Buildings, Comments, News, Taxes, Water

SCC Nightmare for Saltair Taxpayers?

CVRD Staff Report “Total estimated investment over 10 years is $3,074,593, of which $737,436 is recommended to be invested immediately”

The CVRD hired McCuaig Engineering & Associates to perform a Conditional Assessment on the Saltair Community Centre/Former Mt. Brenton School.  Two reports were presented at the EASC 16 Aug 2017 meeting.” Attachment A – Facility Condition Assessment Saltair Community Centre & Attachment B – Building Envelope Condition Assessment for Gymnasium” (See McCuaig Report 170721 and McCuaig Gymnasium Report 170721 ).

The McCuaig Reports also indicated that further professional assessments were required for electrical, plumbing, venting, sewer, seismic and other assessments.  These assessment costs were not all included in the $3M, bringing the $3M to $3M PLUS.

Saltair taxpayers stepped forward in 2012 to increase taxation for the aging Saltair Water System to cover $4.5M over 15 years for approx 1/3 of the required upgrades to the distribution system.

VIHA has mandated that the Saltair Water System requires a filtration system and based on the CVRD study in 2016 this cost is approx $5M.

All Saltair residents/taxpayers benefit from safe drinking water and have stated safe water is their #1 priority.

As Saltair taxpayers we have been paying the loans for the CVRD Board purchase of the Former Mt. Brenton School & property in Aug 2014. There have been many promises that the community would have a say in the building after the purchase.  The building has been owned for three years and we are still looking for the say and/or community benefit.

When will the CVRD Board/EASC allow the Saltair taxpayers to have a democratic say about where our tax dollars are to be spent (i.e., what we as Saltair taxpayers are willing to support with our tax or grant dollars)?

There are many questions going around the Saltair community.

  • Are Saltair taxpayers willing to increase their taxation for the $3M Plus renewal of the Former Mt. Brenton School/Saltair Community Centre?
  • Is a community centre needed in Saltair at this time considering how close we are situated to all the amazing facilities and activies in Chemainus & Ladysmith?
  • Saltair taxpayers already pay taxation dollars into the Frank Jameson Community Centre in Ladysmith
  • What are the Saltair taxpayers options?
  • When will the CVRD STOP doing assessments on the building and ask the taxpayers if we want to increase our taxation to support and renovate the current building they named the Saltair Community Centre?
  • The list of questions go on and on.

It is time that we as Saltair taxpayers stand up and put the FOCUS back on us the taxpayers of Saltair and how we want our taxation dollars spent in Saltair (i.e., what we are willing to increase our taxation for and what we are not willing to increase our taxation for?).

These are my personal comments. Lynne Smith – Saltair taxpayer

15 thoughts on “SCC Nightmare for Saltair Taxpayers?”

  1. My wife (Lillian) and I are fully supportive of the campaign to hold a referendum on the fate of the old Mt. Brenton School. We will vote for demolition of the old building. We would also support re-sale of the land with a suitable zoning so that taxpayers can recapture the money lost in this flagrant waste of taxpayer money.


      1. Susan,
        There are about 860 parcels of land in Saltair. The director and a small cadre of supporters at the CVRD decided Saltair taxpayers would purchase the land and building without a demolition assessment, needs assessment, building assessment or social license (referendum). Since then, the same group decided to repurpose the building without a business plan. In other small communities like ours community centres and town halls are grown by volunteers and donors. Three years after the purchase and several tax and grant allocations to the old building, the CVRD received an expert building assessment. The cost of maintaining and updating SCC building is estimated to be $3M+ over ten years. There are similar facilities in Ladysmith and Chemainus. Many of us think this is an irresponsible waste of money in the face of our annual, 5% property tax increases and other predicted, yet-to-come regional tax increases. Please do the math.


  2. You might want update this “news” to explain what a success story the Saltair Community Centre is, and will continue to be for our community!


    1. Tim seems to miss the point. Most of us hope the SCC is a tremendous success so the small group running the SCC stops spending our tax and grant dollars on a white elephant. The point is maintaining and updating the building has cost taxpayers more than $300,000 so far and the total cost for major maintenance and upgrading is forecast to be $3 Million+ over 10 years.


      1. I am not missing the point! I was merely suggesting you update your site with some positivity regarding the Community Centre. I guess I should have expected you would not take the high road! You are incorrect on you numbers Gord! Have you thought to ask about updated costs instead of blurting out high numbers for shock value? The naysayers make claims to “not wanting a Community building at All”! They have tainted the community with negitivity regarding our fair building. Make no mistake that the likes of The naysayers have tried to have our community building torn down so they can live tax free with no thought to future Saltairians.
        Looking after an existing older building is much better than building a new structure. I ask, would you tear down your old home to build another? No, that would be cost prohibitive. I feel it is fiscally responsible to maintain what we have. Should we have to drive to Ladysmith or Chemainus to have an indoor community gathering or meeting of any kind? That doesn’t sound environmental responsible! We need a Community Center and I and many others believe our building is “value added” to our community. Thank goodness common sense has prevailed and Volunteers have come to the rescue of our Centre, with “Community spirit!”
        Where’s yours?

        Ps. I expect you will not even publish this in it entirety as I feel this is not a democratic site!


      2. We, the majority of Saltairians, just want a vote. The CVRD spent more than $15,000 on a building assessment. We would like the CVRD to spend at least this much on obtaining a social license to spend $3M+ over 10 years to maintain and update the old contaminated building.


      3. What the community wants is a referendum vote about spending Saltair property tax and/or grant money on maintaining and updating the building. That’s the Saltair community spirit. Not sure what you’re talking about.


    2. Gee tim…if the scs is such a success , why will they not publish the financial statement showing ALL sources of revenue , and expenditures ?….in the format that a business would have to file with the society act


  3. As for you Lynne.
    You ask a lot of questions with no answers in your nightmare story. What are “your” answers to your own questions now that you are kissing babies and running for Director.


    1. As far as I know, Lynne is “thinking about” running for director. We are urging her do do this. When she decides, she will resign as an administrator of this site.


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