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General · 15th March 2011
Jim Abram
Well, here we are at the middle of March already. The first day of spring is only a week away! I guess I am going to have to find some time to clean up my garden from last fall so I can prepare for planting. Too many meetings! However, we have been fortunate to have as much attention as we have had from the Regional District staff (and board for that matter). I have mentioned the meetings in the past three reports and in this report I will tell you a bit about each of them that has taken place.

Meetings

Wednesday, March 2nd (6 to 9 pm at the Maritime Heritage Center in CR) - Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area town hall meeting (PNCIMA). I am the SRD representative on this initiative and it deals with the marine planning of our coast. They are looking for input from communities. There were about 30 people in attendance and a brief presentation was given on the process and then the public broke into working groups to answer a number of questions concerning issues that effect our coast. It went very well and a lot of positive feedback was received by the planning office of PNCIMA. I was pleased to see so many Quadra people in attendance and participating. Thank you all for coming.

Thursday, March 3rd (7:00pm Quadra Elementary) - Schellinck Public Meeting Re: DL 208 application (Gowlland Harbour Views). This was a public information meeting sponsored by the applicant and was a good source of information concerning the proposal. Three SRD staff attended also to speak from a planning perspective and to answer many questions about the process. We are a long way from being ready for a public hearing on this proposal, but I think that the evening was productive.

Monday, March 7th (7 to 9:00 pm Quadra Island Community Centre) - Q. Cove Sewer Expansion Area Meeting. This meeting was attended primarily by people interested in expanding the Quathiaski Cove Sewer Service Area so that they can hook up to the existing sewer service. (the sewage treatment plant is only operating at 10% capacity right now). There are 53 properties included in this proposal. Staff gave an excellent presentation and anticipated many of the questions that might be asked and were very prepared with a power point presentation that included costs and options and the process that will need to be followed if this is to proceed. It will be up to the people in the expanded area to decide if this is to go ahead. The SRD will not be promoting of pressuring anyone to make this happen. It was requested by residents and it is up to them to see if they want to proceed now knowing what is required. I am very pleased with the work that has been done. It has been thorough and professional.

Wednesday, March 9th (7:00 pm Quadra Island Community Centre), Financial Plan presentation by staff and overview of 2011 work plan for Area C. This explained the SRD budgeting process and showed where your local government tax dollars are used. It was surprising to see only eight people in attendance when taxes always seem to be such a major issue in all communities. Our top staff attended to explain the process and to answer any questions that you might have. It was disappointing for me since we put so many hours over very many months to bring you an eight percent reduction in this year's projected taxes! We are requisitioning less in almost every service. So let's hope that when you get your tax bills, you will be pleasantly surprised! Since the budget is not finalized, this scenario could change between now and June, but let's hope not. I also want to point out to everyone that the only taxes that I am speaking of at this time are the local government portion of your tax bill. It is separate, so please take the time to look at the bill carefully. I am not talking about the school tax (provincial), policing tax (provincial) or the fire department (it is its own taxing authority and is not taxed through the SRD). I have no idea what the total tax bill will do but I have a pretty good idea what our SRD portion is supposed to do.. Go down!

Thursday, March 17th - (7pm at the Fire Hall), Quadra Island Safety Committee... Questions about roads, ferries, emergency services? This is the place to discuss those issues. This one will have taken place by the time you read this, but you can certainly attend future ones if you like. Many of the issues that I receive calls about really should be dealt with at this committee. I'll be there!

Wednesday, April 27th - (7pm at the Community Centre), Public Hearing for the Timber West rezoning application for the dry-land sort. This hearing is an important one and everyone who deems their interest may be effected should attend. There will be a further explanation in the ads put out by the SRD in the future. Just keep it on your calendars.

I am going to leave it at that for this report. I am sure I will think of other things to right as soon as I hit "send", but that is it for now. Feel free to call me between the hours of 8:30 am and 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday (please, not on weekends, folks!) at 285-3355, or you can fax me at 285-3533 or you can email me anytime at jimabramxplornet.ca , or by mail at Box 278 in the Cove, V0P 1N0... Lots of choices.

Please note my new email address.

Respectfully submitted,

Jim Abram
Director, Discovery Islands - Mainland Inlets (Area C), SRD