Gibsons pool next for upgrades

John Gleeson/Staff Writer / Staff writer
September 23, 2012 01:00 AM

The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) will apply for a federal accessibility grant worth $50,000 to upgrade the Gibsons and District Aquatic Centre, the community services committee decided Sept. 13.

The original staff recommendation was to apply for both Gibsons and the Pender Harbour Fitness Centre, but committee chair and West Howe Sound director Lee Turnbull questioned the plan.

"Last year we made applications for Gibsons and Sechelt and we got one -Sechelt," Turnbull said. "If we apply for two, we might get one. Gibsons hasn't got grant funding for its pool - it's all gone to Pender and Sechelt. I don't know if it's a good idea to send this in because it seems we're fighting ourselves for grant funding."

The committee adopted Turnbull's motion to reapply this year for the Gibsons facility upgrade only and passed a follow-up motion to apply for Pender Harbour in the next round.

"Where's the most need?" asked Halfmoon Bay director Garry Nohr.

The grant will be used to install equipment for people who have a range of accessibility issues, "and there are people like that all along the Coast," said Bruce Bauman, manager of recreation services.

Under the federal grant program, the SCRD will contribute about $17,000 to cover 25 per cent of the project cost.

SCRD staff, meanwhile, are working with an architect on a refurbishment plan for the Gibsons pool, but the timing of the project will depend on funding, Bauman said.

No-landing lakes sought

The SCRD is exploring ways to designate the surface of lakes used as drinking water sources as no aircraft landing zones.

The motion -passed at the Sept. 13 board meeting - came from Pender Harbour director Frank Mauro, who said the landing of a floatplane in Garden Lake this summer had disturbed some residents.

"It is our drinking water and I think it's a concern with everyone who has drinking water lakes in the area," Mauro said at the Sept. 6 infrastructure services committee meeting.

Mauro said NavCan publishes a list of lakes on which floatplanes are not allowed to land - including Capilano Lake, Seymour Lake and Coquitlam Lake, which supply drinking water for the Lower Mainland.

Garden Lake, Hotel Lake and Chapman Lake should be similarly designated, he said.

Mauro's motion was extended to include all lakes within the regional district that serve as drinking water sources.

Water rates for Egmont

The board gave final reading Sept. 13 to a water rates bylaw amendment that will charge a unit fee of $4,000 to each of 32 listed properties in the Egmont Cove area.

The levy will go toward recovering costs from the construction of a water main and treatment system to access the SCRD water system, which was undertaken at the request of property owners.

Property owners have to pay the unit charge within 30 days after the bylaw's adoption or when their application for water connection or a building permit is approved.

Meetings with ministers

SCRD officials have meetings set up with four provincial cabinet ministers during the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention, being held in Victoria from Sept. 24 to 28, Nohr announced in committee Sept. 13.

Confirmed were sit downs with Environment Minister Terry Lake; Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson; Social Development Minister Moira Stilwell; and Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Mary Polak.

Issues that will be raised with the ministers include critical facility needs, forest trails, Mount Elphinstone logging, invasive plants, bike paths, transit, and passenger-only ferry service.

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