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Miners Bay Dock

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

IMG_0014

 

Miners Bay Dock

Restoring Critical Island Infrastructure

 

For over 140 years the Miners Bay Dock has been a cornerstone of our community. Historically it was the main access point to the island, where goods, people and materials were shipped onto and off the island.

Today it remains one of the key components of our community. This is where our mail arrives and leaves, island children access  the school boat, patients are Medivac’d off on the ambulance boat, our hydro crews arrive to restore electrical outages, commuters use water taxis and seaplanes – the list goes on.

All of our lives are impacted in one way or another by the dock. It’s not just a facility utilized by a few boaters for social purposes that seems to be the impression of some individuals on the island.

The dock is managed and maintained on behalf of islanders by the CRD Southern Gulf Islands Harbour Commission. Year after year our taxation has increased, while maintenance has all but stopped and the dock falls further and further into disrepair.

 

CRD Docks (Parcel Tax)

 

Year             Tax                   Amount raised from Mayne Island taxpayers

2005            $14.99            $24,433.00

2006            $17.66            $28,838.00

2007           $21.56             $35,250.00

2008           $25.87             $42,866.00

2009           $31.36             $51,963.00

2010           $40.62             $68,850.00

2011            $44.53            $75,433.00

2012           $46.51             $79,160.00

2013           $44.65             $75,994.00

2014           $41.56             $70,818.00

2015            $41.09            $71,000.00

 

As an example, CRD documents obtained through a Freedom of Information request show that in 2014 the Harbour Commission spent a total of $9,485.41 on the administration, operation and maintenance of the dock. Clearly we are being over taxed and/or underfunded for this operation. (Since 2005 approximately $600,000.00 in direct taxation from Mayne Island taxpayers, $80,000.00 in user fees and $375,000.00 in contributions from the Federal Government to maintain the Miners Bay Dock has been received by the CRD. However, CRD has spent only a total of $452,166.00 on capital improvements on the dock to August 2013 – the bulk of this work having been done in 2007 to a value of $414,546.46).

In recent years, there basically has been no day to day maintenance (Painting, salting for ice, pressure washing etc) taking place on this dock, scrap plywood is being used to cover holes in the decking, pilings are rotting away and the only effort being made by the CRD is to use our money to commission engineering reports that confirm the dock is not being maintained and something needs to be done.

After a recent slip and fall incident on ice on the dock by one of our first responders, we thought it worthwhile to present the information obtained through MIRRA FOI (Freedom of Information) requests so that Mayne Islanders can understand the funds are in place – we just need the political will to insure our dock is maintained and improved to meet the needs of the community. Contact information for the CRD Director and Harbour Commission are here should you wish to communicate your individual concern:

 

CRD Director David Howe: directorsgi@crd.bc.ca

Mayne Island Appointed Harbours Commissioner Carl Bunnin:  slbunnin@telus.net

CRD Administrative Liaison Ted Robbins: trobbins@crd.bc.ca

 

The 2015 engineering study can be viewed here:

https://www.crd.bc.ca/docs/default-source/harbours-pdf/2015-12-11miner-bay-inspection-report_final.pdf?sfvrsn=2

MIRRA 2015 AGM

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

Mayne Island Residents and Ratepayers Association

Annual General Meeting

Saturday December 12, 2015 – 1:00PM

Mayne Island Community Centre

493 Felix Jack Road

Memberships / renewals $10.00 – available at the door

New proposed ferry schedules.

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Service Proposal-final Saturna Short Link – Fina

l Mayne Queen

 

 

Below you will find the draft  proposed schedules that will be presented to the island on August 18, 7:00- 9 pm at the community centre. What is not shown are the inter island schedules, which are dramatically changed. Full schedules will be posted in the coming days on the BCFS website:

http://www.bcferries.com/about/publicconsultation2/sgi-consultation.html

It is recommended that you subscribe to the updates at the bottom of the BC Ferries webpage to insure you receive the most up to date and accurate information in advance of the meeting.

The fundamental change will be that the two ships that serve us from Swartz Bay will be paired with islands – one will serve Saturna and Galiano, one Pender and Mayne Islands. If you travel to and from Saturna, Galiano or Saltspring  from Mayne Island there will be severely restricted options (Mostly through Swartz Bay) compared to the present schedule.

It is worth noting that the Queen of Cumberland likely will be replaced by the Island Sky as part of the  deployment of the new vessels. What is not on the table is the Saturna Short link, a proposal that would see enhanced serve to all of our islands (Proposal PDF can be found on the links at the top of this page).

 

 

 

BC FERRIES PROPOSED SUMMER SCHEDULE

 

VILLAGE BAY TO SWARTZ BAY

 

LEAVE                                                           STOPS/TRANSFERS        ARRIVE

7:00 am Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs               1 stop OB                                 8:18 am

7:04 am Fri                                                  1 stop OB                                 8:12 am

7:45 am Sun                                                1 stop OB                                 9:00 am

8:50 am Sat                                                 non-stop                                   9:40 am

8:55 am Sun                                                1 stop OB                               10:20 am

10:30 am Sat                                                 non-stop                                 11:17 am

10:50 am Sun                                                non-stop                                 11:40 am

11:19 am Fri                                                  1 stop OB                               12:33 pm

11:32 am Mon, Tues, Wed                          1 stop OB                               12:46 pm

11:35 am Sat                                                 2 stops StB, LyH                     2:18 pm

11:42 am Thurs                                             1 stop OB                               12:58 pm

3:55 pm Sun                                                non-stop                                   4:42 pm

4:08 pm Sat                                                 non-stop                                   4:55 pm

5:39 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs               non-stop                                   6:26 pm

5:51 pm Fri                                                  1 stop OB                                 7:03 pm

6:12 pm Sat                                                 1 stop OB                                 7:24 pm

8:32 pm Sun                                                1 stop OB                                 9:44 pm

9:08 pm Fri                                                  1 stop OB                               10:20 pm

9:11 pm Sat                                                 non-stop                                   9:58 pm

9:36 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs               1 stop LyH                              11:25 pm

 

SWARTZ BAY TO VILLAGE BAY

 

LEAVE                                                           STOPS/TRANSFERS        ARRIVE

  5:37 am Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri        1 stop OB                                 6:49 am

6:45 am Sun                                                non-stop                                   7:35 am

6:50 am Sat                                                 1 stop LyH                                8:40 am

9:03 am Sat                                                 1 stop OB                               10:20 am

9:10 am Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri        non-stop                                 10:00 am

9:20 am Sun                                                1 stop OB                               10:35 am

10:15 am Sun                                                1 stop OB                               12:05 am

10:22 am Fri                                                  non-stop                                 11:09 am

10:32 am Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs               non-stop                                 11:19 am

10:30 am Sat                                                 non-stop                                 11:20 pm

2:30 pm Sun                                                1 stop OB                                 3:44 pm

2:40 pm Sat                                                 1 stop OB                                 3:58 pm

3:59 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs               1 stop OB                                 5:14 pm

4:47 pm Fri                                                  non-stop                                   5:34 pm

5:15 pm Sat                                                 non-stop                                   6:02 pm

7:05 pm Sun                                                1 stop OB                                 8:17 pm

7:26 pm Fri                                                  1 stop OB                                 8:38 pm

7:49 pm Sat                                                 1 stop OB                                 9:01 pm

8:09 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs               1 stop OB                                 9:21 pm

 

 

VILLAGE BAY TO TSAWWASSEN

 

LEAVE                                                           STOPS/TRANSFERS        ARRIVE

7:14 am Fri                                                  1 stop StB                                8:38 am

7:20 am Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs               1 stop StB                                8:44 am

8:21 am Fri                                                  1 stop LH                               10:28 am

9:05 am Sat                                                 non-stop                                 10:11 am

10:52 am Fri                                                  non-stop                                 11:58 am

