Notice of Annual General & Inaugural Meetings Annual General Meeting: Monday, June 3, 2019 7:00pm Inaugural Meeting: Monday June 10, 2019 7:00pm
Main Hall, Union Bay Community Hall
5401 S. Island Highway, Union Bay
Landowners are encouraged to attend and learn more
about the 2018 audited financial statements presented by
MNP Assurance Services, staff reports from the Chief
Administrative Officer, Fire Chief, and Public Works
A Remedial Options Feasibility Report prepared for West Fraser Mills by Keystone Environmental considers various technologies to deal with the Union Bay coal hills. It suggests a soil cover option is the cheapest at $17 million. The costliest would be complete excavation and off-site disposal, estimated to run between $71 million and $95 million.
· According to the Environment Ministry, cleanup of the Union Bay coal hills involves the Province, West Fraser and Kensington Island Properties.
In April, Kensington Island Properties (KIP) sold 28.32
acres of contaminated land in Union Bay to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and
Natural Resource Operations. The land was sold for one dollar and “other
valuable consideration.” The Land Titles and Survey Authority in Victoria
registered the transaction on April 20.
Draft plan for Union Bay coal hills remediation to
be submitted this spring
Fraser Mills is paying for the installation of an engineered membrane
A draft plan for the remediation of the
contaminated Union Bay coal hills should be submitted to the province this
June, and the information could be public by the fall, according to a
representative from West Fraser Mills.
Although most of the information contained in the agreement between West Fraser and the provincial government over the coal hills’ clean-up is still confidential, representatives from the two bodies presented an update on the issue at the Comox Valley Regional District’s April 24 board meeting.
The Comox School district was formed July 30, 1870
Elementary School (built 1915), church (1906), post office (1913), and gaolhouse (1901). Together they form “Heritage Row while the area was still part of the Colony of Vancouver Island.
The property is an amalgamation of three parcels. The school district acquired about an acre plus the building through a Crown grant in 1949, and an adjacent one-acre lot from Canadian Collieries. In 1977, it added the third parcel in an exchange with a developer.
Closed due to dwindling number of students in the late 1990s or early 2000’s, and remaining students and faculty merged into Royston Elementary School.
The UBID purchased the land in 2007. It was assessed at about $1.3 million.
After moving to Union Bay in June of 2014 the Union Bay Elementary School District SD71 Comox Valley was in Litigation with Union Bay Improvement District.
Early in 2015 the school was not occupied, and I had a chance to talk to SD71 maintenance staff that were replacing the outside main water shut off valve to the school. He was not aware of what was happening but jokingly said he heard the land was being sold off for a retirement complex.
Then in the spring of 2016 I noticed a backhoe and a group of workers digging up a series of holes in the playground field, I asked the backhoe operator what was going on and he said they were doing a series of percolation tests for the school board.
In 2016, 2018 and 2019 we noticed the fire department and many trucks and vehicles in the school for a full day.
One of my new neighbours had school age children and asked if and when the school was going to be opening in the near future.
I decided it was time to go get some answers.
I called School District SD71 and was directed to the person in charge Director of Operations Ian Heselgraveand got some answers.
The School Board did authorize percolation testsas they were thinking of selling off the land behind the school, that idea is no longer viable.
The Union Bay Fire Department has an agreementwith SD71 that they could use the school for training, and they would “keep an eye” on the school in return.
The SD47 is presently having tours for prospective educators such as arts, specialized education etc…
Lastly Mr. Heselgrave said he is more than willing to share information related to the Union Bay Elementary School with Union Bay residence and gave me his contact numbers to share.
My wife and I moved to Union Bay in June of 2014 and in the back of the property were railway tracks. We asked, who owned the tracks and if trains were still being used. Did we ever get a variety of stories. I decided to get some answers?
The wharf at Union Bay was the primary shipment point for the coalcoming out of the Wellington coal mines. The mines remained in operation till 1966
In 1905, Robert Dunsmuir’s son James sold the E&N Railway to the Canadian Pacific Railway. The CPR built the railroad to Lake Cowichan, Port Alberni, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, and Courtenay. At its peak, the railroad had 45 stations on the main line, 36 stations on the Cowichan line, and 8 stations on the Port Alberni line.
