City boundary to be extended to accommodate Quinsam Coal

Only nine forms received in opposition to proposed plan

The results of a vote to allow the city to extend its boundary are in.

City Clerk Peter Wipper announced last week that the city has obtained the assent of electors to extend its boundary into property that falls within the jurisdiction of the Strathcona Regional District.

“As directed by council, staff conducted an alternate approval process to seek approval of the electors for the extension of municipal boundaries of the City of Campbell River to include approximately 140 hectares of land, contiguous and adjacent to Quinsam Coal Corporation lands,” Wipper said.

Campbell River voters had until July 20 to sign an opposition form and return it to City Hall if they were opposed to the boundary extension.

Wipper said the city received nine opposition forms but 2,417 were required to defeat the proposal. Under the alternate approval model, more than 10 per cent of eligible voters (which is estimated at 24,167 in Campbell River) have to sign an elector response form in order to defeat the process.

Wipper said because that didn’t happen, council can now move forward with the boundary extension, which is intended to accommodate Quinsam Coal.

The mining company petitioned the city last year to move a 140-hectare site it intends to purchase from TimberWest, into the city.

Quinsam Coal’s rationale for moving the property out of the Strathcona Regional District’s Area D electoral area, and into the City of Campbell River, is to ensure Quinsam Coal only has to deal with one local government and to help streamline operations.

The site in question borders lands already owned by Quinsam Coal and which fall within the jurisdiction of the City of Campbell River.

Now that the city has obtained permission from its voters to proceed with the boundary extension, council will have to petition the provincial Minister of Community and Rural Development for permission to move the plans forward.

If the province gives the city the go-ahead, the new Quinsam Coal property will be taxed at the city’s industrial tax rate and is expected to generate roughly $6,600 per year in property tax revenue for the city.

According to a March report from the Strathcona Regional District – which has already endorsed the boundary extension – the loss of tax revenue to that organization could result in an increase of less than $0.01 per $1,000 of assessed property value to the rest of Area D.