The federal government has transferred ownership of Green’s Landing wharf on Gabriola Island to the Regional District of Nanaimo and included $200,000 to use for maintenance.
Regional district directors confirmed the deal at last week’s regular meeting and assumed ownership Thursday. Howard Houle, Gabriola Island-area director, said the district will get the dock and the associated water licence as part of the deal.
The $200,000 will be kept in reserve so that the dock can be rebuilt in the future, Houle said.
“There will be maintenance costs over the years and so what we’ve done about that is, we’ll be combining that with our Descanso Bay emergency dock bylaw and we’ll be increasing taxes about $1,000 a year for that – I think it’s about four or five years and then we’ll stop,” said Houle.
In terms of the impact to taxpayers on Gabriola and Mudge islands, Houle said it will amount to a four-cent increase a year per $100,000 of assessed value, beginning in April 2017.
By stabilizing ownership of Green’s Landing, Houle said the regional district will have the dock in perpetuity.
“Previous to that, the federal government was talking about tearing it out altogether because it wished to divest [itself] of properties like this and so we’ve taken it because it’s an emergency access for Gabriolans to get off of the island if something happens to the B.C. Ferries dock,” said Houle.
It is also a place where people from Mudge Island can land their boats and access services on Gabriola Island.
“This is the end of a long, long journey for us,” said Houle. “We’ve been working on this for some 20 years now and we’ve finally secured the dock at what we think is a reasonable package for the taxpayer in the future and I just think it’s just a great deal.”
The regional district said the wharf will continue to be available for use by all, free of charge.