Cumberland is considering ways to cover sani-dump costs as well as looking for a potential new location. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Cumberland looks at ways to cover recreation amenity costs

Staff will explore sponsorship options as well as a new site for sani-dump

  • Aug. 5, 2021 12:00 a.m.

Cumberland is considering ways to pay for amenities for bike riders and RV travellers.

At a committee of the whole meeting in late July, staff presented council with some ideas on covering costs for the village-operated sani-dump site near Village Park and the bike wash located in the parking lot of the Cumberland Recreation Centre.

“We’ve investigated some options,” said Kevin McPhedran, parks and recreation manager.

This includes a fee-for-service model. Staff were already going to look at this for the sani-dump but investigated it for the bike wash as well.

McPhedran said their research suggests there would be some “headaches” associated with moving to either a coin-operated or credit-card set-up for the amenities.

“This is just based on the experience of BC Parks and their facility operators in the area,” he said.

Looking at the costs of operations, including water, he said there is potential for looking to a sponsorship model for service.

“We believe there is a market for this type of sponsorship,” he said.

There were differing views among council members about paying for services such as RV sani-dumps. Coun. Gwyn Sproule said in her experience this tends to be free, though sometimes donations are accepted, while Coun. Vickey Brown had found that when she has used them, she has paid a nominal fee.

Another consideration for the sani-dump is a suggestion from staff to move it to a new site. It is the only free sani-dump in the valley, with the next closest one in Port Alberni. The regional district is looking into adding another one in the area.

“There are also some concerns with the facility being in the downtown core,” McPhedran said, citing impacts such as congestion from vehicles and parking use.

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Mayor Leslie Baird said the current site is better than a previous one, which also had issues, but she supported the staff recommendation to look at re-locating the facility away from downtown.

The staff report estimates that the sani-dump costs about $500 a year to run, plus minor costs for water use and wastewater processing. A move to a new site would bring additional set-up costs. To operate the bike wash, it costs the village about $1,100 for water, maintenance and repairs.

Council passed motions to explore ways to cover costs for the services and find a new place for the sani-dump.

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