Cover your assets, Union Bay landowners

Dear editor,

Union Bay landowners should protect their services and investments.

Dear editor,

Union Bay landowners should protect their services and investments.

Since 1996, when the original development of Kensington Properties was vetoed by the regional district board, the area has been slowly deteriorating.

The loss of the school operations in 2006 caused many young families to move closer to Courtenay. Some seniors have also moved closer to the services they require.

In the 1996 proposal, sewer and water upgrades were to be provided by the developer — very similarly to what has been proposed by the present development. Imagine, Union Bay could already have the major infrastructure situations addressed.

Then in 2006, the community had the opportunity of restructuring into a municipality. This would have resulted in the community being granted a $4.5-million investment by the Province for infrastructure upgrades, which would have again been an opportunity to have a new fire hall and upgraded water services.

But a campaign of naysayers resulted in another lost opportunity.

Union Bay has been faced with many political groups or individuals who have migrated to the area and then wanted to shut the door behind them.

Unfortunately, the lack of growth and development is jeopardizing the funding to address the infrastructure requirements necessary for providing updated fire protection and water services to the residents of Union Bay. These missed opportunities result in landowners footing the costs through increased annual taxes.

As far back as 1983, the triangle property on McLeod Road above the tracks was purchased for the development of a new fire hall.  At the time the design and construction of the hall was estimated to be $180,000. It is 28 years later and we are still without a new fire hall.

In 2008, Work Safe BC provided detailed requirements for meeting the safety regulations to upgrade and continue to operate the existing fire hall. In addition to the costly repairs, it was noted that the existing fire hall is not seismically sound and the walls are constructed of lacquered wood with no fire barriers.

In the event of a natural disaster or a fire at the hall, the community’s only fire rescue facility would be the first casualty.

Many Union Bay landowners have been led to believe that the Kensington Island Properties development will provide a new fire hall. This is certainly not the case!

Through their master development agreement with the regional district, KIP has agreed to provide up to three acres of suitable property on which to build a new fire hall; but there is no proposal for the developer to build the facility. This will be up to the taxpayers.

The former school property at 5539 S. Island Highway was purchased in 2007 using fire department reserve funds as a down payment with the anticipation of constructing the fire hall on that property.

A proposed budget of $2 million (this included the existing mortgage of $500,000) was proposed in 2009 for the construction and upgrading of equipment to address the outstanding requirements of Work Safe BC. Once again, this was turned down as being too expensive for the tastes of Union Bay.

It is too late for Band-Aid solutions to the existing fire hall. It is time for Union Bay to wake up and embrace the opportunity of moving forward in a sustainable way to protect its assets and investment in the community.

Dave Godfrey,

Union Bay

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wind and waves were part of the reason why the Sail Canada High Performance Team selected HMCS Quadra as the winter training base for Tokyo 2021. Photo by Ken Dool
National sailing team prepares for Olympics at HMCS Quadra in Comox

HMCS Quadra is serving as the winter training base for the Canadian… Continue reading

Courtenay residents will have a substantial schedule change for curbside trash collection beginning in January 2021. (Ben Lypka/Black Press file)
Courtenay moving to a zone system for curbside trash collection

New system means collection days will change with every statutory holiday

A jubilant Ronna-Rae Leonard salutes the crowd at her victory party at the Avalanche Bar & Grill. (photo by Scott Stanfield)
UPDATE: Leonard declared early winner for Courtenay-Comox

NDP incumbent held similar margin of lead throughout the evening

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

NDP Leader John Horgan speaks with the owner of a barber shop while campaigning in Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. Campaigning was restricted by the coronavirus pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s B.C. majority came with historically low voter turnout

Barely half of eligible voters cast ballots in snap election

Jordan Jay Ward, 20, is wanted Canada-wide for manslaughter. (Calgary police photo)
RCMP: Suspicious man seen in Parksville woods resembled manslaughter suspect

Hikers say he resembled Jordan Jay Ward, wanted Canada-wide

A police pursuit ended with an arrest in Williams Lake on Highway 97 Sunday afternoon. (Facebook video screenshot)
Video catches police pursuit that ends with man kicked, punched in Williams Lake

A video of the arrest is getting widely shared on social media

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

Most Read