It is recommended that a 99-year-lease agreement be sought by qathet Regional District with City of Powell River to operate the planned resource-recovery centre on the city’s waste transfer lands.
At the Thursday, June 13, regional district committee of the whole meeting, regional directors considered a recommendation to execute legal documents required between the regional district and the city for the old Marine Avenue incinerator site closure and the resource-recovery centre project.
A temporary licence is in place between the two governments to allow access required for preliminary works prior to the execution of formal agreements. Necessary long-term legal agreement documents have been prepared and negotiated by staff of the regional district and city, and the legal counsels of both governments.
Regional district Electoral Area B director Mark Gisborne said the staff report says the final boundary for the resource-recovery centre will be determined through the subdivision process required to create a separate parcel for this purpose from the existing lands. He asked, once it becomes subdivided, does the regional district take ownership of that land, or will it still be owned by the city and leased to the regional district?
Regional district manager of asset management and strategic initiatives Mike Wall said the land would be leased to the regional district.
Gisborne asked about the regional district taking ownership of that parcel of land.
Wall said the lease arrangement would be the best course of action. The lease agreement would have the least cost to it, he said.
Gisborne said he had issues with 99-year leases.
“I don’t see them lasting necessarily forever,” he said. “It’s a big project. I’m a little apprehensive about spending so much money on a piece of property that the regional district does not own. In 99 years it will be back to the municipality and I’m sure the regional district will still be in charge of waste management.”
Area A director Patrick Brabazon said he understood the concern, however, this property will be acquired under the solid waste management plan under the rules, regulations and laws of the province.
“We have the hammer on garbage,” said Brabazon. “I don’t share any great concerns about how we handle the property in the future. It’s our garbage plan and we will run it.”
Gisborne said it is the regional district’s garbage plan, it is responsible for solid waste, and he’s concerned in 99 years, it will be a very different municipality than today, and they could say “we don’t want you on our land anymore, we’ll take control of the facility and you have to find someplace else to operate.”
Brabazon said the day that happens, the city is going to learn who runs the garbage plan.
“It’s not an issue we need to be concerned about,” said Brabazon. “The municipality knows that regional districts run the garbage plan, period.”
Committee of the whole voted that it direct the regional board chair (Brabazon) and chief administrative officer Al Radke to execute the project agreement, lease agreement and licence of use and occupation for old incinerator site closure and the resource-recovery centre project.