Budget talks a trying time for council

Mayor Ross Forrest's report:Budget talks are a very trying time for council.

Budget talks are a very trying time for council. There is no tougher decision to make than those that affect all of our citizens. The town’s staff has done a good job in providing the estimated costs for this year and projected costs for future years for water, sewer and capital projects we would like to see going forward.

We are aware of the fact that the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) has mandated secondary water treatment for the near future, plus our sewer treatment plant requires funding for necessary upgrades. These, along with ongoing improvements to our basic infrastructure, all come with a cost. We recognize improvements are required to make this a desirable place to live and we feel strongly that our downtown revitalization projects will assist in making this possible. We are aware of a few new buildings being built, plus improvements to commercial and residential structures and it is encouraging to see some properties being cleaned up. We hope this is contagious and others will follow suit, making Lake Cowichan a town we can be proud of. We all agree that we want to provide services that are best for our community, but sometimes we differ on the methods required to accomplish our goals. Council has engaged in informative, respectful debate to understand how our decisions will affect the community as a whole. We will be implementing a 4.5 per cent tax increase for this year as we attempt to satisfy the town’s needs.

Welcome Tamu Miles as the new editor of the Lake Cowichan Gazette and we look forward in working together. We attempt to get our messages out to the public through many different avenues, including our bulletin board, social media and public meetings. However, the most effective method still remains to be objective reporting from our community newspaper. Our editor plays a role in assuring the public receives information in a honest and accurate manner. Good luck to Tamu and hope she embraces this new challenge of her career.

Great story recently in the Lake Cowichan Gazette by Gilbert Lewis regarding 15-year-old Lauren Frost. Lauren wrote a 300 word essay and won $25,000 for Lake Cowichan Secondary School in the Staples Canada Essay Contest. Due to Lauren’s convictions, she wrote about how her school is helping the environment and her pride and passion came through to succeed and win this national-wide contest. Current and future LCSS students can thank Lauren as these funds are earmarked for their computer lab. We are very proud of Lauren’s achievement —well done!

In the recent LCSS newsletter, there are statistics from STAR4C Raving Mad for the Environment that I would like to share. STAR4C stands for Students Taking Action by Reducing, Reusing, Recycling, Refusing, and Composting. The school is striving to reduce its impact on the environment. The students to date, as of March 12, have collected the following:

1619 kg total weight: 876 kg (54 per cent) composted – 270 kg (17 per cent) recycled and 473 kg (29 per cent) to landfill.

It is a great achievement that only 29 per cent of their waste is ending up at the landfill. All the students who participate in this programme are setting an example for all of us to follow.



Just Posted

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

“About a year after it was last used for a bottle drive, Lake Cowichan’s derelict Scout and Guide Hall came down Monday, June 6. Girl Guides have since moved into different churches and halls around the area. Town council has yet to decide what will be done with the now vacant town-owned site.” (Tyler Clarke/Lake Cowichan Gazette, June 8, 2011)
Flashback: A.B. Greenwell, Lady of the Lake, good and bad news for the Lake News

What was making headlines this week around Cowichan Lake in years gone by

Conner Gilkin, 5, shows of some of his newfound loot to buddy Jax Dul, 7, during the Lake Cowichan treasure hunt on Saturday, June 5. (Kevin Rothbauer/Gazette)
Weekly hunt has Lake Cowichan digging for treasure

Gold? Silver? Candy? Andrew Braye has stashed away a range of prizes for eager treasure hunters

A new laundromat is opening in the Peters Centre in Lake Cowichan. (file photo)
Peters Centre getting all cleaned up

Laundromat being developed at the Neva Road site

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read