In the news: Sewers, old farts and car parks

OUT ON A LIMB: Longtime residents make point that they don’t want to be part of a city

So, let’s take a whirlwind tour through this week’s news…

Hooking part of Area D up to the city will cost the city $9.16 million but will generate $1.34 million in property tax and other revenues. If council approves, it could go to referendum in the spring.

I have to say, I’m not sure how to call a northern Area D referendum. The increase in taxes is the first point that’s ever made in discussions that I’m party  to. I guess the city will have to convince residents of the area adjacent to the city’s southern boundary that their tax dollars will bring them benefits.

Could be tough, I don’t know if the city is able to convince existing citizens of those benefits. What do I get as a resident of the city that rural neighbours don’t and is it worth hundreds of dollars more in taxes?

But I question how much of this is an issue about taxes. I think it’s longtime residents making a point that they don’t want to be part of a city.

Area D director Brenda Leigh said last July: “We do not want to join Campbell River. Every molecule of my body does not want to join Campbell River. I will fight this process. I don’t have anything against Campbell River but I love the countryside, I love our atmosphere, I love the rural character of our community.”

Providing sewer services is one step closer to urbanization, I guess.

  • I may be branded a heretic for saying so but is it possible that Centennial Pool may have outlived its usefulness?

It became a bit of a sacred cow years ago when people in the community demanded it be restored and kept open. The council of the time caved into the outrage and it has been kept open. But it continues to spring leaks and need repairs and the question has been raised about how much more money should be sunk into the old facility that I think might be older than me!

  • And speaking of things almost older than me, it’s hard to imagine the Discovery Inn closing down.

What would they do with that huge building in the centre – literally – of town?  I guess it could be converted to condos but my goodness, it’s stood there for 51 years overlooking a town that, at the time it was built, didn’t extend much beyond what you could see from the top floor. I remember the heyday of trooping over the Sgt. O’s for a beer after rehearsing or performing at the Tidemark Theatre. The DI hasn’t had a pub for a long time and it’s restaurant closed down last year. But I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the old gal.

  • One of the budget items for discussion is a parking lot for Haig-Brown House. If ever a place needed more parking it’s Campbell River’s heritage property. The proposed lot will be on the Kingfisher property across Highway 28. Cue the outrage…