Efforts continue to upgrade the running track and Ballenas Secondary in Parksville. (File photo)

Efforts continue to upgrade the running track and Ballenas Secondary in Parksville. (File photo)

Regional District of Nanaimo not ready to commit $500K to Ballenas track project

Request for funding assistance deferred to Oceanside Services Committee

The Ballenas Track Renewal Project has hit a stumbling block.

At the Regional District of Nanaimo’s committee of the whole meeting Jan. 14, the board acknowledged a letter from School District 69 board of trustees chair Eve Flynn, requesting funding support from the regional district in the amount of $500,000. But the RDN board was not willing to make that commitment just yet.

Electoral Area H (Deep Bay, Bowser and Qualicum Bay) director Stuart MacLean made a motion to defer the request to the Oceanside Services Committee.

Parksville mayor and director Ed Mayne pointed out the lack of information regarding the actual plans for the Ballenas track.

“I find it hard to understand what we’re going to defer quite frankly, since they don’t know what kind of a track they’re going to build,” said Mayne. “They don’t know whether it’s going to be three lanes, eight lanes or six lanes, whether they’re going to level the park. What are they going to do yet they’re still asking for $500,000? I think we should just send it back and suggest to them when they know what they’re going to do as a board. Then perhaps at that point in time we could evaluate whether we’re willing to donate $500,000 to them.”

READ MORE: Committee favours 8-lane running track for Ballenas facility in Parksville

Electoral Area E (Nanoose Bay) Bob Rogers supported Mayne’s point of view. He agreed that the matter should be brought before the Oceanside Services Committee.

“That’s probably where its best to have the discussion about what sort of a response we want to do to the school district,” said Rogers. “I agree it’s too premature to just do $500,000. But I think the OSC is the place to have that discussion for those municipalities and electoral areas involved in the eventual funding and contribution to this.”

School District 69 started the track upgrade plans going last year. To show its commitment, the board has earmarked $200,000 toward the project. The board formed a steering committee that held its first meeting last September.

The 18-member committee consisted of community, municipal, regional district, students, and school district officials and trustee. Mayne is involved in the committee as the RDN’s representative.

At the school board meeting last Dec. 17, the committee presented a report that strongly supports an eight-lane facility. A review conducted by Koers Engineering cited that an eight-lane track would cost around $1,738,438 while a six track would be around $1,165,563.

To help alleviate the cost, the committee had asked the SD69 board to request the RDN to become a partner in the track initiative and possibly contribute $500,000 to the infrastructure development.

RDN chairman Ian Thorpe said they would like to know more about the project.

“We don’t have $500,000 in our budget and we would need information further before we proceed,” said Thorpe.

The motion to defer the request to the OSC was carried and will be presented to the RDN board for approval.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Millstone River in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Regional district looks at value of Nanaimo’s natural assets

Report focused on the Millstone River could inform future decisions on corporate asset management

Protesters gather along the Pearson Bridge on Terminal Avenue in downtown Nanaimo last month as part of an event called Worth More Standing. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: B.C. hasn’t managed forests properly

Protesters opposing logging in Fairy Creek speak for many British Columbians, say letter writers

Nanaimo singer Victoria Vaughn recently released an EP with local producer Austin Penner. (Photo courtesy Taylor Murray)
Nanaimo singer and recent VIU grad releases EP about becoming an adult

Victoria Vaughn’s ‘Growing Pains’ recorded with local producer Austin Penner

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has listed Harbour Air and Air Canada flights to and from Nanaimo, from April 3, 4 and 12, on its list of flights with COVID-19. (News Bulletin file)
COVID-19 cases reported for Air Canada, Harbour Air flights, says disease control centre

Nanaimo flights for April 3, 4 and 12 listed on BCCDC’s list of flights with COVID-19

Rebates through Clean B.C.’s Better Homes New Construction program are available, says the City of Nanaimo. (Vancouver Island University photo)
Energy-efficient home builds in Nanaimo eligible for up to $15K in rebates

All building permits issued on, or after, April 1, 2020 eligible, says City of Nanaimo

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Noel Brown, Snuneymuxw First Nation carver, observes the house post he carved, which now is situated in front of the Kw’umut Lelum centre on Centre Street in Nanaimo. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
House post representative of work of Kw’umut Lelum in Nanaimo

Snuneymuxw First Nation artist Noel Brown’s carved red cedar house post unveiled Friday, April 16

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Most Read