Sechelt is one of about 30 communities that qualify for help through the $19-million Tourism Dependent Communities Fund.
Communications manager Julie Rogers told council she’d identified a list of eight projects totaling $900,000 that would meet the criteria.
They included Trail Bay Seawall improvements, new wayfinding signs, improvements to Hackett Park, new washrooms for Rockwood Park, lighting for the Sechelt welcome signs, storm watching cameras for Davis Bay and Trail Bay, and new “art walls” for displays in places like the Seaside Centre.
The grant criteria require the district to apply with a list of projects in priority order and the one councillors said they wanted to have listed as the top priority was a new sani-dump, where RVers and travellers in campers could go to flush their wastewater tanks.
A shortage of easily accessible sani-dump facilities on the Coast has been an issue for several years after some existing facilities were closed. (See “Closures leave sani-dump gap on the Coast,” Coast Reporter May 25, 2018)
Rogers said staff don’t have a site in mind at this point, but estimate the cost would be around $177,000.
Coun. Eric Scott said, “I don't know how many people have asked me about getting a community sani-dump going and I see it at number four on the list, but it should be maybe bumped a little higher.”
Coun. Matt McLean said he agreed with Scott and the sani-dump should go to the top of the list.
“One thing I noticed that’s missing from the list is a potential new visitor centre,” McLean added. “I’m wondering if staff considered that when putting together the list.”
Rogers said without a potential location for a new visitor centre, it’s not practical to have it on the list for the grant application, which needs to be completed on a short timeline.
Mayor Darnelda Siegers thanked staff for “keeping their eyes open for these grants”, but also acknowledged that it sometimes means putting other work aside.
“I know the turnaround times on these are really tight, so there are times when you have to drop some of the stuff that you’re doing to actually take advantage of funds that are moving forward for projects that we want to see happen in the district,” Siegers said. “I thank you for doing that pivoting all the time. I know it can be wearing.”