ICF asking regional districts to pony up cash

The Island Corridor Foundation needs $5 million for track infrastructure restoration and wants the ACRD to help pay for it.

The Island Corridor Foundation needs $5 million for track infrastructure restoration and they want five Vancouver Island regional districts to ante up to help pay for it.

ICF executive director Graham Bruce will meet with the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District next week to discuss the proposal.

The ACRD is one of five regional districts the ICF is meeting between Victoria, Courtenay and Port Alberni to raise money for the project.

“I’ll be discussing a number of things with them,” Bruce said.

The federal and provincial governments contributed $15 million to the ICF in April for track repair work but there’s still $5 million worth of work to be done, Bruce said.

Bruce didn’t say how much he was looking for from each regional district or how specifically each district would underwrite the remaining cost.

The money would be used to upgrade the Victoria sub and would be done over a 10-year span.

There’s been no analysis of the structural strength or maintenance needs of the 48 bridges and trestles on the complete E&N line, Bruce said. The ICF has spent $500,000 on an audit of the system, he added.

ACRD chair Glenn Wong confirmed the meeting with the ICF on Aug. 8 and that he understood the group will present a plan and request for a contribution. He didn’t know if the meeting was going to be public or in-camera.

“This is the first real ask from the ICF,” Wong said. “We haven’t discussed this as a board and there’s been no decision made yet.”

When asked if the ACRD had the ability to ante up, Wong replied “we look forward to hearing their presentation.”

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