Between 1905 and 1999, the E&N Railway was owned and operated by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Via Rail took over operation of CPR’s passenger train service, called The Malahat, in 1978, while CPR demarketed its freight operation, claiming that freight traffic was declining. In 1996, CPR reorganized the E&N as an “internal short line” named E&N Railfreight while the railbarge operations were sold to Seaspan Intermodal. In early 1999, shortline operator RailAmerica purchased the route from Nanaimo to Port Alberni, and leased the balance of the line. At that time approximately 8,500 carloads of forest and paper products, minerals, and chemicals were transported by the Southern Vancouver Island Railway each year.
Names of island railroad
Until 1996, it was called the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway (which it is still called by people living on the Island). It then spent three years as E & N Railfreight, an internal short line within then owner Canadian Pacific Railway. Operations were then sold to RailAmerica. The RailAmerica subsidiary was named E&N Railway Co (1998) Ltd. (reporting markENR), thus maintaining the historic name associations for the Vancouver Island line.
The not for profit Island Corridor Foundation is a partnership between the Cowichan Tribes and local governments along the SVI line. After years of work and negotiations, the ICF came to agreements with both the Canadian Pacific Railway and Rail Americia, to hand over its Island rail assets to the foundation for tax credits.
In February 2006, the Canadian Pacific Railway donated its 234 km (145 miles) portion of the SVI right-of-way, which averages 30.48 m (100 ft) in width between Victoria and Courtenay, to the Island Corridor Foundation. The donation tax credit exchange was estimated to be valued at $236(C) million and encompasses 6.51 km2 (2.51 sq mi) of land, six historic railway stations and a number of trestles. In addition, CPR also supplied $2.3-million in “seed money” to the Foundation. Lands were also given that produce non-rail revenue generated by property leases and encroachments on the line
On 22 March 2006, RailAmerica donated ownership of the Port Alberni to Nanaimo portion of the SVI to the Island Corridor Foundation.
No trespassing policy
More people are starting to walk, hike and use off-road vehicles on the right of way Railway and ICF officials are asking people to stay off the tracks for their own safety.
Rail line closure and delayed re-openings
Alberni Pacific excursion train, June 2013
Beginning March 18, 2011 passenger service between Victoria and Courtenay was suspended indefinitely,due to safety concerns about the poor condition of the tracks. In April 2012 the Federal Government announced that it would match a $7.5 million grant offered by the BC Provincial Government, providing the required $15 million for basic repairs and upgrades to reopen the rail line. The line was expected to reopen, and rail services re-commence in 2013, as early the spring, but was delayed due to failed negotiations between the Island Corridor Foundation and Via Rail. In July 2014, an agreement was signed by Via Rail to resume operations with plans to have services resume in the summer of 2015, but in April 2015, the ICF stated that the resumption of service has been put on hold while the BC Ministry of Transportation and provincial government review the funds for covering repair costs. As of November 2018, passenger rail still has yet to reopen.
Daniel Arbour is the director for Area A of the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD)One of Arbour’s proposals is a cycling/pedestrian trail along the rail line that would connect Union Bay with the community in Royston.
“I got appointed to the Island Corridor Foundation, and it’s been a while that we’ve been trying to get (rail service) back in (on the Island) but a lot of people, if we can’t put the rail back in, especially in our area (Area A), a lot of people would love to see some other use for the (rail) corridor,” he explained.
I have a passion for building and love using my “Tim the Toolman” power and hand tools and discovered multiple uses for pallet board wood.
Some projects are work benches, wood storage and machine stand, and garden planters.
A pallet is the structural foundation of a unit load which allows handling and storage efficiencies. Goods or shipping containers are often placed on a pallet secured with strapping, stretch wrap or shrink wrap and shipped.
I found that pallets are free from local building suppliers, Courtenay Home Depot, Central Builders-Home Hardware Building Centre and Slegg Building Materials.
A great tool that I purchased from Amazon, a Pallet board removal tool and attached a video to show how the tool makes removing boards. There are also videos on Google that show how to make one.