Buildings, Comments, Linked to Reports, News, Taxes & Grants

Saltair Community Centre could cost Saltair taxpayers another $3M

In its July 21, 2017 Facility Condition Assessment of the Saltair Community Centre (SCC), McCuaig and Associates Engineering Ltd. reported major maintenance and renewal goals at the SCC might cost $3,074,593 over the next 10 years.  In 2012, the CVRD calculated the cost of borrowing $3,000,000 over 25 years was $5,400,000.  The Condition Assessment recommends an immediate investment of $737,436 to replace the failing roofing systems, repair the gymnasium and upgrade the heating, electrical and ventilation systems.  McCuaig issued two reports.  One concerns the Gymnasium.  The other deals with the overall Facility Condition Assessment.  These reports can be accessed by using the foregoing, embedded links or at

4 thoughts on “Saltair Community Centre could cost Saltair taxpayers another $3M”

  1. Mr, Mel Dorey,
    Based on a $3,000,000.00 plus estimated repair cost of the Mt. Brenton school I am sure that you and the other board of directors should come to the conclusion that approving such an expenditure would be irresponsible, unacceptable, and a total disregard, as proven in the past by you, for the Saltair property owners who are expected to pay for this extravagance.
    You have said on numerous occasions that you had a vision for Saltair which is commendable but surely you do not expect Saltair property owners to pay the bill. You told us that you refuse to live in a world that is only financial. However the reality is that a fulfillment of a vision usually comes at a financial cost. A version of one of Churchill’s most famous statements could be “never in Saltair history are so many people expected to satisfy one person’s vision and for the enjoyment of his few followers”.
    Maybe you and your few followers should foot the $3,000,000.00 expense.
    You have labelled those who do not agree with your vision naysayers, disturbers and myself playing in the mud with one of them who I have never had the pleasure of meeting.
    You could have avoided their reactions if you had at least listened to them. During the last public meeting when you said that the purchase was a done deal, three people including me, who voiced their opinion or gave advice were dismissed by you, because it was obvious that you had no intention of listening to the comments, or reasoning. At the December 2016 meeting with you in Chemainus I made a suggestion, based on my thirty plus years as an accredited Canadian real estate appraiser, regarding a possible solution for the Mt. Brenton school controversy which you totally ignored.
    The time for a referendum confirming the desire of the Saltair property owners regarding the Mt. Brenton school property has now more than ever arrived, there is no other choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remind you of the following:
    In the Cowichan Valley Citizen of March 24/17 article regarding the school property, you state that once the result of the building assessment is known we should know what we want to do .Who are you referring to, yourself using the Royal we? Your answer in red was:
    We is the CVRD and the community. Does this mean the Saltair taxpayers will then have a chance to be involved in a democratic process?
    You also wrote that we will probably have a public meeting. Probably! Do you really mean this? The Saltair Property Owners, the major stake holders are entitled to a public meeting and a referendum and they should decide what is good for the community, not you or the other area directors who created the school problem.
    Probably. You want to throw darts. We are not throwing darts by asking for the truth. We the Saltair taxpayers are the major stakeholders and we expect that there will be a public meeting without any interference from you, the CVRD board of directors or CVRD employees.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. No further public funds should be spent until the result of the referendum is known. The format of the referendum should be decided by an independent organization in order to avoid a conflict of interest and should also consider the development potential of the entire site.
    For cost comparison the 2300 more or less sq. feet addition to the Chemainus museum is almost completed. The total cost of the concrete two and three story elevatored building is estimated less than one million dollars. Compare this with the three million dollar cost estimate for the sixty year plus Mt. Brenton school building just for repairs and required updates.
    I am not against having a Saltair community centre, but it should be at an acceptable cost to the Saltair property owners.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I received a copy of Lynne Smith’s email asking the Electoral Area Directors to “press the PAUSE button”. I concur. I submit the greater than three-million-dollar price tag for further assessments, major maintenance and renewals provides more than enough incentive for asking and answering the questions that have not yet been asked and answered.
    1. Is there a need for a community centre or community hall in Saltair?
    Since 2014, the only significant activity at the SCC has been the privately-operated daycare, which occupies perhaps 20% of the building. Other than this, there has only been a handful of private and public meetings, which could have been held at facilities in Ladysmith or Chemainus that are likely no more than 15 minutes away from any Saltair resident. I live a few minutes away from the SCC and visit Saltair Centennial Park frequently. Although I have not attended every event that has taken place in the old school building or on the old school grounds, I have yet to see anyone using the basketball court or fields that were purchased in 2014.
    At the very least, I submit the EASC should undertake a needs analysis and that this analysis should include an analysis of the potential impact of the SCC on recreational facilities in Chemainus and Ladysmith. Will an updated facility in Saltair simply relocate activities from facilities in Ladysmith and Chemainus to Saltair? In its August 2017 letter to CVRD directors and staff, the Saltair Community Society (SCS) states that the Chemainus Sketch Group and other individuals and groups have expressed interest in rentals at the SCC. Notwithstanding that the SCS has not attached any projected income amounts to such rentals or otherwise submitted a business plan, where are these groups meeting now? Would an updated SCC negatively impact recreational facilities in Ladysmith and Chemainus?
    2. Does the community want a community centre or community hall in Saltair?
    Despite repeated calls for a referendum by Saltair taxpayers, there has been no referendum or significant survey concerning the willingness of Saltair taxpayers to have or fund a community centre or community hall in Saltair. Public meetings have been held concerning this but no vote has been held or tallied. Two small surveys have been conducted. The October 19, 2016 survey demonstrated that 82% of the respondents did not believe there was an immediate need for a community centre in Saltair, 81% had no interest in using the SCC and 63% did not think taxpayers should fund the SCC. An equally small survey at demonstrates 86% of the respondents do not think the CVRD should spend tax or grant dollars on the SCC.
    If the CVRD finds there is a need for a community centre or community hall in Saltair, I submit it must take meaningful steps to find out whether Saltair taxpayers want and are willing to pay for such a facility. The CVRD has already spent more than $200,000 taxpayer dollars on repurposing, assessing and maintaining the SCC. The three-million-dollar price tag for further assessments, major maintenance and renewals more than justifies the cost of a referendum now.
    3. Is repurposing the old, Mount Breton Elementary School building our best option?
    Even if there is a need, a want and a willingness to pay for a community centre or community hall in Saltair, I submit the CVRD will be remise if it does not now identify, investigate and evaluate all our options. The need for further water system upgrades and filtration is consuming tax dollars. If there was ever a need for extreme care, it is now. Can we build or buy a new facility that meets our wants and needs for less than $3M? Can we demolish the old building and subdivide? Can we lease the old Water Board property and build there?
    Personally, I don’t think Saltair needs or wants a community centre or community hall. Moreover, my sense is a referendum asking Saltair taxpayers to fund such a facility is certain to fail. I know the failure to answer these questions while throwing money at a building likely past its design service life is causing significant disruption. I urge you to find a way for the community to express its democratic will. I submit nothing less will calm the current situation.
    All of which is respectfully submitted by,
    Gord Van Dyck


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