At its March 4, 2014 meeting, the Comox Valley Sports Centre Commission approved gaining electoral approval for funding the Comox Valley Curling Centre upgrades at a project cost of $1.9 million by conducting an alternate approval process (AAP).

Background

Over several years, a peer committee comprising Comox Valley Curling Club Society representatives and Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) staff had worked together on viable options for the aging curling club facility that opened in 1958. Alternatives proposed ranged from remaining with the status quo, to renovation of part or all of the facility, to construction of an entirely new building.

At the time, the main components of the curling centre’s refrigeration plant were more than 50 years old, and portions of it had deteriorated to the point of requiring replacement. The supporting services, including equipment change rooms, offices, sports shop, kitchen, meeting rooms, banquet hall and viewing lounges, were also in need of updating.

In January 2013, RDH Building Engineer Ltd. presented the results of a feasibility study to the committee of the whole that showed certain aspects of the facility and its equipment were well beyond their life expectancy and were in need of replacement; some urgently.

An October 2013 Meyers Norris Penny LLP (MNP) independent review of the Comox Valley Curling Centre options provided in the RDH report recommended three options. The option considered to be most cost-effective was to renovate the curling rink and perform minimum work to the supporting services at an estimate of $1.9 million.

An alternative approval process (AAP) was initiated to gain elector approval. If approved, Bylaw No. 327 would have borrowed funds paid back through tax requisition, estimated to be $0.0138 per $1,000. For a property assessed at $300,000 the lax levy impact for the curling centre project would be $4.14 per year per household.

Results

In order for the CVRD to proceed with the final adoption of Bylaw No. 327, less than 10 per cent of the electors in the service area would have had to submit an elector response form. In the case of the proposed recreation complexes service loan authorization bylaw, the total number of electors within the service was 47,372; 10 per cent of that number, or 4,732, would have had to submit an elector response form to prevent the CVRD from adopting Bylaw No. 327 without going to referendum.

At the close of the process on June 13, 2014, 423 elector response forms were received from the electors in the service area.