Oceanside Services Committee Selects Financing Option for Qualicum Beach Pool Project – Parksville Qualicum Beach News

After much debate, Oceanside’s Services Committee has decided on how to fund the first phase of the major Ravensong Aquatic Center expansion project.

Kate Busby of FaulknerBrowns Architects presented financial options to the committee on June 27 which include a short and long-term borrowing approach and the use of reserve funds.

The project, which would cost more than $25 million, was divided into two phases. More than a year ago, the OSC agreed to advance the first phase which includes the creation of new locker rooms, lobby, reception, public restrooms, staff support areas, a classroom and a multipurpose room. It would cost $9,075,164.

The second phase, which includes the creation of a new 25-meter four-lane pool with ramp, a new steam room and sauna, would depend on Parksville’s plan to build an aquatic center and a multiplex. If Parksville goes ahead with its project, phase two will no longer be necessary.

Busby provided the committee with two funding options for the first phase. Option 1A provides funding over a five-year period through short-term borrowing, which the Nanaimo Regional District Council can approve directly without having to go through election approval. The annual reimbursement through taxpayers would be $805,294.

Option 1B recommends that the first phase be financed on a loan with a term of 20 years. However, this would require electoral approval but spread the debt over 20 years. The annual reimbursement would be $300,840.

The staff considered suggesting to the committee that the whole project be completed at once and financed by a 20-year loan. Staff advised that this is the fastest and most cost-effective route, as it will save approximately $2,354,441 in incremental costs to complete the project in two phases and an estimated increase in project costs. 10% per year due to rising prices. The plan is to borrow $25,486,100 with repayment estimated at $1,681,773 per year once the project is launched.

Staff were unable to make their recommendation due to the OSC’s decision to amend Regulation 899 which will include Electoral Area E (Nanoose Bay) to begin paying for aquatic services based on a model distribution of a third of evaluation, population and use. A referendum is also planned on the issue to be held in the upcoming elections on October 15. Staff recommended that the OSC only make its decision on the project after all of these issues have been resolved.

Parksville manager Ed Mayne said the committee had already agreed to complete the first phase long before the issue of Zone E’s participation in the pool was discussed. He didn’t want to delay the project any further.

“We were all ready to do it at that point without the E-zone,” Mayne said. “So I don’t really know why we’re going to say ‘let’s wait and see what happens with Zone E and the referendum.’ Let’s just start getting things done.

Electoral Area G (Englishman River, San Pareil, French Creek, Little Qualicum, Dashwood) Superintendent Lehann Wallace also offered to defer the staff recommendation until more information is received on the proposed the city of Parksville, which was to be presented in July. 18 Parksville Council meeting.

Mayne explained that the city was just going to get a report from staff about a potential location for the proposed Parksville pool and that no final decision would be made that day.

“If you’re thinking of postponing this right after the meeting, you’re not going to be much further ahead than you are right now,” said Mayne, who called the delay “frivolous.”

Wallace’s motion was defeated, but she made another recommendation that the RDN proceed with Option 1B and that electoral approval be sought in a referendum to be held concurrently with the referendum for the amendment. to Bylaw 899. It passed 4-3 with OSC Chair Brian Wiese, Mayne, Wallace and Area H (Bowser, Horne Lake, Deep Bay, Qualicum Bay) Director Stuart McLean voting in favour. E-zone manager Bob Rogers, F-zone manager Leanne Salter and Parksville manager Adam Fras were opposed.

The committee also unanimously adopted a staff recommendation that, should funds be provided for the Ravensong expansion project under the Canadian Community Development Fund’s Strategic Priorities Entertainment Program, timelines, including laddering options, would be reassessed and revised to capitalize on the funds awarded.

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