City approves Thunder in the Valley for Stamp Ave.

Thunder in the Valley has received the city’s stamp of approval to run on Stamp Avenue next August—at a $93,000 cost to the city.

Thunder in the Valley has received the city’s stamp of approval to run on Stamp Avenue next August. And the City of Port Alberni has agreed to foot a $93,000 bill for modifications to the road so the drag racing event can go ahead.

In a report to city council, finance director Cathy Rothwell and city engineer Guy Cicon laid out the extra costs to the city—costs that didn’t exist when the event was run out at the airport. The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, which operates the airport, has terminated its contract with Thunder in the Valley due to impending expansion of the runway this summer.

“We’ve identified the main issues that may arise from holding Thunder in the Valley on Stamp Avenue,” said Cicon.

“That’s public liability insurance, roadway preparation roadway closure and signage and concrete barriers.”

Roadway preparation is estimated to cost the city approximately $40,000.

“That’s the median down the centre of the road that we would just remove, build up the base and repave it,” Cicon said. Line painting would have to occur after the event.

Coun. Chris Alemany asked whether or not removing the median could play into the city’s proposal to install bike lanes along Stamp Avenue.

Cicon said that it likely would not help, citing a need for left turn lanes in the centre lane of Stamp Avenue even without a median.

Concrete barriers would need to be procured in order to guarantee the safety of spectators at a cost of $33,000.

“These are concrete barriers that we would need to separate the viewers from the traffic,” Cicon said.

It’s possible that the city can get the barriers at no cost from the ministry of transportation, he added.

“There may be quite a few more, that if we get them transferred here, we wouldn’t have to buy them. So that [$33,000] could go down.”

Liability insurance was identified by Alberni Valley Drag Racing Association president Bill Surry as a possible showstopper. The extra $20,000 premium will pay for an extra $20 million of liability insurance, above the $15 million the AVDRA already carries for past Thunder in the Valley events at the airport.

Rothwell’s report stated that the city had consulted with its insurers and a race event insurance expert in Edmonton with the following con-clusion: “At the end of the day, it is the city’s business decision to make but I would suggest they consider not allowing this event.”

Councillors questioned the insurance estimates.

“I’m wondering about the insurance. I think what Thunder in the Valley has had in the past is $15 million and we are looking at an additional $20 million for a total of $35 million.

“Is that an appropriate amount of insurance? Why do we need to go so much higher?” Coun. Sharie Minions asked.

Surry said that they had gone from $5 million to $15 million upon the ACRD’s request.

“We originally started out with $5 million at the airport but the regional district asked us to change that so we ended up with $15 million,” Surry said.

The reason for the increased insurance was location-based, Rothwell told council.

“Thunder in the Valley was formerly held at the airport, which is a much safer, less complicated area to hold it,” she said.

“Going to $35 million, I’m not an actuary, I don’t know what might happen, but I would think that $35 million is likely adequate barring any really unbelievable disasters.

“Our insurance people aren’t really comfortable with the whole idea anyway—$35 million is probably the minimum that they would really even look at.”

Surry said he still wasn’t sure why the estimate was so high.

“Cathy [Rothwell] and I phoned and checked through our insurance people and they thought this amount of money was ludicrous. I don’t know how we arrived at $35 million.”

The extra $20,000 isn’t something that the AVDRA could pay itself.

“The extra $20,000 actually makes it cost prohibitive to run the event,” said Surry.

“The insurance is just baffling us because this is a much safer site. If you went off the track at the airport, you can run there for a hundred feet before you hit a barrier. Here, you’re inside the barriers. That’s why we wanted the barriers down either side so that if they do get out of hand they bounce against them and they’re back in and it’s over.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

facebook.com/albernivalleynews

twitter.com/alberninews

 

Just Posted

AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)
SD70 chooses new name for AW Neill School in Port Alberni

New name honours Nuu-chah-nulth Peoples’ connection to region

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Ron MacDonald fields questions at a news conference in Halifax on Sept. 27, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Finding ‘comfortable’ indigenous monitor tough task in Tofino-area shooting death

Julian Jones case hampered by difficulty finding a civilian comfortable with privacy protocols

Port Alberni RCMP officer in command Insp. Eric Rochette presents longtime community policing volunteer Louie Aumair with a OIC appreciation certificate. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni RCMP honour longtime volunteer

First responders receive support from broader community

The Dock+ is located on Harbour Road in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
PROGRESS 2021: Port Alberni’s food hub still growing a year later

The Dock hopes to open a retail store on Alberni’s busy waterfront

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read