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General · 3rd September 2016
Jim Abram
Cooler nights, chirping crickets, rainy days… Signs of the season! With Labour Day coming up and kids going back to school it is obviously almost Fall…. let’s keep it at “almost”.

So… another busy, frustrating two weeks at the Regional District. Sure glad I love you folks! The issues seem to get more and more complex and we as Directors have to put up with more and more bureaucracy rather than “just do it!”, which is my preference. Unfortunately many of our staff were trained by our former Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to believe that he was the “almighty” and everything had to go through him. Our current CAO is just the opposite. He still requires a "chain of command" but expects his staff to get on with business and think for themselves. We get along great!

One item I forgot to mention last report was concerning the giant gravel quarry that was proposed on the mainland right next to Desolation Sound (which is part of Area C). It was actually in the Powell River Regional District but the protocol in that situation is for the adjacent local government to notify and get comment back from their neighbour. None of that happened and they were going to proceed. I wrote letters, others wrote letters, a society was formed, and I brought it to the SRD for a formal letter of opposition to the proposal. After a month of activity the proponent withdrew the application making us all very happy. This would not have employed any local people and the gravel was all going to be shipped out of BC. So there was no economic benefit and nothing but possible damage to existing tourism and aquaculture businesses. Thanks to any of you who helped in the opposition.

Quadrapalooza will be happening this coming weekend and I hope it is a fabulous success. They ran into difficulties last year but with a lot of discussion and meetings of all parties, the festival was given the go-ahead and should be a great time for one and all. It is an all ages family affair, with acts of all sorts, music of all kinds, fun and food for all. Enjoy!

The next weekend is our beloved Fall Fair with countless activities for all members of the family and a chance to show off your best produce, baking, preserves, bounty of your garden, art and crafts. A lot of volunteers have put a lot of work into this event so go and share in the festivities.

We will hopefully be starting on the first of many projects on Quadra to increase connectivity by landscaped pathway, connecting our most used areas together and increasing the safety for the people and the motorists. This one will be from the existing path at the Pharmacy and will go as far as Aroma Coffee Shop and will be on the opposite side of the ditch, away from the roadway! We applied for a grant for this project. I was very pleased to help short list it at our Board meeting this last Thursday. The rough-in work will be donated generously by one of our local contractors (who will be named at a later date, like it or not!). Any other contractors that might want to donate materials (fill or trucking) please contact me directly. Your donations will be greatly appreciated by all.

Now comes the fun one! You may have read the somewhat sensational article in the Mirror about a possible large increase in the annual sewer user fees in Quathiaski Cove. NOT! Yes, STAFF are wanting to increase the fees by about $50.00 but I have said “no" and have had the issue referred back to them twice now. We will be meeting again about this to determine the final rate. We are expecting to have a possible 40 more connections on the system by June 2017. This will be more than adequate to pay the annual fees and allow us to keep the fees lower. Staff do not want to gamble while I am more than willing to since I have faith in the additional connections taking up the slack. We’ll see who is right. Staff are not happy with me since they like everything neat and tidy on paper and would prefer to charge more and have a surplus. i would prefer to charge what it costs. Period.

So, Happy Labour Day to all and don’t forget the origins of this “holiday”. People worked for it! Have a great time at the two fairs and remember to contact me as needed. Feel free to contact me between the hours of 8:30 am and 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday (please, not on weekends or holidays, 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… or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JimAbram…. If it is important, my cell is 250-830-8005… 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

Addendum: Re removal of glass recycling on Quadra:
Hello to all of you staff members.

I strongly object to your actions regarding glass recycling on Quadra. The collection of glass on Quadra and taken to the landfill for crushing and using as cover material makes the most sense. Your projected cost of collection of $3,500 to $4,000 per year is ludicrous. Even if it were factual, you know the old saying in local government: “One size does not fit all”. How true when it comes to servicing an island. The money you spend on Cortes Island for recycling is so much more than you spend here. Our costs are a pittance. You would rather increase our greenhouse gas footprint by insisting that Quadra residents drive to other depots or the landfill and create more emissions. You also neglect to realize that the glass that goes into bags fro pick up WILL NOT get crushed in most cases and therefore take up an incredible amount of “air space” at the landfill. We are in the process of spending tens of millions of dollars to CREATE more airspace. WE are paying to create that airspace and now you are filling it with a huge volume of “air” in the way of uncrushed glass products. This is just plain Dumb!

I would challenge you to compare the cost of, let’s say, ten yards of recycled glass, crushed and spread at the landfill to the amount of airspace that it will take to put that same ten yards of uncrushed glass in the landfill. I think you will be embarrassed by your intransigence in this matter.

On behalf of my constituents,

Leave our glass recycling alone!

Jim Abram
Director, Discovery Islands - Mainland Inlets
Strathcona Regional District