11:03 am Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs               non-stop                                 12:09 pm

12:15 am Sun                                                1 stop StB                                1:45 pm

12:25 am Sat                                                 1 stop OB                                 2:20 pm

4:11 pm Sun                                                non-stop                                   5:17 pm

4:38 pm Sat                                                 1 stop StB                                6:02 pm

6:11 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs               non-stop                                   7:17 pm

6:27 pm Fri                                                  1 stop StB                                7:51 pm

8:37 pm Sun                                                non-stop                                   9:43 pm

8:50 pm Sat                                                 1 stop StB                              10:14 pm

9:13 pm Fri                                                  non-stop                                 10:19 pm

 

 

 

TSAWWASSEN TO VILLAGE BAY

 

LEAVE                                                           STOPS/TRANSFERS        ARRIVE

7:00 am Fri                                                  non-stop                                   8:06 am

7:00 am Sat                                                 1 stop OB                                 8:55 am

7:15 am Sun                                                1 stop StB                                8:45 am

9:18 am Fri                                                  1 stop StB                              10:42 am

9:24 am Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs               1 stop StB                              10:48 am

10:51 am Sat                                                 1 stop StB                              12:15 pm

2:55 pm Sun                                                non-stop                                   4:01 pm

3:40 pm Sat                                                 1 stop StB                                5:04 pm

4:48 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs   non-stop                                   5:54 pm

4:48 pm Fri                                                 1 stop StB                                6:12 pm

7:11 pm Sun                                                non-stop                                   8:17 pm

7:29 pm Fri                                                  1 stop StB                                8:53 pm

7:57 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs               1 stop StB                                9:21 pm

 

 

BC FERRIES PROPOSED SHOULDER SCHEDULE

 

VILLAGE BAY TO SWARTZ BAY

 

LEAVE                                                           STOPS/TRANSFERS        ARRIVE

6:52 am Fri                                                  1 stop OB                                 8:04 am

7:00 am Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs             1 stop OB                                 8:25 am

7:35 am Sat                                                 non-stop                                  8:25 am

7:55 am Sun                                               non-stop                                  8:35 am

7:59 am Fri                                                  non-stop                                  8:49 am

9:44 am Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs             1 stop OB                               11:00 am

10:55 am Sun                                               1 stop OB                               12:15 am

11:16 am Fri                                                  1 stop OB                               12:31 am

11:41 am Sat                                                 non-stop                                12:32 am

12:19 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs             1 stop OB                                 1:32 pm

4:05 pm Sat                                                 2 stops LyH, OB                     6:17 pm

5:00 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs             1 stop OB                                 6:15 pm

5:52 pm Fri                                                  non-stop                                  6:39 pm

6:00 pm Sun                                               non-stop                                  6:50 pm

6:15 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Sat     non-stop                                  7:05 pm

8:05 pm Sat                                                 1 stop StB                                9:50 pm

8:30 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs             1 stop LyH                             10:20 pm

8:30 pm Fri                                                  1 stop OB                                 9:42 pm

8:35 pm Sun                                               1 stop OB                                 9:47 pm

10:05 pm Sat                                                 1 stop OB                               11:20 pm

 

SWARTZ BAY TO VILLAGE BAY

 

LEAVE                                                           STOPS/TRANSFERS        ARRIVE

  5:29 am Sat                                                 1 stop LyH                               7:25 am

  5:30 am Fri                                                  1 stop OB                                 6:42 am

6:00 am Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs             non-stop                                  6:49 am

6:30 am Sun                                               1 stop OB                                 7:45 am

8:45 am Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs             non-stop                                  9:34 am

8:45 am Sat                                                 1 stop OB                               10:00 am

8:55 am Sun                                               1 stop StB                              10:40 am

9:09 am Fri                                                  non-stop                                  9:59 am

10:13 am Fri                                                  non-stop                                11:00 am

10:19 am Sat                                                 1 stop OB                               11:31 pm

11:20 am Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs             non-stop                                12:09 am

2:40 pm Sat                                                 1 stop OB                                 3:55 pm

3:10 pm Fri                                                  non-stop                                  4:00 pm

3:55 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs             non-stop                                  4:50 pm

4:20 pm Sat                                                 1 stop StB                                6:05 pm

4:30 pm Fri, Sun                                        1 stop OB                                 5:42 pm

6:40 pm Sat                                                 1 stop OB                                 7:55 pm

6:59 pm Fri                                                  1 stop OB                                 8:11 pm

7:10 pm Sun                                               1 stop OB                                 8:25 pm

7:25 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs,            non-stop                                  8:15 pm

7:40 pm Sat                                                 2 stops OB, LyH                     9:55 pm

 

 

VILLAGE BAY TO TSAWWASSEN

 

LEAVE                                                           STOPS/TRANSFERS        ARRIVE

7:09 am Fri                                                  1 stop StB                                8:37 am

7:50 am Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs             1 stop StB                                9:20 am

8:05 am Sun                                               1 stop StB                                9:45 am

9:49 am Sat                                                 1 stop OB                               11:46 pm

10:55 am Fri                                                  non-stop                                12:04 am

2:35 am Sat                                                 1 stop OB                                 4:31 pm

*3:58 pm Mon, Thurs                                  non-stop                                  5:07 pm

4:15 pm Sat                                                 1 stop StB                                5:45 pm

4:40 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs             non-stop                                  6:05 pm

6:05 pm Fri                                                  1 stop StB                                7:29 pm

6:10 pm Sun                                               1 stop StB                                7:40 pm

8:30 pm Fri                                                  nop-stop                                  9:36 pm

9:05 pm Sun                                               non-stop                                10:14 pm

 

 

TSAWWASSEN TO VILLAGE BAY

 

LEAVE                                                           STOPS/TRANSFERS        ARRIVE

8:33 am Sat                                                   non-stop                                  9:39 am

9:17 am Fri                                                    1 stop StB                              10:45 am

10:00 am Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs             1 stop StB                              11:30 am

10:35 am Sun                                                 1 stop StB                              12:10 am

1:19 pm Sat                                                    non-stop                                  2:25 pm

*2:20 pm Mon, Thurs                                  1 stop StB                                3:48 pm

4:23 pm Fri                                                   1 stop StB                                5:52 pm

4:30 pm Sun                                                 non-stop                                  6:00 pm

6:45 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs             1 stop StB                                8:15 pm

6:51 pm Fri                                                  1 stop StB                                8:15 pm

7:15 pm Sun                                                 1 stop StB                                8:45 pm

8:20 pm Sat                                                 1 stop StB                                9:50 pm

 

*Supplementary service option.

 

 

BC FERRIES PROPOSED WINTER SCHEDULE

 

VILLAGE BAY TO SWARTZ BAY

 

LEAVE                                                           STOPS/TRANSFERS        ARRIVE

7:00 am Mon to Fri                                     1 stop OB                                 8:25 am

7:55 am Sun                                               non-stop                                  8:35 am

9:34 am Sat                                                 non-stop                                10:24 am

9:44 am Mon to Fri                                     1 stop OB                               11:00 am

10:45 am Sat                                                 1 stop OB                               11:58 am

10:55 am Sun                                               1 stop OB                               12:15 am

12:19 pm Mon to Fri                                     1 stop OB                                 1:32 pm

1:21 am Sat                                                 non-stop                                  2:11 pm

4:05 pm Sat                                                 2 stops LyH, OB                     6:20 pm

4:25 pm Sun                                               non-stop                                  5:15 pm

5:00 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs             1 stop OB                                 6:15 pm

5:43 pm Fri                                                  1 stop OB                                 6:54 pm

6:15 pm Sat                                                 non-stop                                  7:09 pm

8:25 pm Sun                                               1 stop LyH                             10:14 pm

8:30 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs             1 stop LyH                             10:20 pm

9:03 pm Fri                                                  2 stops OB, LyH                   11:30 pm

