UBID trustee explains situation

Improvement district in limbo after majority of trustees resign

Glenn Loxam

Guest column

Many Union Bay landowners are now aware that on July 27th, three Union Bay Improvement District (UBID) trustees submitted their resignations effective July 31, 2016. As one of the two remaining trustees on the board, I would like to clarify several public comments circulating with regard to these recent resignations.

First of all, of the three trustees who resigned (Alan Webb, Anne Alcock and chair Carol Molstad) it was only Alan Webb who gave a valid reason. Mr. Webb has sold his property in Union Bay and moved from the community. With two years remaining on his three year term, it was understandable that he wanted to leave the politics of the community to other landowners.

Ms. Molstad gave no reason for quitting in her letter, and Ms. Alcock simply stated that she was no longer confident that a Water Infrastructure Agreement (WIA) with Kensington Island Properties (KIP) was possible. She stated that UBID has tried to have meetings with the developer over the past year, but could not arrange one. Mr. Brian McMahon, VP of KIP, has documented proof of his many attempts to contact the UBID to arrange meetings; but all went unanswered or were ignored. Now they are trying to blame the developer for their downfalls.

In a recent interview, Mr. Webb stated that a new agreement with KIP was reached months ago and that the developer has “dragged his feet” by not signing this agreement. In fact, this agreement, which was negotiated with the government facilitator and the UBID administrator, allows KIP to begin land development and pay capital expenditure fees per lot as they are developed. This approach does nothing for the landowners of Union Bay, as they would be required to finance the bulk of the water treatment facility and upgrades to water infrastructure to the tune of millions of dollars.

In the 2011 WIA, the developer (KIP) would pay for the installation of the treatment plant and the infrastructure upgrades needed to supply water to their lands at no cost to the current landowners. The agreement states that KIP would be repaid with capital expenditure credits (CECs) for each lot developed until such time as the $1.3 million investment was repaid. In essence, this would be an interest free loan to the people of Union Bay to bring treated water to the community. It should also be noted that, in the 2011 WIA, the developer is responsible for all costs related to any improvements to the Langley Lake water source and its dam, if and when the need for additional water arises.

However, because the previous board of trustees refused to grant an extension to the agreement, the work could not be completed by the December 2014 deadline. Trustee Peter Jacques and I are confident that, with some adjustments, this previous agreement can be extended and made workable. Unfortunately, with three trustees needed to form a quorum, we no longer have the ability to negotiate any changes to the agreement, nor conduct any business on behalf of the landowners.

At present, we are still awaiting word from Minister Fassbender as to how we can move forward as a community. There is an Island Health deadline approaching and we need the support of the developer in order to meet this requirement.

Glenn Loxam is one of the two remaining Union Bay Improvement District trustees.

 

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