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Re-assessment money payback sought for pier

By Laura Lavin
Peninsula News Review

THE PENINSULA * Reg Teeney wants some money back from the federal government.
Nine years ago, when the Bevan Pier project in Sidney was in its infancy, a $2,500 environmental assessment was done to ensure the 100-foot extension to the pier and the 450 offshore reef balls would not harm the surrounding sea life.
The project passed with flying colours, but according to Western Economic Diversification Canada, that was then, this is now.
In order for Sidney to receive the federal half of $580,000 given to the project in April, part of the Canada-BC Infrastructure program, the WEDC ordered another assessment.
"It was exactly the same assessment we did last time," said Teeney, who is a major fund raiser and proponent of the project.
However, Susan Schooley, spokesperson for WEDC, said each application needs to be treated distinctly and part of that meant an up-to-date environmental assessment needed to be done.
"A nine-year old study would be considered dated," Schooley said.
So, the town forked over the money for the assessment, and again it passed with flying colours, which prompted Teeney to try and get the money back from the feds.
Town of Sidney director of development services Al Cameron said the $2,500 is not a concern for the town.
"It's not a big deal. If you're getting $600,000 in grants you have to be a little giving," he said.
Nonetheless, Teeney said he has contacted Victoria MP David Anderson and Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Gary Lunn about the matter.
He wants them to see if they can get the money back since the project was two-thirds completed when the second assessment was performed.
"If they're not able to do anything about it, that's fine. At least I got it off my chest."

Copyright 2004 Victoria News