CVRD Areas F and I Parks Advisory Commissions both held their annual meetings this past week.
Area F met at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena on Jan. 31. After the adoption of the meeting agenda, Area F director Ian Morrison read a pared-down report, pending figures and information he says he needs before he can tabulate the budget which he intends to present at the commission’s next meeting.
Chair David Lowther spoke about a couple of projects the commission is actively working on.
“We made it through another year under budget with measurable forward progress,” Lowther said in his report. “Improvements to Central Beach are underway, and we are working on revising the Honeymoon Bay lawn bowling club.”
With a budget of only $3,500, the commission managed to execute a considerable amount of clean-up at the beach, including removal of invasive willows, and felled trees and roots, which opened up the beach area. With the balance remaining in its budget, the commission plans to complete the beach resurfacing for this summer, but is putting a hold on installing a volleyball net on the upper lawn until it can afford the proper court (estimated at $10,000) which must be in place first.
Elections were held for two appointee positions and filled by David Darling and Raymond Wear, who are both returning for another two-year term.
Area I held its AGM conjointly with the Youbou Fire Protection Service Commission in the Youbou Community Hall on Feb. 3.
In the first part, Youbou Fire Protection Service Commission chair Bill Gibson gave a report on the status of the fire department in 2012. Gibson said the fire department needs a new fire truck, and that it takes about a year before it can be replaced as these vehicles are specially commissioned.
Gibson noted also that new fire fighters are needed.
Youbou fire chief Orest Smycniuk also gave his year end report with the number of call-outs the department responded to and of what nature the calls were. Smycniuk also reported that the volunteer fire fighters have been able to keep up with the training that is so necessary to be equipped to answer any kind of emergency.
Chair Marcia Stewart gave her report in the second part of the meeting for the Parks Commission. When the subject of the public washrooms in Stoker Park came up, some debate ensued.
Former Area I director Brook Hodson said he feels the commission needs to look into what it would take to bring the facilities up to date instead of spending $1,600 a year on Port-a-potties for the park.
“It’s the community who built this park and these facilities, and we shouldn’t just let the CVRD shut them down and replace them with Port-a-Potties,”Hodson began. “It has never been cleaned up and maintained to my knowledge.”
When the question arose as to how often the park is used, Grant Daly spoke to the issue, saying it is used all summer and during baseball season. He too feels the public washrooms are a key issue that should be addressed.
After listening to their remarks, Stewart said there must be a way to raise funds for improvements – as the fire department does for its needs – so that people in the community will take pride in these amenities again.
Elections were held for two positions on the commission. Rose Davidson and Rob Somers were both elected to serve on the commission and were appointed for a two-year term, ending December 31, 2014. Neither one has served on the commission before.