Thanks to funding from Transport Canada, the Strathcona Regional District can start fixing and upgrading wharves in the Discovery Islands, but only if they get approval from voters.
Funding from Transport Canada will allow the work of repairing and upgrading Owen Bay (Sonora Island), Surge Narrows (Read Island) and Port Neville (Johnstone Strait) wharves. These three wharves were divested to the SRD by Transport Canada in 2014, and Transport Canada has provided funding for maintenance and upkeep since then.
According to a SRD release “the deadline to complete necessary wharf upgrades using the Transport Canada funding is approaching.”
Before spending these funds, the SRD must establish a service, which requires voter approval. The service will allow the SRD to spend the funds and do the necessary work.
However, if the service isn’t established, the SRD will return the wharves and funding to Transport Canada and they are under no obligation to continue operating the wharves.
“Area C needs a Wharves Service of some sort. Transport Canada (TC) has been divesting itself of wharves, along with chunks of funding for necessary large-scale upgrades, on condition that a Service is established to manage the ongoing functionality of the wharves,” said Area C director Robyn Mawhinney. “The SRD has this TC funding waiting to be spent but cannot move on the upgrades until a Service is established. As the SRD revisits this, my hope is increased communication can answer concerns and create a service which ratepayers across Quadra and the Outer Discovery Islands will be satisfied with.”
The regional district board passed a resolution to establish this service during their Jan. 11 meeting. However the matter will require public approval. There are six wharves owned by the SRD in Area C, three of which are mentioned above. The other three are run through the SRD parks function: Granite Bay, Hoskyn Channel and Evans Bay.
“In order for the SRD to continue to operate and maintain all six wharves, the SRD would like to gauge the level of community support for this wharves service through an Alternate Approval Process,” an SRD notice says.
Information meetings will be held on Feb. 14 either at 11 a.m. at the Quadra Island Community Centre or at 2:15 p.m. at the Surge Narrows Bunk House.
More information can be found at the SRD website.
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