The Strathcona Regional District Board authorized staff to commence negotiations with the Cortes Island Fire Fighters Association regarding a contract to provide a first responder service. File photo/Campbell River Mirror

Regional board authorizes bylaws to fund Cortes Island community halls, first responder service

Negotiations on contracts to fund two community halls and provide first responder service on Cortes Island can now begin.

The Strathcona Regional District Board approved Bylaw No. 328 First Responder Service and Bylaw No. 341 Cortes Island Hall Tax Service at its Dec. 5 meeting and the bylaws will now be included in the 2020-2024 Strathcona Regional District (SRD) financial plan.

During the Dec. 5 regional board meeting, SRD staff were authorized to commence negotiations with the Whaletown Community Club and the Southern Cortes Community Association on contracts to fund core operating expenses for community hall facilities. The board also authorized staff to commence negotiations with the Cortes Island Fire Fighters Association regarding a contract to provide a first responder service.

Throughout the month of October, Cortes Island electors had the opportunity to vote on both bylaws. Official results were declared Oct. 30 and 83 per cent of 550 electors voted in favour of authorizing the SRD to annually requisition not more than $45,000 (or $0.1443 per 1,000 of property assessment) through taxation of real property within Electoral Area B (Cortes Island) for the purpose of training, equipping and deploying personnel to provide first aid during medical emergencies until such time as those personnel have been relieved by ambulance paramedics.

In addition, 75 per cent of 549 electors voted to authorize the SRD to annually requisition not more than $80,000 (or $0.2405 per 1,000 of property assessment) through taxation of real property within Electoral Area B (Cortes Island) for the purpose of providing financial assistance to the Whaletown Community Club and the Southern Cortes Community Association for specified operational costs at the Whaletown Community Hall and the Mansons Landing Community Hall.

“The SRD Board is happy to now move forward and add these two services into our 2020-2024 financial plan” Strathcona Regional District Chair Michele Babchuk says in a press release. “Although this seemed to be a long time in the making, I am confident that the results of the assent voting are indisputable and are democratically and procedurally sound. I have no doubt that they will be services that will enhance Cortes Island.”

The Strathcona Regional District is a partnership of four electoral areas and five municipalities providing services to approximately 44,000 residents.

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Strathcona Regional District staff were authorized to commence negotiations with the Whaletown Community Club and the Southern Cortes Community Association on contracts to fund core operating expenses for community hall facilities. File photo/Campbell River Mirror