The City of Campbell River will take over ownership and maintenance of the Beaver floatplane at the entrance to Campbellton.
Council agreed Monday night to include it in next year’s budget and spend $3,500 on a plaque for the attraction on Highway 19 after a request from the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association (CNA).
After consulting with engineers who worked on the project, Coun. Sean Smyth says most of the expensive work was already covered by the CNA.
“The upkeep on this will be minimal at best. Wash it with soap once every two years maximum. It’s going to look good for a very long time. They did a really good job on this. I think the cost to the city will be minimal,” Smyth said.
Coun. Ron Kerr said the people involved in the project went “over and above” and put $500,000 into the plane.
“This has been a long, long project, and the fact that it’s got to this point now where it’s complete, can be handed over to the city for all time. It’s fantastic,” Kerr said.
Coun. Tanille Johnston questioned whether the city would be responsible for the replanting of the trees that were cut down to put the de Havilland Beaver in place. “There was a no disturbance zone that was disturbed I guess you could say, during the process.”
Johnston claimed that 40 new trees needed to be planted for the eight removed in that area and an environmental report backed up her claim.
Kerr bristled at Johnson’s claim. “I was there and I’m going to tell you right out, there were not eight trees cut. If they were, they were brush,” he said.
City staff said some trees were removed but replanting would happen in other areas of the city as the structure is on a highway right-of-way – not a park.
The city will hold a ribbon cutting once the transfer and plaque are complete.
In its first meeting, city council spent $8,700 in its first meeting – most coming from the council contingency fund. In addition to the $3,500 plaque, it spent $3,000 to support the Campbell River Community Foundation’s upcoming housing security event and another $2,200 to up its sponsorship for the Indigenous Resources Opportunities Conference.
Staff say the council contingency fund has just over $44,000 in it.