Catalyst Paper has instructed the Town of Lake Cowichan to undertake immediate repairs on the boat launch and ramp in town, describing it as being in “a state of disrepair.”
The boat launch is owned by Catalyst but is leased by the town and the former recently conducted a hazard assessment of the site.
Catalyst says “the immediate condition of the concrete boat ramp creates an environment that may be error inducing to unaware person,” as outlined in a letter to Mayor Ross Forrest and council.
Catalyst has asked the town for a certificate of insurance and repairs to be done, as well as the installation of new signage.
“Signage may include, but not limited to: ‘Use at own risk’, temporary warning of immediate hazardous condition and further reference to the Town of Lake Cowichan for appropriate contact regarding the condition and/or use of the aforementioned boat launch,” reads Catalyst’s letter.
Town chief administrator Joe Fernandez said at one time Catalyst tried to sell the boat launch to the town.
The issue was up for discussion at last week’s Public Works Committee meeting at the town hall.
“Apparently the boat ramp is in bad shape,” said Forrest. “There is an issue of maintenance and insurance here. We have no idea of the cost and it is not in our budget this year.”
Superintendent Nagi Rizk admits he is “hesitant” to take on the task.
“The problem is exaggerated now because of the low water levels,” he said. “It will be a big project and quite costly, it’s quite an undertaking and I think the improvements are beyond our expertise. It was just inspected and we just did some in-house repairs there this summer.”
Forrest wishes for further negotiation with Catalyst.
“I think we should speak with them and see what the minimum cost will be. Maybe they could give us the lots as part of the deal.”
Catalyst gave the town until this past Friday to respond and Fernandez confirmed to the Gazette that the town has been granted more time to get solutions and signage in place.