Mayor Ed Mayne of Parksville believes the Town of Qualicum Beach’s request for help reimbursing the development cost charges (DCC) for the new Arrowsmith Search and Rescue operations centre “opens up a whole can of worms.”
At the Parksville city council meeting on Monday, July 19, a letter from Mayor Brian Wiese of Qualicum Beach asked the city to make a financial contribution either towards the DCCs, or to help reduce ASAR’s sizeable mortgage. Wiese wrote he believes the services are an “important shared community asset” run by volunteers dedicated to rescuing residents and tourists in the area, including both municipalities.
At the request of ASAR, the Town of Qualicum Beach authorized a grant-in-aid in the amount of $31,462.14 as to reimburse the associated DCCs for water and storm drainage at ASAR’s new operations centre at Qualicum Beach Airport. That decision was made at Qualicum’s council meeting on May 27, but was deferred to allow for Wiese to reach out to Mayne first.
Wiese’s letter, dated July 5, read “we hope that the City of Parksville considers this a worthwhile investment in the safety of our citizens and visitors.
As a friendly challenge, the town is willing to match Parksville’s contribution up to $31,462.14. Perhaps together we can encourage the region (RDN) to match our joint contribution towards this worthy service.”
After the letter was received by Parksville council, Mayne said he opposed the request, not because it had to do with ASAR, but because of the lack of reciprocation from the town in the past.
“What I have a problem with is covering Qualicum Beach’s DCCs. They’ve never covered any of our DCCs on any of the projects… We’ve paid for it, or we’ve absorbed it, ourselves. And haven’t asked anybody else to do it. I have a real problem with providing them with this.”
Coun. Doug O’Brien also said he would not be support the request.
“This was the deal that Qualicum has set up with the search and rescue association… Now that they’ve made the deal, they expect the City of Parksville to come in and contribute DCCs just to pay back into their coffers? It seems unreasonable and actually rather offensive to me.”
Coun. Adam Fras also noted that Parksville does contribute to ASAR through the regional district as well.
No motion was made to support Wiese’s request after the letter was received.