Buildings, Comments, News, Taxes

Is the CVRD’s Electoral Area Services Committee (the “EASC”) second-guessing its own expert reports?

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:

  1. Found a range of conditions from Excellent to Very Poor with most appearing to fall in the Fair category.
  2. 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).
  3. Recommended spending $3,074,593 over 10 years ($737,436 of which is to be spent in 2017) for renewals.
  4. 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.

5 thoughts on “Is the CVRD’s Electoral Area Services Committee (the “EASC”) second-guessing its own expert reports?”

  1. The McCuaig reports cost Saltair taxpayer $16,000. That was $16,000 of grant money that could have gone toward the cost of water system upgrades. According to Dorey, a referendum would cost Saltair taxpayers $15,000. If a referendum to spend money on the Saltair Community Centre fails, Saltair taxpayers will save at least $3,059,220 (99.5% of $3,074,593). If such a referendum passes, it will cost us an extra $15,000 (or one-half percent of $3,074,593). We paid more than this for our expert opinion, which the CVRD now appears to be prepared to ignore. What price do you put on democracy?


  2. Engineering companies are suppose to show only the ugly side of an evaluated building. They are to assess everything that needs to be done on a perfect building. May be our building is not perfect. But in time it could be made adequate for our community needs.


    1. “The purpose of this assessment was to complete a visual, non-destructive walkthrough review of the building to produce a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the building
      condition in order to identify the condition of the building assets and any deficient components.” MAE did this. It will cost $3 Million Plus over a 10-year period to make this building adequate.


      1. This assessment is one in many accessments to come for all the CVRD buildings and assets. This is the CVRD CEO’s long term plan. Many of the builds will have defects. Not all will be will be made to new standards!


      2. The assessment is an expert assessment. The CVRD spent about $16,000 of our gas tax grant money to obtain it. It says the building repairs and upgrades will require $3 Million Plus over the next 10 years. I guess you can slow it down or speed it up but, As the assessment says, ““From our experience with building rehabilitations, it is not uncommon for some high price items to be completed in phases rather than in a single year. This strategy usually comes with a higher overall cost …”


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