10:05 pm Sat                                                 1 stop OB                               11:20 pm

 

 

SWARTZ BAY TO VILLAGE BAY

 

LEAVE                                                           STOPS/TRANSFERS        ARRIVE

  6:00 am Mon to Fri                                     non-stop                                  6:49 am

6:30 am Sun                                               1 stop OB                                 7:45 am

8:45 am Mon to Fri                                     non-stop                                  9:34 am

8:55 am Sun                                               1 stop StB                              10:40 am

9:14 am Sat                                                 1 stop OB                               10:30 am

10:54 am Sat                                                 non-stop                                11:44 pm

11:20 am Mon to Fri                                     non-stop                                12:09 am

2:40 pm Sat , Sun                                      1 stop OB                                 3:55 pm

3:55 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs             non-stop                                  4:50 pm

4:05 pm Fri                                                  1 stop OB                                 5:20 pm

4:20 pm Sat                                                 1 stop StB                                6:05 pm

6:31 pm Sun                                               1 stop OB                                 7:45 pm

6:40 pm Sat                                                 1 stop OB                                 7:55 pm

7:25 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Sun   non-stop                                  8:15 pm

7:40 pm Sat                                                 2 stops OB, LyH                     9:55 pm

8:00 pm Fri                                                  non-stop                                  8:50 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

VILLAGE BAY TO TSAWWASSEN

 

LEAVE                                                           STOPS/TRANSFERS        ARRIVE

7:50 am Mon to Fri                                     1 stop StB                                9:20 am

8:05 am Sun                                               1 stop StB                                9:45 am

10:45 am Sat                                                 1 stop StB                              12:13 pm

4:15 pm Sat                                                 1 stop StB                                5:45 pm

4:30 pm Sun                                               1 stop StB                                5:57 pm

4:40 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs             non-stop                                  6:05 pm

5:38 pm Fri                                                  non-stop                                  6:44 pm

8:05 pm Sun                                               non-stop                                  9:11 pm

 

 

 

TSAWWASSEN TO VILLAGE BAY

 

LEAVE                                                           STOPS/TRANSFERS        ARRIVE

9:02 am Sat                                                 1 stop StB                              10:30 am

10:00 am Mon to Fri                                     1 stop StB                              11:30 am

10:35 am Sun                                               1 stop StB                              12:10 am

4:03 pm Fri                                                 1 stop StB                                5:28 pm

6:35 pm Sun                                               non-stop                                  7:45 pm

6:45 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs             1 stop StB                                8:15 pm

7:23 pm Fri                                                  1 stop StB                                8:48 pm

8:20 pm Sat                                                 1 stop StB                                9:50 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recent Developments Southern Gulf Islands Harbour Commission

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

 

Mayne Island Residents and Ratepayers Association

An open letter to;

CRD SGI Director, Dave Howe,

CRD Integrated Water Services GM, Ted Robbins

 

November 7, 2014

 

On November 4, 2014 at 1:00 pm I attended a SGI Harbours Commission meeting in Saanich. CRD Integrated Water Services General Manager Ted Robbins reported that the CRD was reviewing the financial status  of the SGIHC and their financial reporting going back to 2008-2009.

MIRRA has several comments at this time.

First a review;

  • In a 2009 public meeting on Mayne Island, our community was told by past CRD Director Hancock and past Commissioner Cropper, that our dock at Miners Bay was being downgraded to non drive on status due to its deteriorated condition. They stated there was no money in the SGIHC to do repairs. We were told we would have to pay more tax or find funds elsewhere. Minutes from that meeting are publicly available. The dock has since deteriorated horribly.
  • In 2008, the SGIHC commissioned an Engineers report on the Miners Bay dock, which recommends $280,000 repair expenditures over 5 years. The work was not done due to the expressed lack of funds.
  • In 2009, the SGIHC had a 5 year dock replacement plan. We see no start date, indefinable cost assessment, no factual support of sustainability of this plan. Engineer Tuttle’s report, referenced above, clearly shows proper maintenance of the CRD docks is is a better plan than planning for full replacement. Indicated to be more effective, more economical, more sustainable and provide better marine service to communities.
  • During this 2008/09-2013 period our parcel taxes increased from $25.87 in 2008 per parcel to $44.65 in 2013.

November 4 meeting;

Ted Robbins stated that,

  • -in 2009, the SGIHC had in reserve app. $611,000.
  • -in 2008/09 surpluses were $329,308. In 2009 nearing $1,000,000 was available.
  • -tax surpluses continued through 2013 accruing $786,621.00 to a total of app. $1,400,000 in 2014.
  • -currently $1,400,000 (rounded) is in a reserve account.
  • -money is not a problem (to implementing proper repair and maintenance programs).

Ted Robbins commented for this report;

“Moving forward, at its November 4, 2014 meeting, the SGI Harbours Commission directed CRD staff to recast the 2015 SGI Harbours service budget to more accurately reflect annual operating expenses, planned transfers to the capital reserve fund, capital expenditures, and revenues. In addition, a full engineering review of all of the SGI Harbours service dock facilities will be undertaken by the CRD in 2015 that, along with input from the local communities through the Commission, will inform the long term capital priorities and funding requirements. The recast budget will recommend that the 2015 parcel tax will remain the same as 2014 – this time next year, the Commission will reconsider the need to adjust the parcel tax rate for the 2016 budget, once the long term capital funding requirements and priorities are known, and a decision can be made as to the sustainability of the existing capital reserve fund.”

MIRRA members have been working with CRD Director Howe and IWS GM, Ted Robbins to accomplish this review of the SGIHC during the past two years. Many changes to the basic operations of the SGIHC have been accomplished, regaining a direct community involvement in the CRD docks. Ted Robbins has introduced a professional level of financial transparency, controls and management and is now working with a newly structured Board of Commissioners. Two new appointments, Dave Hargreaves, Search and Rescue, Pender Island and Carl Bunnin, President, Association of Mayne Island Boaters, Mayne Island, have just been concluded.

Carl Bunnin comments;

“  During the Commission meeting of Nov.4, guidelines were tabled which will strengthen the Commissioners ability to act as an effective voice for our local communities.”

In summary, many improvements have been instituted in the operations of the Southern Gulf Islands Harbours Commission.  The appointment of Ted Robbins has placed the responsibility for financial reporting and accountability under the auspices CRD. The New Board of Commissioners has had a great start initiating projects and future planning.

For example, the Board has:

  • Approved a program for safety improvements at the Port Browning dock, lighting.
  • Approved a full review of the SGI dock facilities by CRD Engineers
  • Approved a recommendation that CRD be responsible for Engineering and operations of the SGIHC
  • Approved a re-casting of the 2015 budget to better reflect tax requisition requirements and inform on long term requirements and sustainability strategy.

MIRRA is pleased with the success and accomplishments of all who have worked so hard over the past years to let the voices of the communities be heard. Many people have helped in many ways to get our Harbours Commission back on track providing quality marine facilities to our communities. A special thanks goes to our CRD Director Howe, CRD, Integrated Water Services GM, Ted Robbins and our new Board of Commissioners who have a lot of good work ahead of them.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, MIRRA,

Ian Dow,

President,

250-526-0600

Mayne Island Deer Hunting Regulations

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Deer

 

The latest update of the British Columbia Hunting Regulations gives the impression that hunting is open on Mayne Island.

Mayne Island remains a ‘no hunting’ area with the exception of a handful of special permit holders licensed to cull the invasive Fallow Deer. In the regulations, Map A3 clearly states no hunting is permitted on Mayne Island.  For clarification, interested parties are requested to check with the Ministry for the latest updates on hunting restrictions on Mayne Island.

BC Wildlife Regional Office (Nanaimo): . . . . . . . . . . . . . (250) 751-3100

The Mayne Island Deer Committee continues to work with the Ministry to explore options, but no further openings are contemplated at this time.

