Gibsons council has given notice to the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) that it wants to withdraw from the SCRD ports function.
Gibsons director Gerry Tretick presented a letter notifying the SCRD board of the Town’s intent during the Sept. 5 infrastructure services committee meeting. The committee received the letter and directed staff to report back next month on the ramifications of the Town opting out of the function.
Speaking at the Sept. 10 Gibsons council meeting, Tretick said the cost to the Town of being included in the ports function had risen from about $3,000 to $44,000.
With the Gibsons Landing Harbour Authority, “we have our own port, which nobody contributes to in the regional district,” Tretick said. “We’re looking at focusing on our ports, and let the people in the regional district look after their ports.”
Coun. Lee Ann Johnson said it was important to note that other areas on the Coast with federal small craft harbours ports — in Pender Harbour and District of Sechelt — do not participate in the SCRD’s ports function.
In 2001, the SCRD took over ownership of nine federal docks — four on Gambier Island, two on Keats, and one each on Thormanby, at Halfmoon Bay and Hopkins Landing.
“The Transport Canada divestiture process was based on a referendum that established that areas B, D, E, F and the Town of Gibsons would fund the ports function,” said a staff report from May.
Brian Sagman, the SCRD’s manager of transportation and facilities, said a funding partner cannot unilaterally withdraw from a function.
“It has to be approved by the board or alternately go through a service review,” Sagman said.
Taxation for the ports function totaled $222,500 in the 2013 budget.