The following are briefs from the May 13 regular council meeting:
Show me the money: Chief Financial Officer Raj Hayre presented the 2018 audited financial statements to council. He said that the net financial position of BIM improved by about $2.1 million over the previous year. He said that the improvement is represented by the increase in portfolio investments of about $440,000 and an increase in capital assets of about $1.5 million (taking Cove Commons, Foxglove road and some water and sewer infrastructure under municipal ownership).
Under operations, he said that the surplus was $80,000 higher than the budget provision and expenditures $375,000 under budget.
The municipality also earned interest on grant funds for the Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant that were reinvested until such a time as they could be spent
Metro Vancouver likes its committees too: Councillor and Metro Vancouver director David Hocking has been appointed to the Metro Vancouver Indigenous Relations Committee. Hocking is on three other Metro committees and with councillor Maureen Nicholson on the parks board, Bowen now has people on five Metro committees. Hocking said that in the past he has done consulting work with First Nations for the Climate 2050 Metro Vancouver report.
New community billboard coming: BC Hydro is planning to put a pole in front of the library to enable a service connection to Union Steamship Company Marina. Manager of public works Bob Robinson said that as a utility company, BC Hydro doesn’t necessarily need to conform to council wishes but also having spoken to the company, location options for the new connection are limited.
In his staff report to council Robinson said, “ Historically concerns from Public Works regarding the installation of power poles and their locations in Snug Cove have resulted in no change from BC Hydro.”
Councillors’ concerns included accessibility (another pole in the sidewalk isn’t good for people with mobility issues), aesthetic and the inconvenience of BC Hydro digging up the road in the summer to put an underground line between the library and USSC.
Council asked staff to voice its dismay with the pole’s placement to BC Hydro.
The Vogons can relate: The municipality is applying for grant funding for a housing needs assessment but manager of planning and development Daniel Martin said that it could take up to a year for one to be completed on Bowen.
Ok, now show me the money: In a committee of the whole meeting Monday, council heard that the cost of the Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant is now up to about $7.6 million (it was estimated at $5.8 million in 2016 but with inflation has risen). While there’s grant funding and reserves for much of the cost, the municipality is short at least $900,000. Manager of public works Bob Robinson, chief financial officer Raj Hayre and chief administrative officer Kathy Lalonde were to meet this week to discuss what could be done about the shortfall.
Robinson’s report to council also said that the municipality has “received formal communication from the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority indicating that the existing system is vulnerable to pathogen contamination and does not meet the watershed protection requirements.”
Correction: the print version of this story said that Hocking had been appointed to the Aboriginal Relations Committee, it is in fact the Indigenous Relations Committee. The Undercurrent regrets the error.