Fernwood Dock lands in Parks and Recreation Commission harbour

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Fernwood Dock operations will likely be taken over by the Salt Spring Parks and Recreation Commission, as PARC voted last Tuesday to absorb the commission that was created by a referendum in 2002.

The Fernwood Dock Management Commission has sat empty for years. Its operations and budget have been managed off-desk by PARC staff. Bringing it under PARC control officially would transfer its budget to the parks and recreation umbrella. In 2017, the average-assessed property owner paid $5.41 for dock administration and maintenance, or $30,000 in total.

Commissioner Brian Webster was concerned that taking on responsibility for Fernwood Dock would remove its inherent administrative powers and take decision-making power away from Salt Spring.

“I just have a big problem in principle with the idea of taking what little final authority rests here on Salt Spring and giving it to the CRD Board, even though I know that all of our recommendations since I’ve sat here have gotten the thumbs up in Victoria,” he said in the meeting. “I have some concerns that that’s a backward step at a time when I think it’s appropriate for Salt Spring to be taking on more responsibility and getting more coverage delegated from the CRD Board.”

For more on this story, see the Dec. 19, 2018 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.

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