They’re back! Summer is over and so is mayor and council’s (somewhat) break from municipal meetings. The following are briefs from the Sept. 9 regular council meeting.
Water your opinions: The Cove Bay water treatment plant requires an additional $2.5 million dollars to proceed. In order to borrow the money, BIM needs elector approval. However, rather than go immediately to referendum, they’re undertaking an “alternative approval process.” The current plan is to have the cost of borrowing built into the Cove Bay water user fees so BIM needs the permission of the 1190 identified electors (18 and over, Canadian citizens who’ve lived in the area for more than 30 days and in B.C. for longer than six months and who live in or own property in the zone). For the approval process to fail and therefore push the issue to referendum, 10 per cent of the electorate (119 people) would need to sign and submit response forms to the municipality. The deadline is October 21 (coincidentally, federal election day).
Time to turf it: Now that a decade’s passed since the turf wars of 2009 (when there was debate over whether there should be a turf field put in at BICS and if so, what it should be made of) the expected lifespan of the coconut husk-cork turf field (10-12 years) is nearly up. Manager of Recreation and Community Services Shauna Jennings told council that the field is extremely well-used. Replacing the field is expected to be between $200,000 and $350,000 though council agreed to engage in preliminary discussions with the Bowen Island Football Club (which was instrumental in getting the first field built) about the feasibility of building a full-size field (about double the size of the current field.) The cost for a full-sized field is estimated at $1.5 to 1.8 million.
Suite story: Council voted to consider amendments to the business licence bylaw that would regulate kennels. It also voted not to consider requiring business licences for secondary suites just yet (for 2020) due to concern that it could reduce the rental stock on-island. (Suites built before 2008 were technically illegal and so frequently don’t have occupancy permits and aren’t to regulation.)