Things are moving forward for a proposed Quadra Island bike park, but the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) is concerned about groups applying for funding before they get local government approval.
The project was approved in principle in April after the Quadra Island Recreation Society (QIRS) applied for and was successful in receiving a grant before it came to the regional district board for its sign off.
The Electoral Area Services Committee discussed the matter on June 15, because regional district staff had concerns about the implications to the SRD, particularly with the funding agreement, insurance and liability, maintenance and a few other considerations.
“While staff maintains support for the project in principle; it does however continue to have reservations regarding the initial handling of the application by QIRS, adherence to the funding agreement requirements, the lack of budget detail, the procurement methods undertaken and the overall administration of the grant to date,” the staff report says. “It is noted that there remains a potential risk to the SRD should QIRS be in breach of the funding agreement or incur ineligible or cost overruns as part of the project.”
Quadra Island director Jim Abram said on June 15 that he was “100 per cent in favour” of the project, adding that “QIRS is understanding that as a society they have to do things correctly, and I think they did.”
The committee forwarded a recommendation to the board to proceed with the project, but concerns about liability and the process were echoed at the board table on June 29.
“This is now the second time in this term that a group applied for a grant on SRD property without consultation,” said chief administrative officer David Leitch on June 29. “When these groups are applying for grants, saying there’s a consultation with the SRD but there’s been none, nor do we support it, yet they get awarded the grant… are we working against each other?”
Campbell River director Claire Moglove agreed, saying that “even with best intentions, sometimes things can go sideways.”
A motion to proceed with the project, but with an amended lease on the property to protect the regional district from legal or financial implications was passed.