The Regulation is available online here:

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/wildlife/hunting/regulations/1416/docs/region_1.pdf

Firehall Referendum Results

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Unofficial results

 

Yes: 396

 

No: 301

Insurance And Fire Hydrants – What Are Our Priorities?

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Below are some emails that have been circulating on island, these are the views of individuals and are presented for information:

Dear Mayne Islander:

We face a decision about a new Fire Hall. Permission is being sought to spend $2.4 million to build a much-enlarged facility. Is this the right goal related to firefighting on Mayne Island? Last week, friends of mine received bad news from their insurance company. Their policy for one of their properties rose by about $2,400 a year because they were only “semi-protected” from fire by existing, apparently inadequate, water facilities. Not only that, but the insurance company immediately increased the premiums for their other properties. Their total hit will exceed $5,000 per year!  The immediate cause of this situation was a response of our Fire Chief to an enquiry by their insurance company. That response puts all Mayne Island property owners at risk for significant increases in their insurance premiums. It will soon be common knowledge among insurance companies that Mayne Island properties lack appropriate firefighting capabilities and, consequently, all of our premiums will increase!

There are opportunities to vote on the matter of the Fire Hall on Wednesday April 9, Saturday April 11 and Saturday April 19th. Please consider this matter and vote

Monument or Solutions?

It’s not unusual for us to address the wrong problems. It’s often easier to do something, anything, rather than to do what’s really needed. We face a decision about a new Fire Hall. Permission is being sought to spend $2.4 million to build a much-enlarged facility. Is this the right goal related to firefighting on Mayne Island? 

Last week, friends of mine received bad news from their insurance company. Their policy for one of their properties rose by about $2,400 a year because they were only “semi-protected” from fire by existing, apparently inadequate, water facilities. Not only that, but the insurance company immediately increased the premiums for their other properties. Their total hit will exceed $5,000 per year.

What do you mean, “existing, apparently inadequate, water facilities”? Well, there’s a bit of the story there. My friends’ insurance company emailed our Fire Chief asking him to indicate the level of fire protection on a property connected to the Village Point Improvement District facilities and has a ‘standpipe’ – so there is water. The Fire Chief Responded as follows:

·         “The fire hydrant you refer to is not a “Fire Hydrant” – it is a flush point used by the water district and they have generously fitting (sic) it with a fire department threaded connection for general use only. It does not meet any NFPA requirements for fire hydrant protection…”

·         Although the access is difficult for our large fire trucks (emphasis added) I am confident we can gain access to both homes either directly or with longer hose lays.”

You can imagine that this was not the kind of response the owners expected. The letter indicates a challenge with regard to adequate water supply, which the insurance company requires being within 300 meters of a building. It also indicates a challenge in reaching the property with specific equipment and implies that some of our fire equipment may not be appropriate for the Mayne landscape. An independent insurance professional confirmed that those challenges are major issues for insurance companies. They are risk averse and try to protect themselves.

The point of this letter is that the Fire Chief’s response to the insurance company puts all Mayne Island property owners at risk for significant increases in their insurance premiums.

If you don’t believe that this is a real problem, note that this property owner was immediately affected related to other properties. It will soon be common knowledge among insurance companies that Mayne Island properties lack appropriate firefighting capabilities and, consequently, all of our premiums will increase! Mine certainly will because I deal with the same companies.

We all need to ask ourselves if the expenditure of funds on a building, the new Fire Hall, is the appropriate expenditure. Is this not just a house for equipment that ignores “existing, apparently inadequate, water facilities”? In simple terms, is this where we should spend our hard-earned money? Note also that the Fire Hall will cost my friends an additional over $900 per year.

I am also concerned about leadership with respect to firefighting. The previous proposal was DOA due to a financial mistake. Now we have another proposal other islands have been able to address less expensively. Add to that the letter that went to the insurance company. It’s understandable to wonder if leadership is an issue.

As you vote on the new Fire Hall proposal, please consider if this is the best use of funds. Should we construct expensive facilities that house pretty equipment, or should we deal with the significant problem of addressing firefighting on Mayne Island. Do we want a monument? Or do we want solutions?

Dominic Covvey

 

Hi Dominic:

 Thank you for your communication. There are other things wrong with the new suggestions. For instance, the very large social areas shown within the floor plan are unnecessary for the safety of the island. The crew should not ask taxpayers to fund another area as  dependance of the community halls already in place.

 Then the distribution via value of properties rather then via a parcel tax is not an equal distribution connecting with safety but rather putting the burden of payments to “wealthier properties”, this is unacceptable. Financing as well is not prudent at all. Why should we carry the burden for almost 5% interest payments when the markets offer below 2.9%. We do not need a fixed period of 20 years, this is quite ridiculous. As proven for decades, variable is the better and cheaper solution for years to come.  

 Overall, the whole plan and the process, again, is unfair, much too high flying and unacceptable to be financed by the population in the way it has been proposed. I must be cut down substantially, be a genuine firehall instead of a social hum, be sensibly planed for open process bidding on all detail costs, which has not been shown with the current proposal. Distribution must be equal to all residents, i.e. via parcel tax.

 Sincerely

 ARBUTUS BAY ESTATES

Paula M. Buchholz

 

LETTER FROM COMMUNITY MEMBER

To The Mayne Island Ratepayers

I’m sorry to have to write this letter. I thought for once the people of Mayne Island could work together to accomplish a task that is 20 years overdue in a manner that could make us all as proud of our community as we are of the hard work of Mayne Island Fire Rescue. I know how much effort MIFR puts in because I have been with them for 35 years. Conservatively I estimate it has cost me $75,000 of income . In the last year many of us have given in excess of 500 unpaid hours of our time in training so we can meet the same standard as city departments, a certification requirement.

How can you so easily brush aside the work of yet another board that ourcommunity elected and suggest that they are such fools.

We live on an island, unlike other fire departments on the mainland where other trucks are on their way in the event of a major fire we are on our own. If we do not knock down a fire in the first 10 minutes we are likely to use another tanker full of water in the next 10. In the heat of summer our present 3 tankers have saved Mayne twice in the last 2 years from disaster. We have agreements with Pender Fire Rescue and other Departments on other islands for mutual assistance when necessary, but without a water supply they become useless. We have all experienced how dry Mayne becomes in the summer, we must react quickly with appropriate equipment.

Our Trucks must be ready to be deployed , not frozen in winter.

As for the anonymous Mayne Island Rate Payers ,they have only one issue. They represent a group of large landowners who would have us not use an assessment based model( the one used for all property taxes), so we can pay more and they can pay less!

When the last referendum was defeated and the work of Paddy Lambert , Jim Marlon Lambert and many other hard working islanders, men and women whom I respect greatly for their efforts to make sure we are protected , I was hurt. The new board has done their work and has brought you a proposal to build a basic structure to ensure our investment in equipment is protected and ready to be deployed in the event of an emergency.

Let’s now do something we can be proud of and support everyone’s hard work. It feels good to do the right thing. So vote YES

 

 

MAYNE ISLAND RESIDENTS AND RATEPAYERS ASSOCIATION

April 8, 2014

Dear Mr. Not anonymous,

Again we only respond because you have commented about the position of MIRRA and the work that we do for the community.

In response to your letter berating Mr. Covvey, MIRRA and its members, we suggest we stick to the topic and that is the firehall. You have questioned MIRRA’s commitment to good fire protection on Mayne Island when that is in no way relevant to this discussion or referendum. This referendum is not about support for the fire fighters, it is a fiscal and taxation matter about the construction of a new firehall. A significant amount of tax money is collected every year from this community for the Fire Department. In fact our Fire Department costs are higher per capita than the Penders, Galiano, and Saltspring Island. The Fire Department here is well funded and we feel it is disrespectful and inaccurate to slam the taxpayers claiming that it is underfunded and are left out in the cold.

