Decisions need to be made on South Shore Road priorities

Road, or sidewalk? Proposed budget won’t cover everything council would like to see

Improvements are likely coming to South Shore Road. It’s just still up in the air exactly which improvements, and when.

Lake Cowichan council is still debating work to be done along South Shore Road, with various changes set to continue over forthcoming months.

Councillor Bob Day outlined his concerns at a Feb. 4 Lake Cowichan public works committee meeting.

“Items that are unfinished are the sidewalk by the Cowichan Lodge —as it’s been discussed as dangerous and difficult to walk on — the west-end boulevards across from the arena and the centre of the roundabout. My reason for asking these questions is I’d like to see South Shore Road complete,” said Day.

Town superintendent Nagi Rizk responded.

“We’ve addressed the sidewalk at the lodge and that project is done as far as we’re concerned, however it’s ready for concrete if council sees fit. The boulevards will stay gravel and there is no plans to put grass in between,” he said.

“The centre of the roundabout is entirely up to council. We’ve not included it in the budget as we don’t know what to budget for there yet. There will also be two medians going in at Saywell Park.” said Rizk.

Chief Administrator Joe Fernandez confirmed the town has budgeted $180,000 specifically for work to South Shore Road, $80,000 of which is to be used for roadworks.

“We’ve budgeted $180,000 that would complete the projects that we’ve started. If council decides on further improvements for the sidewalk (at the lodge) rather than the road, then that’s a choice they have to make,” said Fernandez.

“We’re finishing off the streetlights and they should be lit by the end of the month, but there are costs there. The superintendent is down to the pennies on these completion jobs. Let’s hope $180,00 does the trick.”

Councillor Jayne Ingram prompted a discussion on banners to be placed along South Shore Road.

“Are we looking at seasonal banners such as Lake Days and Heritage Days?” she asked.

Day suggested the banners be “something used for spring and summer and then put away for winter.”

Fernandez confirmed that $10,000 has been budgeted for banner usage.

“It’s something that fits this year but all we have is $10,000. It’s not a lot of money,” he said.

Councillor Tim McGonigle stated he “would like to see a partnership with the arts program at Lake Cowichan School for the banners.”