Job creation grant bumped up to $100,000

A report on the Town of Lake Cowichan's Tuesday, May 17, Finance and Administration and CLEC and Lakeview Park Committee meetings

  • May. 23, 2011 2:00 p.m.

Persistence and a good track record have helped the Town of Lake Cowichan get a $100,000 grant to create employment in the area; double what had initially been announced.

The grant will help employ six out-of work Cowichan Lake area residents who have been on Employment Insurance, for 16 weeks at the Cowichan Lake Education Centre (CLEC) and Lakeview Park Campground.

In March, a $50,000 grant from the Ministry of Housing and Social Development was announced for local employment; an announcement that was then put on hold due to the federal election.

Since then, CLEC and Lakeview Park Campground manager Dalton Smith said, “We pushed it,” coming out with double the initial sum.

This has resulted in employment for six, rather than four, out-of-work Cowichan Lake residents.

During the six workers’ 16 weeks of employment, which will commence Monday, June 6, their focus will be on the Lakeview Park Campground.

One of the more substantial of projects will be the construction of five new campsites in the woods for campers that walk and cycle.

“I think they’ll appeal to a lot of our cyclists and motorcyclists,” Smith said.

These sites will add revenue to the campground, he added.

Additional work will include things related to maintenance, trail clearing, and construction work, mainly focused in the Lakeview Park Campground area.

Town finances

The Town of Lake Cowichan’s elected officials reviewed the town’s 2011 finances up to this point, finding that things are coming along as they should be.

“Nothing jumps out at me,” Finance and Administration chair Franklin Hornbrook said.

With 2011 taxes now sent out, councillor Tim McGonigle pointed out that his taxes have actually gone down, this year.

“My taxes for this year did go down,” McGonigle said. “Although our percentage went up 5.35 per cent… our assertion that the homeowner’s grant increase would offset that increase was correct.”

Emergency preparedness

CVRD manager of Public Safety Sybille Sanderson made a presentation to mayor and council around emergency preparedness.

Similar to the presentation she made a few weeks previous during a public meeting in Youbou, Sanderson pointed people in the direction of the CVRD’s Emergency Preparedness Workbook, which will answer many questions regarding what to do in an emergency situation.

One of the key things pointed out was that the emergency reception centres are primarily for evacuees.

The Town of Lake Cowichan’s emergency reception centre is Centennial Hall.

“Really, we don’t want people to travel,” she said. “We encourage people to stay where they are.”

In an earthquake situation, Centennial Hall might not even remain standing.

Sanderson then accepted an invitation to attend the town’s public meeting, Monday, May 30 (see Page 3), to give a similar presentation to the public.

“It’s a good opportunity to get your message out there,” mayor Ross Forrest said.

Bell Tower School

The Kaatza Station Museum’s Bell Tower School building is in need of some roofing work, councillor Franklin Hornbrook informed his fellow elected officials.

“There is quite the fear that the roof will leak by this winter,” he said.

With the town’s 2011 budget having been recently approved, without the Bell Tower School roof project taken into account, mayor and council opted to push the item forward to the 2012 budget.

Mayor and council also encouraged the Kaatza Historical Society to look into getting some government grants for such projects.

“It’s not all up to the taxpayers,” councillor Bob Day said.