SRD Will Begin Negotiations WIth Cortes Community Halls & Fire Fighters

Last month, the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Board passed the bylaws needed to fund Cortes Island’s community halls and first responders. They followed this up, at the December 5, 2019, board meeting, with the decision that the SRD will begin negotiations with the with the Cortes Island Fire Fighters Association, Whaletown Community Club and the Southern Cortes Community Association.

There were no dissenting Board votes.

Bylaws 328 (First Responders) and 341 (Hall Funding) are to be registered with the Inspector of Municipalities by December 31, 2019.

“I have no doubt that they will be services that will enhance Cortes Island,” says Chair Michele Babchuk.

“There is an assumption within the Cortes community … that there will be come kind of requirement written into the contract for those two community associations to communicate with each other. Not necessarily submit joint budgets, but at least communicate with each other in the submission process, and I would certainly love them to submit a joint budget that they agree on,” Says Cortes Island Regional Director Noba Anderson.

In compliance with a statutory requirement, the costs of feasibility study for the community halls is to be taken out of their 2020 SRD operating budget.

Gorge Hall on Cortes Island – Courtesy Google Streetview

Referendum Results

According to the SRD news release:

“83% of 550 electors voted in favour to authorize the SRD to annually requisition not more than $45,000 (or $0.1443 per 1,000 of property assessment) through taxation of real property within Electoral Area B (Cortes Island) for the purpose of training, equipping and deploying personnel to provide first aid during medical emergencies until such time as those personnel have been relieved by ambulance paramedics.”

“75% of 549 electors voted to authorize the SRD to annually requisition not more than $80,000 (or $0.2405 per 1,000 of property assessment) through taxation of real property within Electoral Area B (Cortes Island) for the purpose of providing financial assistance to the Whaletown Community Club and the Southern Cortes Community Association for specified operational costs at the Whaletown Community Hall and the Mansons Landing Community Hall.”

Volunteer Fire trucks and an ambulance (from Campbell River) at Cortes Island Emergency Preparedness & Awareness Weekend – Roy L Hales photo

Top photo credit: Mansons Hall courtesy Google Streetview

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