This community holds our firefighters in very high regard and supports and appreciates the efforts of all those who serve the Island. On top of taxes, donations for new equipment, firefighters fundraisers and other support, has seen substantial community participation. MIRRA members and Directors have contributed generously.

Conversely you seem to have no appreciation for what the community does for the firefighters. You also do not indicate a respect for fiscal efforts to spend additional tax money a little more wisely, in the best interests of all members of this community, including the firefighters.

As far as a parcel tax, it was widely supported in the community after the last failed referendum and is still. This referendum is to build a community asset. It is not for a service which has some relation to property size and extent of buildings. Everyone shares a parcel tax equally.

Your statement reflecting on the financial status of individuals as compared to the size of their properties has no merit. There are many people in our community who have had their large lands for more than one generation and already find it difficult to pay all of the associated taxes.

There are also very well to do individuals who own non conforming, noninspected properties which they rent out. Those properties would represent the greatest risk of a house fire and yet would pay the least in an assessment tax.

So what is fair? A reasonable tax at about $100, and a closer examination of how our tax money is spent building new infrastructure? Comparing proposed costs and procedures to firehalls recently built in other areas? Is this unreasonable? How about community involvement in the planning process? A couple of Town Hall meetings perhaps so these views could have been presented during the planning process? Is that unreasonable?

The points raised here by community members are valid and free for all to participate. As we have stated, the anonymous status of the commentary is to allow folks the freedom to express their views without fear of reprisals and unwarranted attacks.

This is a democratic process and everyone who wishes is entitled to have their say.

On behalf of the Board, MIRRA

An Alternative Affordable Firehall Proposal

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

penny-300x300

 

A Rational Approach

In response to many questions from community members, Mayne Island Residents & Ratepayers Association has compiled the following alternate proposal for a new firehall for your consideration. MIRRA is in no way competing with MIID on this project but taking a different approach in presenting an alternate model for public consideration.

MIID has done the hard work of creating a basic costing, siting and planning from which we can now easily extrapolate the numbers and apply them to an alternate plan of construction.

This alternative proposal incorporates suggestions from the community and consultants which go all the way from current, back to the previous referendum and that have been applied to other districts’ new firehalls.

This alternative proposal is not intended to be exact but accurate within a reasonable estimate.

MIRRA hopes you will find this comparison between the two strategies interesting and informative.

 

MIID Proposal:

1)    Site Preparation- $224,750

2)    Temporary facilities, Moving and Storage costs, Interest, Insurance, Permits, Legal- $256,250

3)    Total- $481,000

4)    Building design, management & construction- $1,596,372

5)    Contingency- $316,161 (20% of building costs)

6)    Total- $2,393,533

 

Alternative Proposal:

1)    Building- $998,932

2)    Contingency- $199,786

3)    Upgrade and renovate existing building- $250,000

4)    Buy new land, site prep, insurance etc.- $168,300

5)    Total costs for new firehall-  $1,617,018

Alternative Proposal details:

Including the cost of buying 1 acre of the westerly property, upgrading, re-cladding and renovating the old firehall up to a safety standard including new administration offices, still reduces site preparation, demolition etc. costs a total-  $62,700.00

As a bonus we keep the existing water tanks and all infrastructure, and leave the school house where it is. 

Upgrading, re-cladding and renovating the existing building eliminates the need for 3,167 square feet of administrative area in the new building. This space would be accommodated in the upgraded and renovated existing building. This eliminates $506,720 in construction, design, and management costs of the new hall @ $160/sq.ft. and eliminates the need for 1,134 square feet of mezzanine area @ about $80/sq. ft. –  $90,720

Building costs savings-  $597,440.00

 Engineering estimated costs to bring old building to standard- $100,000

Estimated costs to close in old truck bays and convert to office space and community space, re-clad the exterior- $150,000

Contingency on proposed Alternative Building $ 199,786 @ 20% of building cost total contingency savings- $116,374

Alternative Proposal total savings estimate:

Total Savings- $776,514

Plus-

Alternate Proposal loan interest savings over 20 years;

Interest Savings estimate- $300,000

 

MIRRA presents here a comparison for the new building if different choices and priorities are given more consideration.

More savings which can also be gained, for example:

1) Building a conventional 4 bay structure allows for simple and easy future expansion, if that is even ever required. The Alternative Proposal is based upon the current MIID 6 bay drive thru model because those are MIID numbers to which a comparison can be made.

 2) Parcel tax instead of an assessment saves taxpayers the quoted $8,000 per year in Government collection charges and utilizes more beneficially the $40,000 software program bought in 2013, for the Heath Centre tax collection. The firehall would just be a simple line item addition to that collection.

 3) A fixed-price quote as opposed to the current cost-plus estimate should eliminate the requirement of a 20% contingency, which in almost all cases will be fully consumed. In a fixed-price quote, any cost over runs are the problem of the contractor.

4) A drive thru garage is not critical. In cities where land is in short supply and halls are built on lots, trucks back into the hall from the street. In our circumstance, most of the time, the rear truck will remain in the hall on a call out, therefore, when the truck returns, it will be backing in anyway. Why use up all of our land creating ring around roads for an unnecessary drive through design? Why go to the considerable extra expense of a drive thru?

Certain cost items may have been overlooked in this proposal, as are also potentially more savings.

However, the projected savings of over $3/4 million are sufficient to warrant a serious look at the current MIID proposal.

The Alternative Proposal outlined here is not from MIRRA alone but also follows some of the recommendations of the Consultant hired by MIID in 2011. As well it utilizes methods implemented in new firehall construction projects in areas such as North Saanich, Port Coquitlam, East Sooke, and Saturna Island etc.

This Alternative Proposal might have been implemented had the MIID held the requested public meetings during their planning process. The following positive points are readily obvious:

  • The old school house need not be moved;
  • More land acquired for future expansion;
  • Added community space;
  • Saves infrastructural components of existing property which tax dollars have already paid for;
  • Better utilizes tax dollars and saves the community over $3/4 million;
  • All work upgrading, renovating, and re-cladding the existing building can be done using local contractors and materials;

Finally, this project can go to referendum this summer and commence work at any time and we don’t waste money relocating the fire department during construction.

 Please forward this information to anyone you know who may be interested, and check for updates on the MIRRA website: www.maynebc.com

Forget About Cherries, Lets Talk Apples…

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Books and apple

There has been a great deal said about costs and affordability at each step in the fire hall replacement process. Each time taxpayers were told that the proposal was the ‘bare bones’ and could not be any cheaper, as well the statement was always made that costs were going up and we need to build now before it gets more expensive. Those who have tracked this issue will recall the first proposal was $6.3 million, the first referendum was for $4.2 million, the second referendum was for $3.4 million, and the most recent is for $2.4 million.

We question whether the numbers would not be lower if the existing proposal was not to build on the footprint of the current building. The 2011 consultants report clearly identified that saving the existing assets alone would result in significant savings, not having to rent temporary structures to house the fire department also would result in substantial savings. The consultants recommendations are covered in the ‘Cherry Picking’ article on the MIRRA website.

The owners of the adjoining property have repeatedly expressed an interest in selling property to the Improvement District. The Islands Trust executive have already waived all fees associated with the subdivision and rezoning of the property and would do so in an expedited manner.

In our research we have yet to find an example locally where an existing fire hall has been demolished to make way for a new hall. Almost every community repurposes the old building after the new hall is built. Once the large vehicle openings are removed, upgrading an old hall to a suitable safe standard is not complex and the community’s asset lives on in a new role. We suggest that we follow the model of North Saanich and repurpose the vehicle bays for offices and meeting space for the Improvement District, resulting in an overall reduction of size in the new building and the resulting savings.

