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Muni Morsels: February 12

Bits & Bites from Bowen Council
Muni Hall
Bowen Island Municipal Hall

Let’s Put a Roof on It

Chief administrative officer Liam Edwards discussed the timeline to have the roof installed on the new Community Centre. While the building company says they’re moving as quickly as possible, parts of the roof will need examining to see if the insulation has become damp. If so, some or all of the roofing membrane may need to be cut to address the issue.

“While I’m frustrated with the length of time it’s taken to put a roof on, I am still confident that when we do get a roof on it will be done properly,” said Edwards.

The CAO added that inside construction is carrying on well including the installation of drywall. But Edwards added the opening date may well be pushed back a little from the current estimate of late April.

Islands Trust budget queries

The draft budget for the Islands Trust 2024/25 fiscal year included a sizeable raise for Bowen Island’s contribution to the organization.

To help cover a $10.9 million overall budget, up from the 2023/24 total of $9.7 million, the Trust currently plans to increase Bowen’s tax levy by 18.7 per cent. This would raise the municipal contribution by just about $65,000 to $411,000. By comparison, last year’s payment of $345,989 went up $22,220, or 6.86 per cent, from 2022/23.

Coun. Alison Morse pointed out “We have had no real explanation as to why it’s more,” and asked when budget consultations would take place. Coun. Sue Ellen Fast, who along with Coun. Judith Gedye are Bowen Island’s Trustees with the Islands Trust, explained that Islands Trust reviewed their legislation and found they’re not legally required to hold budget consultations, so have stopped doing so.

Fast said she does expect the 18.7 number to come down before a final budget is adopted however. The current number, from a meeting of the Financial Planning Committee in late January, is already lower than the FPC’s initial proposed increase of 23.5 per cent in November.

Mayor Andrew Leonard asked the pair of trustees to see if they could gather more information on why the total is going up. “Without explanation I think it’s going to lead to some questions in the community about value for money if it’s not explained clearly,” said Leonard. The Islands Trust FPC is scheduled to meet again on Feb. 21.

Heritage bridge not proceeding

A proposed bridge restoration honouring Japanese-Canadians won’t be moving ahead after Metro Vancouver chose not to support the project.

The Japanese Canadian Legacies Society appeared before council last month offering to fund the reconstruction of a Japanese Bridge over Bridal Veil Falls which had originally been built in 1914. The project was intended to recognize the contributions of Japanese-Canadians to Bowen and remember the victims of Japanese Internment Camps during World War II.

Council expressed their support for the project and sent the idea to the Heritage Commission and Parks, Trails and Greenways Advisory Committee for recommendations. Both groups also showed desire to explore the restoration further.

The site of the restoration would be at Bridal Veil Falls in Crippen Park, so final say rests with the landowners in Metro Vancouver. Last Friday the organization indicated they wouldn’t be supporting the project due to environmental reasons.

“Killarney Creek is an active salmon bearing stream and the proposal would pose significant environmental impacts to this sensitive riparian area,” wrote Metro Vancouver to the municipality in a letter.

Council determined they’d respect Metro Vancouver’s jurisdiction over the land. There were suggestions the Heritage Commission could explore whether further signage recognizing Japanese-Canadians would be viable in the area.