Qualicum Beach councillors have responded to concerns raised about the town’s plan to relocate its public works yard at an area that would require trees to be cut down.
The Qualicum Nature Preservation Society, which started a petition against the plan, indicated it would impact the trails and 70-year-old trees of the iconic community park located on Jones Road and Rupert Road.
The location has also been proposed for a temporary dry housing plan to help the homeless. The town has applied to Strengthening Communities Service Program for a $1.25 million grant to build the transitional housing.
Coun. Robert Filmer spoke at council’s regular meeting on April 28 about suggestions the town’s public works relocation plan would ruin the trails and take away amenities such as the area’s off-leash dog park.
“I can guarantee to everyone, if that was the purpose, or that was going to happen, I am sure certain members of council would not have allowed the grant application to go forward if we’re going to remove those trails,” said Filmer, who wanted to speak about this issue as he won’t be able to attend the committee of the whole meeting on Thursday, April 29.
Filmer said what the town has done is simply submit a grant application.
“There’s still a huge public process that has to go through,” said Filmer. “The committee of the whole tomorrow is just starting that process. I think that’s important for the public to understand. The process has barely started.”
Filmer said there’s been rumours being spread about the actual impact of the project and his advice is for people to check the accuracy of the information.
Coun. Scott Harrison spoke on rumours that the town is relocating the yard to allow a private company to lease the current location to establish a pub.
“Those two are not connected in any way, shape or form. Zero connection,” said Harrison, who suggested staff put out a press release to clarify some issues and also add links to data and information on the project. “They can oppose it. That’s fine. That’s democracy. But at least you’re operating on the facts.”