On October 10 the ICF announced its plan on gathering funding to allow it to start work on repairing the Island Railway so that full freight and passenger service can return to the mainline between Victoria and Courtenay.
Regional District taxpayers are being asked to fund approximately 15% of the cost of the bridge and tie replacement program. This amounts to $0.43 on $100,000 for residents for five years, or around $6.50 total for the five years on a house worth $300,000, about the same as Double Double and a Doughnut for you every year for the next 5 years. Personally I’m more of a iced cap and toasted sandwich guy myself. 🙂
VIFreightbyrail has learned that this local funding option was the last option considered after funding from other sources such as the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICE-T) fell through earlier this year.
The details have been posted on http://www.islandrail.ca
Here is their break down of where the funding is coming from.
7.5 Million from the Provincial and Federal Governments, $500,000 from the rail operator Southern Rail of Vancouver Island, $2.2 Million from borrowing and/or fundraising (to come later) and $3.2 Million from the Regional Districts that are represented by the Island Corridor Foundation.
On the Regional contribution the ICF notes “This is a one-time funding request to rebuild the railway and make sure your community’s efforts to acquire [the Railway] ultimately pay off.”
Given the very modest burden on tax payers, this funding request seems pretty reasonable. The return on this investment getting freight running on the full line again and VIA back on the rails is significant, into the tens of millions. Butthere is some doubt whether it will be supported in some Regional Districts.
If you would like to help, please send a letter to your local paper or straight to your local Mayor or Regional Director.
And next time you sit down at Tim’s for a chat with friends, let them know too. Th