Qualicum Beach will not work with Parksville on pool project

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Qualicum Beach council defeated a motion for town staff to to participate in a joint management committee for the duration of the City of Parksville’s aquatic and recreation centre project.

“I will support it, but I won’t want to pay for it and I don’t think we should have a say if we don’t pay for it,” said Coun. Teunis Westbroek. He and Coun. Robert Filmer voted against  participating in the project at council’s March 17 regular meeting.

Westbroek said the town is exhausting staff resources and they do not have enough time to commit to Parksville’s project. “It is not on our strategic plan. We had a strategic plan as a region and that was to improve our Ravensong pool,” he said.

Daniel Sailland, the town’s chief administration officer (CAO), suggested limiting town staff time to 20 hours when he introduced the motion to council. Mayor Brian Wiese moved the recommendation, saying Parksville does not ask for a lot from Qualicum Beach and it is important to maintain a relationship with the city.

“This is a $55 million project, which is probably going to have $3–3.5 million annual operating costs and I would like us to be in a position where we can draw attention to some of those ongoing costs and the massive capital costs earlier on,” Harrison said, adding he did not want people to overlook the costs and be sold on the project based on the idea of having the amenity.

Harrison said he would like to have a voice in the conversation early on, rather than learning about decisions after they are made. Filmer pointed out the town has a voice through the Regional District of Nanaimo board, where Wiese holds a seat. 

“The Ravensong pool expansion and upgrade have been on the table a lot longer than Parksville wanting their pool and now all of a sudden our upgrades have been put to the side and Parksville is getting the priority on this one. I can’t agree with that one,” Filmer said.

Westbroek was concerned the town would be expected to contribute financially if it gets involved. “If that came to referendum in Qualicum Beach, it wouldn’t pass so I think we should let Parksville handle it,” he said.

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