RDN board nixes Morden Mine grant

Regional District of Nanaimo directors voted against amending the 2015 budget to include $45,000 for damage mitigation at Morden Mine.

Regional District of Nanaimo directors voted against amending the 2015 budget to include $45,000 for short-term damage mitigation at the Morden Mine site.

Discussion was deferred from February’s regular meeting. According to Eric Ricker, co-president of the Friends of Morden Mine non-profit society, the total cost to repair the tipple and headframe structures at the mine is estimated at $2.8 million.

The society was hoping the regional district would assist in applying for gas tax funding money by an April 15 deadline.

Ian Thorpe, Nanaimo director, originally proposed the motion and said the $45,000 was for a “Band-Aid fix” – removal of wood material on the headframe structure, perimeter fence extension and relocation and tree clearing.

Subsequently, Thorpe gave notice he would request a staff report, examining the viability of leasing the Morden Park mine site from the B.C. government, at the March 24 regular board meeting.

Directors also gave preliminary approval Tuesday night to a pair of budget-related bylaws that will raise water and sewage usage rates.

If the budget gets final approval March 24, increases of two per cent for water usage would take effect May 1 for the regional district’s water service areas, including Nanoose Bay and Decourcey, which encompasses an area in the south of Nanaimo.

In terms of sewage usage, Cedar residents would see a three per cent increase on their annual bill.

reporter@nanaimobulletin.com