At a packed West Howe Sound Community Association annual general meeting this week, incoming Sunshine Coast Regional District director Katie-Louise Stamford faced questions about snow and fire emergencies, and a suspicious RV in Langdale.
“Those are really good questions,” she said, adding that she foresees challenges as a new director. She has been attending SCRD meetings and events, as well as researching community problems since her acclamation as Area F director in October.
Katie-Louise Stamford’s four-year mandate as Area F director officially begins Nov. 10. Twenty-one people attended the WHSCA annual general meeting, filling Eric Cardinal Hall.
Discussions at the AGM began with a focus on the windstorm that hit the Sunshine Coast on Friday and early Saturday. It knocked out trees and power to much of the Coast, and some Area F properties still had outages.
The storm blew loose a log boom on Gambier Island. Logs bashed into the Gambier ferry dock, whereupon wind and waves pushed them toward the Langdale shoreline.
“We had to hop over logs to get on the Stormaway,” Stamford said. She lives on Gambier Island and takes that boat in order to attend SCRD meetings and Sunshine Coast events.
WHSCA director Dave Magnuson-Ford asked Stamford about snow plowing on small, rural roads. He said two elderly couples on Grady Road in Langdale were stranded during last year’s snows. “Emergency services couldn’t get up.”
The issue, he explained, was that six snowfalls hit the Coast in quick succession. Capilano Highways, which plows snow for the district, starts with high priority roads, including bus routes and school roads. Then it goes down the priority list. One-block roads like Grady are on the bottom. If another snow falls, the company starts at the top again—even though it never got to the smaller roads, Magnuson-Ford said.
That brought up talk of fire emergencies. Ian Winn, a former Area F director, said properties north of YMCA Road don’t have fire protection. “Our houses are going to burn down.”
Mark Hiltz, outgoing Area F director for the SCRD, noted that some areas of the upper coast such as Thormanby Island and pocket areas near Pender Harbour, also lack a fire department.
Area homeowner Ian Crichton suggested that a volunteer fire department could be proposed as a satellite of the Gibsons fire hall.
Another issue that came up was a suspicious RV parked on Smith Road in Langdale since the summer. Toni Serofin, another WHSCA director, asked if the SCRD could do anything about it.
Serofin said she has been in touch with the RCMP since July. “Const. Fox said he would see about it,” she said, but the RV is still there. The old vehicle has no license plate. There’s an expired temporary registration on the windshield, along with a “Danger” sign in the front and back.
“I just want to know where the cops are. It’s kind of shocking,” Serofin said.
Stamford told the Nov. 8 meeting that she is open to questions from Area F residents as she takes on her SCRD position.