Island News & Views
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General · 30th August 2013
Jim Abram
As I sit writing my report, it is blowing a south east gale, but the sun is still out and it's nice and warm! I guess this is just to get us used to what is in store in the near future. Let's hope for a long, warm fall season!
So much is going on right now that I am going to have to pick and choose what to write about. I will attempt to be brief.

Kanish View Estates Road
I am going to start with a project that has been ongoing for me for more than 18 years. The access road (only 250 metres long with a small bridge at the beginning) to the subdivision at Kanish View Estates was never brought up to standard by the developer and therefore the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has never been willing to accept it into their inventory so that it could be maintained on a regular basis, serving about 19 lots and our access road and parking lot at the SRD Granite Bay Regional Park.

To make a very long story of unprecedented lobbying and meetings as short as possible, I will say that I finally got to the right person in Victoria. She is an Acting Assistant Deputy Minister and is in charge of the entire Southern Region for Highways. She agreed to come up and view the site personally along with another A/ADM and our Local Regional Manager. After showing them around and talking their ears off, they committed to going back to their offices and giving me an answer within one week. Three working days later, I got an email letting me know that they have decided to add the road to their inventory and assume all responsibility for maintenance and upgrade over the next number of years. They will do the easier jobs this year, the major upgrade next year and the bridge as needed within about 5 to 8 years in the future. This is an incredible victory and the neighbourhood is, to say the least, very pleased. They will now be serviced and plowed in the winter. So, I can check that one off my list of "things to do". The community of families in that area had a very nice pot luck celebration shortly after the news came out.

Granite Bay Park Hydro
While I am still on the Granite Bay area, I am pleased to announce that the SRD has completed the installation of limited Hydro power at the dock in Granite Bay Regional Park. It was a joint effort between the community, the SRD Parks Dept. and BC Hydro, using local contractors and creating jobs. The cost was minimal now that there is power on the Granite Bay Road and to Kanish View Estates. I obtained a $5,000.00 grant from BC Hydro with the help of Beth Rees of the SRD, which really helped to defray the total cost. The hydro is meant for temporary use and not for live-aboards. One more improvement to our already super Regional Park! If you have not used it yet, please do. It is a beautiful area. I would remind users of the boat ramp that the fee is for anyone that uses it and it helps us to maintain the area. The fee is nominal and well worth the convenience, whether you are a power boater, a canoeist or a kayaker.

Surge Narrows Road end
Once again, dealing with the north end of the island, community partnerships with Emcon Services and the Regional District have fixed (hopefully for a long, long time) the very steep road-end hill (about 300 feet). Two concrete "ribbons", 4 feet wide by six inches thick were poured down the area of concern to keep it from washing out. Gravel crush was then filled in along the edges and down the middle. It is proving to be very successful; possibly too successful! The road still requires a 4 x 4 to navigate the hill. The purpose of the access is to allow people to transport their supplies to and from the outer islands and to access Quadra island from the outer islands. It is NOT a boat ramp. I emphasize this as it seems that some think thesis the case. It is not suitable for a boat launch nor is there any where to leave a boat trailer and vehicle. New signs will be posted by both the Ministry and by the SRD to let people know that this site is not to be used to launch trailered boats. Signs will be placed as far back as the Village Bay Lake bridge so that if anyone does think that they can go on to the end they will be able to change their mind and have a place to turn around at the Village Bay lake parking lot. Hopefully everyone will respect this restriction on the use of the road end. Repairs to this section of road are very costly and we have no funds for such work.

Meeting with Highways on Quadra
I will be meeting with the Ministry tomorrow to discuss and tour the section of Heriot Bay Road along Drew Harbour that is so hazardous to travel. We will be looking at ways to possibly engineer a solution that will widen the road, add space for walkers, strollers and cyclists and generally increase the safety of the road. This project is another that has been on my plate for a long time and we finally have people in the Highways office in Courtenay that understand our concerns and want to help if they can. We will also be discussing signage, ditching, brushing, line painting and a host of other issues. I will report back to you later on this.

Ambulance Station Grand Opening
I attended the Grand Opening of the BC Ambulance Facility on Aug. 18th. It was a full house and attended by BC Ambulance Regional personnel and our local crew, past and present. Tours were given, speeches were made and the ribbon was cut. And of course there had to be cake and coffee for a celebration. We were also told that this is just the beginning and that the intention is to build a permanent building in the future, replacing the existing tent-like structure. We are very fortunate to receive the attention that we do from the BC Ambulance Service and more so for the incredible services offered by the paramedics, the volunteers and of course, our Chief. I hope that you all read the speech and the history provided by Dawn Ross and Betty Doak.

Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre Fundraiser and Tours
It was a wonderful day in Cape Mudge Village on August 17th when I had the privilege of attending the showcasing of the museum , the carving centre and the welcome poles that are being restored. There were attendees from the outer islands and Campbell River as well as a host of Quadra Islanders. A salmon BBQ dinner wrapped up the day of learning about First Nations history and culture and seeing first hand the beginnings of the restoration of the welcome poles. The clouds blew in and the sky darkened but the rain held off while we were entertained by drumming and dancing. It was a a very successful event. If you have not yet visited the museum, please do. It is a "must see".

Emergency Services tower meeting
Also on August 17th, I attended the meeting hosted by North Island Communications concerning their proposal to erect a tower on Heriot Bay Ridge. When the news first came out about a month ago there was a lot of concern expressed and the proponent was good enough to first of all tour the site with concerned citizens and secondly hold a public meeting to discuss the plans and alternatives. I had already toured the site with concerned citizens prior to all of this and filed my concerns regarding the site. The meeting was a real learning process for the proponent and for the community. The applicant told us that he wished he had held the meeting prior to filing the application and gotten the Quadra feedback first. He was / is great to deal with and we would be so lucky as an area to have all applicants deal with our community in this manner!

And that's it! I'll save the rest for another time. 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
tower
Comment by hb on 31st August 2013
hopefully this dose not take ten years to put in should have been done years ago ..pain in the ass paying for two phone bills just because of lack of inferstructor and a stubborn public that thinks it gonna wreck there trail or whatever ...Really if that tower can't be built and operational by the spring thats sad.... hopefully it will be a local construction company doing some of construction of the tower...