Category: Buildings

CVRD Open House at the Saltair Water Treatment Facility – 13 May 2017

The CVRD Water Dept staff hosted a very informative Open House at the Saltair Water Treatment Facility on the 13 May 2017 from 10-1 pm.  While I was at the Open House, the staff indicated that the Open House was well attended. There was coffee, tea, and those amazing muffins & scones from the Ladysmith Old Town Bakery.  There were tours of the facility with lots of great photos of the work that has been done on the Saltair Water Distribution System over the past years and the upgrades of the New Reservoir that was built in 2014.


Brian Dennison, the CVRD Water Dept Mgr., posed for a picture in front of the reservoir to indicate how large it is. The amazing part is that as large as the reservoir is it only stores enough water to supply Saltair users for one day.

Inside the plant there was a chance for people to see the UV device that is used and how the chlorine is added to our water.  One is amazed at all the pipes and other equipment to monitor the treatment systems on site.

It was a great day to find out more about the Saltair Water System Treatment Plant.  The Saltair Water Advisory Committee thanks to the CVRD staff for taking the time to come and host a great Open House here in Saltair.

Posted by the Saltair Water Advisory Committee (

Comprehensive Building Assessment Finally Starts

Almost three years after the CVRD bought the old Mt. Breton Elementary School, a contract has been awarded to McCuaig and Associates Engineering Limited, , to undertake conditional assessment work on what is now the Saltair Community Centre building for a contract value of $16,400 (excluding taxes). There are provisions for additional work as may be directed by the CVRD. Work has started this week.  The CVRD is using Canada Works Fund money allocated to Area G to pay for the work.

Controversial Reflections

Earlier this month, SDRA President John Silins resigned.  In a memorandum, which can be found at, he reflected on his eight years as an SDRA director and four years as president. In part, Silins commented on the CVRD’s decision to purchase the old, Mount Breton Elementary School and grounds.  He said, “Soon after the purchase rumors or – in Trump speak ‘alternative facts’ were floated about, probably by unsuccessful developers. These included, in part , the building was full of asbestos and remediation would cost in excess of a million dollars as would deconstruction, the septic system was shot, no economical heat, health hazard, the roof needs replacement – hundreds of thousands of dollars, buried leaking oil tanks and so on. Unfortunately the rumors still persist. Why? Because the owner, CVRD, of the property never, in the years it owned the building, did a building inspection or assessment.”

Mr. Silins’ credentials as a volunteer and community activist cannot be questioned but his observations in this regard appear to be at least slightly incorrect.  Some of Silins’ “alternative facts” are real facts resulting from inspections or assessments.

The building is in a manner of speaking “full of asbestos”.  On July 16, 2014, Hazpro Environmental Ltd. (“Hazpro”) completed a hazardous material survey for the CVRD.  With respect to asbestos, Hazpro reported, “Asbestos was identified in the mastic on the underside of the sinks; it is assumed that all sinks have asbestos mastic. In the furnace room asbestos containing duct tape as well as gaskets on the furnace. The plaster throughout the building is asbestos containing. The exterior stucco is asbestos containing as well as the vent mastic on the roof. The doors to the furnace rooms were not sampled but are assumed to be asbestos containing.”

Similarly, the roof does need replacement and this will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.  On July 20, 2014, Westcoast Roof Inspection Services Ltd. (“Westcoast”) reported to the CVRD about the condition of the roofing.  In part, Westcoast found the roofing was more than 15 years old with a life expectancy of one to two years and would cost between $321,000 and $535,000 to replace.

Even though the CVRD had eight weeks (June 16 to August 8, 2014) for pre-purchase inspections, these were the only two inspections completed prior to purchase.

Silins is also incorrect about the CVRD’s failure to do a building assessment or inspection while it owned the building.  On July 7, 2016, North West Environmental Group Ltd. (“North West”), produced another asbestos report and an air quality report for the CVRD.  In part, North West told the CVRD it would have to have a hazardous materials risk assessment completed by qualified personnel prior to any removal and/or alteration work within the building and that specific repairs and asbestos removals were required for compliance with the BC Occupational and Safety Regulation.  North West’s air quality report describes a mould spore count in the gym that is 55 times higher than normal.

The 2014 Hazpro and Westcoast reports can be found here: Hazpro140716 and Westcoast140720

The 2016 North West reports can be found here: North West 160807 and North West 160808

SCS Signs Lease and Services Agreement

In part, a recent post at states, “The Saltair Community Society is pleased to announce that an ‘Agreement for Services and a Building Lease have been signed with the CVRD. The agreement and lease term runs until December 31st, 2018. During this time, we will continue to work to achieve our goal of successfully operating the former Mount Brenton School now called “Saltair Community Centre” for the use and benefit of Saltair and area residents. The Society applied to the CVRD and was granted $10,000 in startup funds from Area G Saltair Tax Recreation budget 456. … An official Saltair Community Centre Building Facility Condition assessment is being conducted by CVRD staff and the final draft is scheduled to be completed by July 14th, 2017. The results will provide information for long term planning of the Centre.’”

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