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General · 29th October 2018
Jim Abram
I hope that everyone had a Happy (and safe) Halloween! I am writing this before the event, so will just have to assume that it all went well!

BC Ferries Advisory Committee
We will meet tomorrow as a group of Quadra and Cortes Islanders with some of the senior staff from BC Ferries. We have a long agenda to go over and a lot of it is Cortes-centric. I will not go into the issues until we have talked about them, since a number of them will be contentious and may not need discussing depending on the outcome of tomorrow. This will all become more clear in my next report. Sorry.

We also met with the staff of BCFS regarding the Campbell River terminal and upcoming upgrades. We gave our input and it was well received. Issues such as a phone line to the ticket booth, better configuration of lanes, staff parking, shade, a covered walkway, repairs to the breakwater on the southeast approach and cover around the waiting area were just a few of the topics.

Board and other meetings
We have had two SRD Board meetings and two SRD Committee meetings, as well as a Comox Valley Solid Waste meeting and a Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District meeting. We will have other meetings as follows:

November 7, 2018 - Inaugural Meeting at 12:30 pm
November 22, 2018 - Regular Meeting at 12:30 pm
December 6, 2018 - Regular Meeting at 2:00 pm followed by a Christmas social.

There will be a Public Hearing on Monday, Nov. 5th at 7pm at the Community Hall to consider a rezoning for Spirit of the West, and the SRD will be holding a public Open House on Tuesday, Nov. 6th from 6:30 to 8:30 at the School to receive input from the community on a number of topics including our budget, the connectivity issue and our strategic priorities for the next year. Most of our senior staff will be there to answer questions. I will also be present. This was done in past years as just a budget workshop with very poor attendance, so the staff suggested we broaden the scope this year and see if that improves the dialogue.

Property donation as a nature preserve
A motion was made at the Board as follows:

“THAT the Hyacinthe Bay property acquisition authorized by Bylaw No. 335 be accompanied by a land donation agreement without the requirement for a conservation covenant."

This is the Meiling Alps property that I have mentioned a number of times and it is finally having the finer details dealt with. The reason for the covenant not being necessary is that the SRD has all of the components included in the agreement and it is under the umbrella of Parks, which gives strength to the agreement. This will be in perpetuity.

Q. Cove sewer extension funding
After procuring the $1.4 million for the sewer extension in the Cove, the SRD went out to bid and the contractors that were awarded the job completed it $430,000 under budget. Normally we would be required to give that excess back to the province, but I had numerous meetings with staff and asked that they seek a special dispensation so that we could keep the funds for other projects that are needed within the sewer district. This will benefit all of the users on the system. I was pleasantly surprised when they agreed to allow us to use the money for other much needed capital expenditures for the sewer system, which will mean the users will not have to pay. A welcome bit of good news!

I promised the editor to keep this report short and it is! So... That’s it for today! Feel free to contact me between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 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 or by mail at Box 278 in the Cove, V0P 1N0… or on Facebook at…. 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! Emails and phone messages received over the weekends or on holidays will be returned promptly in the next day or so afterward.

Respectfully submitted,

Jim Abram
Director, Discovery Islands-Mainland inlets, Area C, SRD