are quite a few neighbourhoods on Gabriola that have NEPP groups. If you’d like to find out more about whether or not there’s a group in your area, contact me, or Melissa Tomlinson at emergencyservices@rdn.bc.ca or 250-390-6759. Melissa or Gabriola’s own emergency support services team lead Shirley Nicolson can provide information and training. 

Social needs assessment and strategy

Thanks to those of you who answered the online social needs assessment survey, which is now closed. Engagement will continue with focussed interviews, group discussions, and workshops in collaboration with local service providers (which on Gabriola is the Health and Wellness Collaborative). This is leading to the development of a draft social needs assessment and strategy, expected in June. More information here: https://www.getinvolved.rdn.ca/social-needs-strategy 

Village Way Path

As you can tell the Village Way Path is nearing completion. 

Some updates:

• The fencing in front of the Madrona Marketplace. Several people have noted that, when coming out of the Island Home and Garden Entrance, the black pickets form a visual barrier and it’s difficult to see oncoming traffic. This has been brought to the attention of the project supervisors and the engineers. The height of the fence is determined by safety standards based on the height of the path. Now that the path is paved, the driveway flares are narrowed and the stop bars are in place, the site will be re-evaluated to determine whether changes need to be made. I’ll continue to provide updates;

• Entrances/exits to commercial areas. The previous entrances were wide and often people cut corners as they moved in and out of driveways, or they made rolling stops. The entrances have been narrowed to become T-intersections so that people fully stop prior to moving forward;

• Curb let-downs. The path is designed to have a high curb beside it. This provides additional protection to the users of the path and prevents people from parking along the path. When the curb was placed, the let-downs (ie. inclined areas to go on and off the path at intersections) were not initially included which generated some conversation. They have now been installed;

• At the corner of North Rd and Church St, the placement of the curb made it difficult for people coming down Church St to access the path, where they might choose to cross to the mailboxes. That area was modified to allow easier access to the path.

Huxley Park Phase 2

As previously reported in the Sounder, the tender package for constructing the skatepark and other aspects of Phase 2 of Huxley Park is out and closes in a couple of weeks. Once we receive the bids we’ll have a better idea of the timeline of the project, with the continuing goal of having the project completed in 2021.

Other updates

Coming to the Board this month from the Electoral Area Services Committee:

• a new Bylaw Enforcement Policy that lays out the process of bylaw enforcement as well as identifies the responsibility of staff, Directors, and the Board;

• an update on emergency services grants that outlines the various projects that are underway thanks to grants received and identifies projects where we’re still waiting to hear about grants. The report mentions receiving a grant for group lodging supplies, some of which are placed on Gabriola; the Community Wildfire Resiliency Plans which will include Area B and also support fuel management prescriptions for the 707 Community Park; and the evacuation route planning project for Area B.

• Coming to the Board from the Committee of the Whole:

• a Corporate Carbon Neutral 2032 Plan;

• a Wetland Mapping and Monitoring 5-year Research Partnership Summary Report. This includes data from wetlands across the RDN including five wetlands on Gabriola;

• a report on an ecological accounting process for the Millstone River. This was a pilot project for the RDN to test and refine the ecological accounting process which might be expanded to other areas. The process assigns a financial value to the stream corridor and riparian area. The assessment found that only 21% of the riparian area along the river was considered “good” (>30 m wide). Nonetheless, the asset value was established as $5.5 million per kilometre, o $79.7 million total.

Upcoming

The Electoral Area Services Committee meetings are on May 6th and June 7th (1 pm start)

• Committee of the Whole (1 pm) upcoming meetings are on May 11th and June 8th  

• The next RDN Board meetings are on April 27th and May 25th 1 pm start

If you have any thoughts or questions about this update or anything else RDN related, please contact me at vanessa.craig@rdn.bc.ca or 250-741-4589.