The cost of a proposed spray park at Cowichan Lake is estimated to be $137,000, Town of Lake Cowichan superintendent of Public Works Nagi Rizk told mayor and council, during their Tuesday, April 5, committee meetings.
The supplier has informed Rizk that the park can be phased in, in order to fit into the town’s tentatively-budgeted amount of $62,000 in new playground equipment, this year. This amount includes a $12,500 Success By 6 grant the town was awarded last year for a spray park.
Council must first approve of a square footage. Then, a foundation can be created, along with a number of plugs. Rizk estimates that two spray park items can be installed with this year’s budget, with subsequent years seeing additional items plugged in.
“They will come back with detail and design,” Rizk said, of the suppliers, who are expected to attend a future council meeting in Lake Cowichan with different options and themes for the park.
Although the spray park won’t utilize recycled water, Rizk said, “It’s motion censored, so it’s only being used when the children are there.”
The water will not flow directly back into the Cowichan River. Instead, it must go back into the water system and receive treatment, as per Vancouver Island Health Authority regulations.
During the committee meeting’s media/public question period, a member of the public inquired as to whether or not the spray park will be metered, and whether or not it will abide by the summer’s water usage restrictions, which prevent people from watering their yards during the day.
These questions had not yet been considered by council, though Rizk said that the town’s other parks won’t be metered, so the water park won’t be, either.
As for water usage restrictions, mayor Ross Forrest said that with all homes to be metered in the near future, it may be up to the public to decide when they’d like to use their allotted water, nullifying hours of allowed outdoor usage.
This idea will likely be brought up once all homes in town have been metered, a baseline has been set, and fees can be levied in accordance.
Additional items discussed
• In light of the Ministry of Transportation’s repaving of South Shore Road next year, mayor and council encouraged town staff to meet with the ministry as soon as possible, so plans can be made together from the earliest of stages.
“It is their road, so hopefully they’d like to work with us,” mayor Ross Forrest said.
The town’s elected officials said that they look forward to hearing from the public as to what they’d like to see changed on South Shore Road. Rather than have the road remain the same upon it being re-paved, they hope to see things change; a roundabout, new sidewalks, trees, and other options are currently being discussed.
An additional partner to the South Shore Road project may be ICBC.
Last October, mayor Ross Forrest said that the town successfully partnered with ICBC in moving a fence back from the road, next to Tipton’s Gas Bar.
“People were blind backing up there, so we worked with ICBC,” he said.
ICBC paid for the land, while the town paid legal costs. Thanks to the partnership, that area of the road is now safer, Forrest said.
• The sewage lift station at the eastern end of the South Shore Road bridge was again discussed, with the town’s superintendent of Public Works Nagi Rizk telling council that it will definitively not come in under-budget, as previously hoped.
“I guarantee we’re not going to be under budget. Now we’re working on being on budget, which I can’t guarantee either,” he said.
On the plus side, the Riverside Inn agreed to having the lift station located on a bit of their land, saving the project money, and preventing an eyesore from popping up, obscuring the view of the Cowichan River in Central Park.
In exchange for providing the town land, free of charge, the Riverside Inn will receive emergency generator power for a few items, such as lights, whenever the power goes out.
The lift station, which serves to pump wastewater on down the line, is being lifted above the flood plain, at a budgeted cost of $234,229.
It’s benefiting from a $153,466 grant from the Provincial and Federal Governments.
• The town’s anti-idling policy will be drafted, with 10 second idle time allotted for gasoline-feuled vehicles, and no more than three minutes for diesel vehicles.
“I think it’s just common sense,” mayor Ross Forrest said. “It’s more or less educating people.”
The policy is currently being drafted, and will come forth to council for readings during future council meetings.
• The town’s public transit system users seem to like the new bus shelters, including the one on South Shore Road, across from the Peters Centre near the entrance to town, and the one on North Shore Road, next to the Cow Cafe.
“Pretty much, the job is done,” the town’s superintendent of Public Works Nagi Rizk said, of the bus shelter project. “We’ve got quite a few positive comments.”
Although the City of Duncan opted to spend an additional $7,000, out of pocket, for extra glass on their bus stops, Rizk said that, upon looking at them, Town of Lake Cowichan staff deemed the glass to be not a worthwhile expense.
Next up, the CVRD plans on installing garbage cans, at their expense, at the Cowichan Lake area’s bus stops.
The bus shelters were provided courtesy of a Union of BC Municipality grant the CVRD received, with shelters installed throughout the Cowichan Valley. Of the shelters, two were installed in the Youbou/Meade Creek area, as well as two in the Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls area, and two in the Town of Lake Cowichan.