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General News · 14th October 2017

The SCCA Board is pleased to inform the community that our Emergency Power project is complete.

At the request of Regional Director Noba Anderson and the Gas Tax Advisory Committee, the SCCA was able to achieve cost savings and efficiencies in the kitchen renovation budget to help fund our Emergency Power Project.

The days of closing the Hall due to power cuts are now over. Over the years we've had power failures and cancelled our Community Christmas Dinners, or lost Market Days and other community events.

We have a new 35kw generator, to supply all of the lights in the building, the well pump, water system, fire alarms and septic, plus the full kitchen, including the exhaust system, hot water and refrigeration.

The Hall has been extensively rewired and upgraded for the transfer panels to the generator and for the new kitchen appliances.

All of the lighting in the building has been replaced with new LED fixtures, or LED bulbs. This will reduce our Hydro costs and carbon footprint, in addition to reducing the load requirements of the generator.

All of our refrigeration is new, Energy Star rated, and efficient to modern standards.

The new stove, ovens and grill are powered by propane, which supplies more BTU's, cooking ease, and lower operating costs than commercial grade electrical ranges.

Mansons Hall Community Center now has the capacity to cook and cater up to 175 people, host community events, private functions and the Friday Market, rain or shine, during power interruptions and winter storms.

A big thank-you to Mel Dery from Quadra Electric, for installing the new electrical system and rewiring the Hall, and to Jean Fontaine and the crew at Blue Moon Woodworks.

The SCCA would like to thank our Regional Director Noba Anderson, the Cortes Island Gas Tax Committee, plus the Strathcona Regional District’s board and staff for their funding support of this Emergency Power Project via a Community Works Grant.
SCCA Reply
Comment by Julian on 19th October 2017
Thank you to Romina for explaining the financial and social impact of power outages, and recognizing the positive value of our new emergency power system to the community.
The system was paid for via grants and donations, at no cost to taxpayers.
Capital improvements to the community center have all been paid thru grants and donations, and we will continue to fundraise to improve our facilities.
The Service Tax funding requested by the SCCA is specifically for Core Costs, and are detailed at length in this section.
To answer the question "and this is the kind of stuff the hall tax is for", the answer is "No".
Impacts of Power Loss - Why I'm Grateful
Comment by Romina on 15th October 2017
When work, energy and money are put into an event and it has to be cancelled all of the sudden due to a power outage, that’s a financial loss not only for the hall but also for all that people related in coordinating that event. Booking a hall without back-up power on Cortes is a risky endeavor. If you have to spring time and cost to bring a performer or band to the island, no power is a real problem. If you rely on market sales to supplement your income, it’s more than just an inconvenience if the market can not run on its only day. If you have spent months coordinating an event, speaker or diner and it cannot go forward because a tree fell on a wire, that has a real impact on people’s pocket books all round not just morale. It is peace of mind to know time and money sunk into planned bookings will not be at risk for sake of power loss. In addition to that security having an emergency generator in the community is a real smart investment to the over all island emergency preparedness. We have witnessed many recent disasters throughout the world due to extreme weather, and now knowing Cortes has such a resource, which may be able to provide warmth or a warm meal to vulnerable residents at such times, is something I feel grateful for.
And this is the kind of stuff the hall tax is for ?
Comment by Walker Evans on 14th October 2017
It's nice to have a generator to be sure. But seriously, does the hall really need a generator with associated costs like regular maintenance, housing it, electrician's costs and gas ? You live on an island. Can you not do without the use of the hall for a single day ? During power outages most of us are sticking close to home putting wood in our airtight stoves and keeping the candles lit.
One more reason why I'm strongly against the hall tax. No accountability.