Tick-tock, time running out for grant money

The Strathcona Regional District wasn’t able to support the document at a board meeting Thursday.

With the deadline looming for the city to adopt its official community plan, the Strathcona Regional District wasn’t able to support the document at a board meeting Thursday.

The board agreed it didn’t have sufficient time to review the 384-page document because the plan was added to the meeting’s agenda at the last minute.

“I would like to get into a substantial discussion, but I haven’t had time to read it,” said Noba Anderson, Cortes Island director.

The plan, a 50-year vision for the community that sets policies to guide city council, needs to be adopted by city council by the end of February in order for the city to be reimbursed for expenses accrued. The city is eligible for a $140,000 reimbursement from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Municipal Fund and a $20,000 grant from the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia if the plan is adopted by Feb. 28.

“We can’t afford to bid farewell to $160,000,” Mayor Walter Jakeway told the regional district board.

City council has already given the plan first and second reading and a public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 8, at 6:30 p.m.

However, a vote to rescind second reading was on Tuesday’s council agenda in order for council to make minor changes to the draft plan. The city has allowed time for agencies, such as the regional district, Rivercorp, and the Chamber of Commerce to review and comment.

on the plan, and for public feedback.

But the clock is ticking.

“We’re doing the best we can to work through the time frames we have,” Coun. Andy Adams said.

Brenda Leigh, regional director for the Oyster Bay-Buttle Lake area, suggested the plan be referred to the electoral areas services committee meeting on Feb. 15 and then comments could be forwarded to the next regional district board meeting.

The next board meeting, however, is not until March, past the city’s deadline for a refund.

Adams suggested if the regional district board has any comments or concerns it could voice them during the public feedback period.