In an effort to give an ‘apples to apples’ comparision, here are some local examples of what other communities have done recently:

East Sooke

6 Bays

Repurposed hall

Many extra hall amenities

$2.12 Million

 

http://www.timescolonist.com/business/bidding-opens-for-east-sooke-fire-hall-building-1.919084

 

https://www.crd.bc.ca/plan/current-projects/buildings/proposed-east-sooke-fire-hall

 

North Galiano Island

2 Bays

Repurposed hall

$670,000.00

 

https://www.crd.bc.ca/plan/current-projects/buildings/north-galiano-fire-hall

 

Saturna Island

7 bays (Two buildings on separate sites)

Old hall sold to private interests

Included land acquisition and many extras

$1.2 Million

 

http://www.sifps.ca/open_house/2011_photos.html

 

 

North Saanich

6 bays

Repurposed hall

Many extra amenities including training tower

$1.6 Million

 

http://www.northsaanich.ca/Municipal_Hall/Departments/Emergency_and_Fire_Services/Fire_Department/Wain_Road_Fire_Hall_Expansion.htm

 

While each community has individual needs and construction costs vary depending on amenities and facility requirements, we feel confident that a better, more economical proposal can be put forward using the adjacent property that has been offered to the community by the owners. One substantial ancillary benefit would be the overall savings in the rehabilitation of the old schoolhouse by the firefighters association using donated funds. Being able to retain it on its existing site will save many dollars and volunteer hours. We also would save the existing in ground and elevated water tanks, which are valuable community assets.

These are just a few examples which show clearly that retaining the old building and acquiring new property where available are cost saving measures utilized by districts everywhere to reduce costs and additionally gaining the best benefit for taxpayers by preserving and re-purposing where possible their old community assets. MIRRA is not supporting ideas and suggestions that are nebulous wishful thinking. These are real life, cost saving, frugal easily implemented solutions which are widely implemented and which need not necessarily delay the construction program.

These are all issues which the public asked the MIID Trustees to pursue after the last failed referendum. It seems from the responses we have received, that their efforts on these have been lacking.

We appreciate that the Improvement District has looked at and rejected building on another site, but we believe they did this with haste – not taking into account the overall economic benefits and without thorough consultation of construction or engineering professionals who perhaps would have guided them in another direction. As proposed the fire hall is being developed site wise in the most expensive method possible. There are alternatives, the community has voiced its support for those alternatives for many years now, yet the Trustees seem to offer absolutely no flexibility and consistently put forward the most expensive proposals.

If you took the existing proposed building and purchased new land anywhere on the island hundreds of thousands of dollars would be saved, in addition hundreds of thousands of dollars of community assets would be saved – why is it we are being told the only suitable location for a fire hall on our island is the exact footprint of the existing building?

We suggest it’s time to think outside of the box.

Cherry Picking : Fire Hall Referendum Facts

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

 

cherry

 

At the March 15, 2014 public meeting, in response to MIRRA questioning the need for a six bay fire hall, the statement was made that a six bay fire hall was being proposed specifically as it was the primary recommendation of the consultant that was hired on 2011 to review the fire department and its operations.

What was not stated was the consultant at that time recommended MIID have six pieces of apparatus (Vehicles) for operations. In July 2013, the Fire Chief stated that an operational review determined only four pieces of apparatus were required for operations.

There was also indifference to MIIRA’s position that the existing fire hall not be demolished and the new hall should be built on adjacent lands.

In commenting on the previous (2011) proposed hall (referred to as the ‘class B plan’), the consultant had the following to say:

“The Class B plan did have a satisfactory site plan but it also added considerably to the overall project cost. There is a lot of infrastructure on the present site that must be taken into consideration when planning for a new fire hall. Considerable money has been spent on an emergency standby generator, owned and operated by the MIID that is located to the North of the existing fire hall toward the ambulance station. There is also an underground water tank directly in front of the fire hall located under the concrete apron. To the rear of the fire hall there is an old wood structure that was built as a hose drying and training tower. To the West of that is a concrete bulkhead that supports an elevated water tank. There is also an above ground water tank directly behind the fire hall rear stairs that catches rain water and an above ground water tank farm located behind the old hose tower structure. With the exception of the large concrete bulkhead which would take some money and effort to relocate, these tanks could be relocated to another location on the site as required.”

 “A complicating factor is also the old schoolhouse building that is situated approximately 20 feet to the southeast corner of the existing fire hall. It will have to be moved regardless of what type of fire hall is built over the existing fire hall footprint.”

 “The site plan in the Class B design made good use of the site but it would necessitate the relocation of the old schoolhouse building and other infrastructure, which would have added significantly to the overall project cost.”

“MIID should consider acquiring 1 acre of land to the west of the property they currently own. Buying more land for a new fire hall may require re-zoning which could delay the construction of a new fire hall. If it is not possible to acquire land adjacent to the west, another fire hall location could be considered. They should also consider building a new 6 bay drive through fire hall on the newly acquired land. This would allow the existing building to be used until a new building is built and ready to occupy. This would save the district money because all of the existing infrastructure could remain as is. The old school house could remain in its current position as could the tank farm, the elevated tank and hose tower.”

His actual recommendations were:

6.1.1 Recommendation

MIID should consider purchasing 1 acre of land adjacent to their property to construct a new 6 bay fire hall or another suitable site for a new fire hall.

 6.1.2 Recommendation

Since a new fire hall is a priority and since cost is a factor, a new fire hall should be separated from as much of the site re-development as possible.

Now that was not exactly what was said at the meeting, was it…..

The full consultants report can be viewed here:

http://miidonline.com/reports/MIID-MIFR%20Report%202011-08.pdf

Specifically pages 20 and 29 are quoted.

The consultant’s recommendations are on page 30.

The online report on having four active pieces of apparatus is here:

http://miidonline.com/reports/Pilot%20Project.pdf

The Mayneliner article on this topic of four vehicles:

Fire Hall Referendum Concerns

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

 

March 19, 2014

Mayne Island Residents and Ratepayers Association

 On March 15, 2014 Mayne Island Improvement District Trustees held a public meeting to discuss the new fire hall plans. Several issues came up, the most concerning of which is the Trustees’ decision to not allow a mail in ballot in this referendum. Contrary to our understanding from the meeting, research of ministry information has shown the decision to not do a mail-out is the Trustee’s. The majority of votes cast at the last referendum were mailed in. People away on holidays, Island residents who do not live here full time or have property as investments, make up the majority of taxpayers on Mayne  Island. They are not receiving a mail-out information circular or a mail-in ballot (as in the two past referendums) but will have to find an ad in a major newspaper. For less than it costs to publish ads, a direct mail campaign wouldensure all voters have a fair opportunity to be informed of this taxation issue.

Please see this link for clarification as the the Ministry’s point of view on the decision making process:

http://www.soundernews.com/news/ministry-says-fire-board-holds-referendum-responsibilities.html

The second major issue is the acquisition of more land for the firehall site. It would seem a wiser expenditure of tax dollars, considering that for the same or less money, we could build a new firehall on a new piece of property. This creates a less crowded site location, room for future expansion and eliminates significant expense in relocating the fire department during construction. Retaining and upgrading the existing hall for community use also warrants consideration. There are good reasons pro and con, but there is no need to rush to judgement if the new hall is located next door. A conventional fire hall design permits easy access to and from Felix Jack Road in either direction from the westerly property. The Islands Trust has indicated support for a speedy rezoning process as a community amenity and the Trust Executive have waived all fees for such a process should the purchase be from the neighbouring westerly property owners. One of the owners attended the March 15th meeting and expressed their ongoing interest in participating in this proposal.

 Thirdly, taxation fairness was well discussed in the last failed referendum. A parcel tax was widely supported within the community, as opposed to the currently presented assessment tax. As the fire hall is a capital asset owned by the community as a whole, a parcel tax shares the cost evenly across all properties. MIID purchased a $40,000 software program in 2013 for the Health Centre tax, and this new tax would just be an added line item. Why would we not want better use from that $40,000 expenditure?

