On August 16, 2017, McCuaig and Associates Engineering Ltd. (“McCuaig”) presented a summary of its expert facility condition assessment reports regarding the Saltair Community Centre to the EASC. In part, McCuaig:
- Found a range of conditions from Excellent to Very Poor with most appearing to fall in the Fair category.
- Found the oldest part of the building was built in 1950 and had design life expectancy of between 50 and 99 years (now 67 years old).
- Recommended spending $3,074,593 over 10 years ($737,436 of which is to be spent in 2017) for renewals.
- Identified the likely need for five further (plumbing, electrical, septic, damp proofing and seismic) assessments.
Area G Director, Mel Dorey, found the numbers “incredible” and some of the recommendations “over the top”. In effect, Dorey second-guessed the expert recommendations we just paid $16,000 to obtain. Although I am uncertain about the exact nature of the motion, Dorey appeared to make a motion to have CVRD Staff prepare a report outlining all the options for upgrading (i.e., doing the upgrading in a different manner and on a different timeline than the expert recommended). I am uncertain about the exact nature of the motion because Dorey later said there were probably a dozen options including the option to subdivide and sell, which sounds like an option to doing any upgrading at all rather than an option for doing the upgrading but differently than McCuaig recommended. We will have to wait for the meeting minutes to discern the exact nature of his motion. However, the motion passed.
Several directors emphasized the need to determine whether there was public support for the Saltair Community Centre now. Director Khun made the most compelling argument for a referendum. In effect, he asked why the CVRD would waste time and money on further studies and expenses when it might turn out Saltair taxpayers do not support the initiative.