Qualicum Beach council Monday waived property taxes for 25 property owners Monday, but some council members questioned why they're still doing favours for the E&N Railway when there aren't any trains running.
The Island Corridor Foundation received exemptions from the town totalling $33,641 and the railway station (VIA-E&N) $1,391.
Mayor Teunis Westbroek and Coun. Mary Brouil-ette wondered why the town is still paying for level crossings and other rail-related properties when there are no trains.
"I guess the point is valid," said Chief Adminis-rative Officer Mark Brown. "I will look into it."
Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer noted that the town, besides the tax exemptions, also pays Southern Railway, the E&N line's operator, a monthly fee. Brown and Finance Director John Marsh didn't know the amount offhand but said it totals less than $25,000 a year.
Coun Dave Willie said the Island Corridor Foundation, which owns the rail corridor, is five months late in releasing its audited statements.
"The amount of money being spent on a dead issue is appalling," he said.
Members of the ICF, of which the Regional District of Nanaimo is one, are at risk of losing $14 million in federal and provincial funding for the line, he said.
He gave notice that he'll introduce a motion to council asking the RDN to consider other options for the corridor.
Other property exemptions approved by council Monday range from $2,118 for the Qualicum Community Baptist Church on Beach Road to $60,247 for the Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Club, which is owned by the town.
The Old School House received an exemption of $20,617, the Oceanside Hospice Society's Valhalla $11,228, Branch 76 of the Royal Canadian Legion $9,299, the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce $6,905, and the ECHO Players Village Theatre $5,137.
A half-dozen churches received exemptions ranging from about $11,000 to $16,000.
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