Billing our own tax would save $8,000 annually in collection fees from the Province.

 It is not unusual for referendums of this type to fail multiple times before the underlying proposals are refined into a form acceptable to the taxpayers. The present (and past) MIID Trustees have laboured long and hard to bring the project to this stage. These island volunteers are understandably anxious to see the fire hall project concluded, but rushing through a very brief information and consultation period is producing a flawed process. For this proposal, total costs including loan interest over 20 years are about $3,400,000, in a time of economic uncertainty and negative effects of threats to our ferry service. Please give this serious consideration when you reach the ballot box.

On behalf of the Board of Directors,

MIRRA

_________________________________________________________________________

 

 Letter from MIRRA Member.

 

To: Tom Moore

 

Returning Officer, Mayne Island Fire Hall Referendum

Dear Mr. Moore,

Our Mayne Island Improvement District executive held its information meeting regarding the Fire Hall Referendum on Saturday, March 15th.

Questions were asked concerning the process for providing notice to off island property owners. We were advised the advertising budget was being spent on the daily print media. There was a proposal from the floor that the budget expenditure would be far more productive in notifying off island taxpayers if it were applied to a mail-out. We were told by the Improvement District executive that this option was outside their control and was dictated by the Ministry.

We moved to Mayne Island three years ago, following construction of our home. We were on Island during the last fire hall referendum. The referendum polarized the island residence, one only had to read the local paper to recognize the division the process created. The previous referendum offered a more inclusive voting process, it allowed off island propery owners to mail in their vote. Of the approximate 1240 votes, 750 were mailed in, 60% of cast votes were mailed.

As a member of the newly proposed fire hall building committee, I have a personal intererest in this project. Regardless I feel in the interest of fairness and our community’s harmony every effort should be made to ensure all taxpayers have an opportunity to participate in this referendum. Beside beinginformed of the referendum, off island property owners require sufficient notice to make travel plans in order to vote. Considering the mailing address of off island property owners is known, why would the randomness of a newspaper ad not be complimented by a mail-out which would target the notice directly to the taxpayer. In the interest of fairness every effort should be made to allow all property owners to participate.

I look forward to your response.

Yours truly,

Carl Bunnin

 

 We did receive a negative comment, which we feel should be addressed:

Anonymous Comment: Does MIRRA have anything at all positive to say about the firehall? Can MIRRA present a balanced viewpoint on the issues? Everything I see printed or emailed is negative. This MIRRA full frontal attack and anonymous letter campaign against MIID over the firehall exhibits the absolute worst of negative Conservative or US political campaigns. It has gotten to the point where MIRRA’s voice is being tuned out as coming from crazy embittered people who cannot see anything objectively nor get along with anyone. I thought after the last failed referendum MIRRA was going to participate fully with MIID in the new design – now it looks like y’all just gleefully went into hiding only to pop up again like guerrillas to lob some more rocks and grenades. Name withheld by request. Time: March 23, 2014 at 9:20 pm.

MIRRA RESPONSE

In response to the letter sent by name “withheld” MIRRA has the following comments as this was a direct attack on MIRRA Directors…

To address the accusation of MIRRA taking a “full frontal attack and anonymous letter campaign”, MIRRA has not yet taken a position as an organization and has stated so. The emails and commentaries posted come directly from community members and are posted anonymously to protect people from attacks such as yours. The same response applies to your calling MIRRA Directors “crazy, embittered people”.

Your reference to the last failed referendum is weak at best and shows a lack of knowledge of the facts. You may feel it is allright to spend taxpayers money frivolously and freely and omit critical financial information in public disclosures but MIRRA does not. Because of MIRRA’S and community efforts the new proposal is over $1,000,000 below the price of the last fire hall proposal. As far as MIRRA directors “going into hiding only to pop up again like Guerillas”, nothing could be less accurate. MIRRA organized, with the Conservancy, town hall deer forums and addressed the habitat destruction being heaped on this island by fallow deer populations. Extensive articles appeared in the Mayneliner. This has lead to the creation of the Deer Committee and negotiations with Government to take responsibility and deal with this environmental disaster. MIRRA Directors are directly involved with the SGI Economic Development Commission and the Experience the Gulf Islands Project, bringing the Trans Canada Trails, Eco Tourism and all related infrastructures and economic expansion to the Islands.  MIRRA Directors are directly responsible for the implementation and funding of our bus which has lead to an Islands wide transportation study by the BC Transit Authority who will be offering a subsidized transportation system to all the SGI Islands. MIRRA is now in the process of including improvement in planning and expenditures of our parcel tax funds to utilize part of that for our share of the bus system on Mayne. MIRRA Directors lead the way to creating better maintenance and operations of our docks at Miners and Horton Bays.

On more than one occasion, MIRRA has offered assistance to MIID on the firehall project and such help was politely refused.

MIRRA is listening to the community and is ready now to post a position on the firehall in the Mayneliner. We have listened to our members, the community at large and agree that there are good things which have been accomplished by the MIID Trustees but we also agree with those who have commented that there still needs to be more work to improve the model. This is not just the opinion of lay people “throwing rocks”, a professional consultant hired by MIID expressed the exact concerns with which we agree.

MIRRA Directors understand your emotions on this issue, but this is a democracy and all people have a voice. We agree on one thing, the last failed referendum was an humiliating and embarrassing event for the people of Mayne Island. The personal attacks that were endured by those who dared to speak up was inexcusable. This time we provided an anonymous forum for folks to voice their opinions.

What has been accomplished so far? Savings of well over $1 million dollars of our tax money.

MIRRA does not think that was a waste of time sir or madam.

 

 

 

Fire Hall Referendum Questions

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Model view 2014 Mayne Island Fire Hall Proposal

 

MIRRA thanks all of the Trustees and volunteers who contributed much time and effort to the new firehall construction project. It has been a long, arduous and difficult struggle for all involved. As this latest process has been progressing, MIRRA Directors have been approached by members of the public with many questions as to status of developments. This is not a simple process as we tend to build very few fire halls. This is also a difficult task for the public themselves who are facing another cost of living increase.

MIRRA believes this decision is important and costly and that time should not be an issue in getting it right to insure success at referendum. We are also concerned as to the limited opportunities for off island taxpayers to be informed of or participate in the referendum process.

On February 15th 2014, MIID held an open house at which they presented their proposal for the new fire hall.

The following questions have been subsequently raised:

Cost of construction:

The new building is still in the $2.5 million range. The Trustees have done well to reduce the price but what is the breakdown of the costs? In 2011, the Improvement District received an estimate for the cost of upgrading the existing vehicle bays to utilize them as office space by removing the doors and installing seismic interior walls at $100,000.00. We understand the cost of removing the old hall is over $300,000. There is also an added cost to relocate the fire department during construction.

Community debt load:

With our small population, a lot of whom are on fixed incomes, an undertaking of this magnitude is a serious issue which must justify the additional increase in the cost of living that our community must bear. Another major issue is the state of our local economy, housing market declines and population declines.

Building:

Why was a drive through design chosen? As vehicles park 2 deep, almost every call out time the front truck only will leave having to back in returning due to the rear truck remaining in the bay. What is the point of the extra complications and additional costs of land development to accommodate a drive through?

What type of building contract have MIID entered into? Why have they contracted before community consultation?

Was the bid process for the building a design/build tender for a turnkey project with a guaranteed price?

If not- why not? If not, how can we establish an actual cost to go to referendum?

In a July 2013 memo the fire chief stated that we would be a 4 vehicle fire department – why is the proposal for a 6 bay fire hall?

Location of building and adjoining property:

At the last go round of public input on the firehall project there was a strong community will to retain the old building and re-purpose it if possible. The natural option is to acquire a portion of the adjoining westerly property and construct or expand the new building into that location. The cost discussed is $50,000 for a 1/2 acre.

