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Save the Heart of Quadra Parks – still possible! (Photo: Mark Wunsch)
General · 8th August 2013
Jim Abram
I hope that all of you are enjoying this beautiful, sunny summer weather! We are very fortunate. I had a very difficult time stopping my work outdoors so I could come in and spend some time filling you in on recent events / issues. There are a few things you should take note of and I will try to be brief.

Communications tower – Heriot Bay Ridge
There has been quite a bit of email traffic regarding the ad that was in the last DI regarding an application for a tower to be placed on Heriot Bay Ridge. There were mistakes made in the ad regarding the deadline for comments back to the Province (for the lease of the land), and a lot of confusion about what the tower was for.

As it stands right now, the applicant, North Island Communications, wants to hold a public information meeting with regard to the feedback that he has been getting from islanders. I have been to the site, as have others, and I am pleased that the applicant is willing to meet with the public on this topic.

The meeting is scheduled for Sunday, August 18th, at 7 pm, at the Quadra Community Centre. If you have concerns or are just curious to learn about the application directly from the applicant, attending this meeting is a must.

A new Chief Administrative Officer for the SRD
I am pleased to announce that the SRD Board has chosen Russ Hotsenpiller as our new Chief Administrative Officer. Russ was the General Manager of Operations for the SRD and was totally in charge of managing the Planning, Building and Parks departments. He was a former CSRD employee and moved to our SRD team after the split of the regional district by the Minister in 2008. I have worked with Russ since he was first hired 14 years ago and feel he will be a real asset to our staff.

Parks bid meets the deadline
Another milestone has been reached on our many years of work on the acquisition of the Merrill-Ring owned property that sits between Waiatt Bay Park and Small Inlet Park. The deadline for bids to be submitted has been met. This is a major accomplishment for our community and we must now wait and see if the company accepts the bid. The Province came through at the very last minute after daily pressure from us and the "big city" media. The bid, while not public at this time, is very close to the asking price. If Merrill-Ring has a heart, they will accept the bid and offer some good will to our community and the province as a whole. The completed park will span the area from Small Inlet right through the isthmus of the island to the Waiatt Bay shoreline and around to near the Octopus Islands Marine Provincial Park.

This will be another jewel in the park system of Quadra Island and a true testament to the late Judy Leicester and the years of hard work and dedication that she put into this endeavour. All of the other volunteers who worked on this proposal are to also be thanked profusely for sticking with it. This began in the '90's for those who don't know the history of the project. I must also thank the community for its hard work and generous donations towards this purchase. And last but not least the staff at B.C. Parks who have worked tirelessly on this file through many setbacks. They stuck with us and are to be congratulated.

Now we just need to wait for the answer from Merrill-Ring, which should be forthcoming within the next month. Keep your fingers, toes, arms, legs and eye crossed!

Kanish View Drive ongoing negotiations
This topic has been around for far too long and I am hopeful that now that I have secured two meetings with the Manager for the South Coast Region for the Ministry of Transportation, we will be able to come to a solution to making the 250 meters of access road to the Kanish Estates part of the maintenance schedule on the Ministry's books. It is hard to believe that such a short piece of road could cause so much grief for so many years. The road joins the Granite Bay Road with the Kanish View Estates subdivision and also provides access to our SRD Regional Park at Granite Bay.

I will meet with officials on Friday, August 9th, on site, and then at a later date with those same officials and the community of Kanish View Estates.

UBCM time again!
Every September we meet as local governments at the Union of B.C. Municipalities meeting. This year the meeting is in Vancouver for the week of September 16th. I have requested meetings with a number of Ministers to deal with issue of concern to our area and am awaiting confirmation of the dates and times.

Along with the other members of the Coastal RD Chairs Group, with the Premier and the new Minister of Transportation regarding our ferry issues. We're starting from scratch once again with another Minister of Transportation, but we will do our best to bring him up to speed very quickly concerning our need to have an affordable marine highway in place to service our communities.

In addition to these meetings, I will have the opportunity to meet with Provincial ministry officials and with other local government leaders from around the province. The informal meetings are just as important as the formal ones and give us all a chance to share ideas and perspectives on how to get things done in our communities. It is always a great learning experience.

I said I was going to keep this brief, so I will stop here. 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 do not use my residential phone number for SRD calls. All business calls should be on 285-3355. Many thanks!

Respectfully submitted,

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