Can we now acquire the property, and doing so, site the new building there and retain the old building? Can this be accomplished more efficiently if we drop the drive through aspect of the proposed new structure?

Removal of old building concerns:

Keeping the old building will provide a community asset as well as an appropriate shelter for the Fire Department staff and trucks during construction in accordance with Fire underwriters dwelling protection grade 3B. If we remove the old building before the new one is completed, we will bear the expense of constructing new office and temporary garage structures for the storage of vehicles. Failure to do so in accordance with regulations, will be a violation of the Fire Underwriters 3B regulation potentially affecting insurance policies on Mayne Island. Have MIID investigated this?

Taxation:

Community members clearly expressed a preference for a parcel tax at the last referendum. There are benefits to both styles of taxation, but affordability to all taxpayers must be a paramount consideration in selecting a taxation model. MIID has chosen to use an assessment based tax as opposed to a parcel tax. The greatest tax burden will be on the higher assessed properties and homes and local businesses.

A parcel tax is different in that everyone pays the same and you can opt to pay it in advance in one time payment. This tax is for a community asset not a service.

What are the comparisons between what it will cost individuals and businesses under both types of taxation?

Taxation method calculations ( for comparisons only these are not precise but are considered representative); comparisons using $35.00 (Trustees estimate) per $100,000 assessed value for residential and for business 2.45 times residential or $85.75 per $100,000 assessed value for businesses @ $650,000 value.

Residential property:

Parcel tax $100.00 (calculated estimate based on $2.4 million loan @5%)

Assessment tax- $227.50

Business property:

Parcel tax- $245

Assessment tax- $557.37

Approximate current (2012 assessment notices) Improvement District taxes using $650,000 assessment:

Residential- $800.00

Business- $1960.00

Impact of new tax proposals on Improvement District taxes using $650,000 assessment:

New Residential- parcel tax- $900

New Residential- assessment tax- $1027.50

New Businesses -parcel tax- $2205.00

New Business -assessment tax- $2517.37

MIID quoted Costs of using Provincial Government to collect an assessment tax-

– $8000.00 per year or 5% of taxes.

Costs of MIID collecting parcel tax- $0.00

  • MIID is already billing each property owner for the Health Centre tax, firehall is just an added item.
  • MIID already has hired staff for administration and a $40,000 tax software program bought in 2013.
  • MIID does not have significant defaults in taxation. Any collection costs can be added to the delinquency.
  • MIID costs of collections including legal, should be added to the bill on the delinquent property.

These are some questions, issues and comparisons that have been requested, brought to and discussed with MIRRA Reps. MIRRA has posted them for your information. Some of the issues may be important to you and some may not.

MIRRA is striving to provide a balanced viewpoint for all to assess based on their individual circumstances. It is important for MIID to now hold an open forum Town Hall meeting where members of the community can direct questions to the Trustees.

Please let us know what you think of the new firehall proposals, suggestions you may have and if you would or would not support the current proposals.

What do you think MIRRA should do at this point, if anything?

On behalf of MIRRA Directors

 

Simple facts about asphalt

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

paving1

Click below for the response from the Province to a freedom of information request submitted to the Ministry of Highways by MIRRA regarding paving on the Gulf Islands.

Response – Records

Mayne Island Taxation

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

untitled

Taxation Reality

The impact on our island economy is severe as many of those dollars never return to the community.

MIRRA has compiled taxation amounts for the past 10 years in an effort to help islanders understand where your dollars go, where the increases have occurred and what it takes to govern our society.

The BC Assessment Authority provided the net value of all properties and improvements on the island, the mil rate listed is the annual residential rate – so the figures are reasonably accurate, but as some properties (ie: Farms) pay a lower mil rate and some properties (ie: Commercial) pay a higher mil rate the figures are not exact.

Mayne Island Annual Taxation Requisition

Year  Mil rate            Taxation

CRD

 

2005  .5726               $202,134.00

2006  .5513               $217,671.00

2007  .5151               $247,219.00

2008  .4705               $280,619.00

2009  .4764               $287,158.00

2010  .5013               $285,854.00

2011  .5168               $325,611.00

2012  .5536               $339,144.00

2013  .6127               $327,632.00

2014   .6572              $329,185.00

 

Islands Trust 

 

2005  .6431               $227,031.00

2006  .6216               $245,372.00

2007  .6260               $300,444.00

2008  .5957                $355,292.00

2009  .6017               $362,685.00

2010  .6372               $363,348.00

2011  .6466               $407,392.00

2012  .6681               $409,289.00

2013   .7091              $379,180.00

2014   .7789              $390,143.00

 

 

 CRD Parks 

 

2005  .1290               $45,538.00

2006  .1498               $59,132.00

2007  .1509               $72,423.00

2008  .1364               $81,352.00

2009  .1531               $92,283.00

2010  .1614               $92,034.00

2011  .1562               $98,414.00

2012  .1607               $98,447.00

2013  .1689               $90,316.00

2014   .1737              $87,400.00

 

CRD Docks (Parcel Tax)

 

2005  $14.99             $24,433.00

2006  $17.66             $28,838.00

2007  $21.56             $35,250.00

2008  $25.87             $42,866.00

2009  $31.36             $51,963.00

2010  $40.62             $68,850.00

2011  $44.53             $75,433.00

2012  $46.51             $79,160.00

2013  $44.65             $75,994.00

2014   $41.56            $70,818.00

 

Provincial Rural Tax 

 

2005  .8100               $285,939.00

2006  .7000               $276,320.00

2007  .5900               $283,186.00

2008  .5000               $298,814.00

2009  .5200               $313,439.00

2010  .5200               $296,517.00

2011  .5200               $327,628.00

2012  .5300               $324,686.00

2013   .5500              $294,104.00

2014   .5600              $280,498.00

 

Mayne Island Fire 

 

2006    $398,376.00

2007    $454,051.00

2008    $505,494.00

2009    $512,713.00

2010    $579,272.00

2011    $592,842.00

2012    $572,843.00

2013    $573,444.00

2014    $587,969.00

 

Mayne Island Health Centre 

2006    no taxation

2007    $83,860.00

2008    $82,822.00

2009    $82,800.00

2010    $87,340.00

2011    $105.086.00

2012    $101,302.00

2013    $84,456.00

2014     $92,184.00

 

Statistics 

 

Year   Parcels          Net value of all island lands and improvements

2005   1630                $353,011,910.00

2006   1633               $394,743,048.00

2007   1635               $479,943,885.00

2008   1657                $596,429,234.00

2009   1687                $603,768,070.00

2010   1695               $570,226,480.00

2011   1694               $630,053,876.00

2012   1702               $612,616,796.00

2013   1702               $534,734,931.00

2014   1704               $500,890,394.00

 

Notes: With the exception of the Mayne Island Fire and Health Centre taxes, Taxation values are not exact. The figures were extrapolated using net figures and do not take into account exempt properties, differing taxation rates, etc. The Mayne Island Improvement District was the only local government body willing to provide exact annual taxation requisition values.

 

However, these are strong indications as to how much money it takes to run our local government bodies and should be within 5% of actual taxation amounts.

All Candidates Meeting

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

vote

There will be an all candidates meeting on Friday, May 3 at the Ag Hall from 1 – 3pm. This is an opportunity to listen to the candidates, ask your questions and assist you in finding the candidate that will best represent you and your community in the upcoming Provincial election.
Question format:
  • We will provide question forms for the audience to write the question down.
  • The question sequence will be determined by a draw.
  • The form will be handed to and the question will be asked by the individual that submitted the question.
  • All questions will be directed to all candidates and each candidate will be given 1 minute to respond.
  • Please keep your questions brief and precise.
  • All questions must deal with specific Policy, Issues or Procedure, Not Individuals.
  • If a question is deemed inappropriate it will be disallowed.