A handful of Lake Cowichan citizens attended Town Council’s public meeting at Centennial Hall on Jan. 16.
Mayor Ross Forrest and Town Councillors Franklin Hornbrook, Tim McGonigle, Jayne Ingram and Bob Day were all present to field questions from concerning various matters during the public forum.
Platforms for discussion suggested by the Town included feedback on the proposed new library and the South Shore Road reconstruction, although residents brought up a an assortment of other issues.
The meeting began with a detailed presentation on the new library from architect Paul Hammond of the Victoria-based firm Chow Low Hammond.
Representatives Victoria Regional Library were also on hand at the public meeting for the new library’s unveiling to the public. Executive director Rosemary Bonanno was pleased with Hammond’s presentation.
“The library board and staff are thrilled we had such a marvellous turnout tonight at the public meeting. We really feel that this project is a true partnership combination of civic pride and the appreciation of learning that Lake Cowichan has,” she said.
Bonanno valued the public’s input and was impressed with the amount of people that came out to offer their ideas to Vancouver Regional Library and Chow Low Hammond.
“Their comments were fantastic. That’s what these type of meetings are for. These type of building are built for the public and their comments will be incorporated,” she added.
An online questionnaire where public can provide Vancouver Regional Library with feedback is available and can be found at www.virl.bc.ca.
Although bombarded with an abundance of questions over the course of the three hour session, Forrest enjoyed the public meeting.
“I’m very excited about this project. It has been great. There have been good questions,” he said.
For Forrest, Hammond’s presentation was the highlight of the evening.
“The depth that he [Hammond] goes into is great and makes it very easy to understand,” Forrest added.
Councillor Ingram was also glad with the public meeting’s decent turnout.
“It was a great turnout and it’s for the people of Lake Cowichan so they should come and have input for this beautiful building. It’s really the start of our town’s revitalization,” said Ingram.
Lake Cowichan resident Laurie Johnson is excited for the new library project to get underway.
“I don’t own a library card, I don’t go to our library but now I’m going to go,” said Johnson.
Johnson said that the location of the current library on King George Street is inconvenient where as the new facility and location on Renfrew Street is much more appealing.
“Where the library is situated now, I would never go there,” added Johnson.
Kent Watson is another Lake Cowichan resident who is anticipating the arrival of a new library to the community. Watson also attends Vancouver Island University and he thinks such a facility is a necessity in Lake Cowichan.
“As a young person in Lake Cowichan and a university student I just want to say that a new library would be awesome,” said Watson.
Discussion on South Shore road was at a minimum during the meeting, leaving the road’s new safety features and roundabout relatively forgotten. Forrest said the additions will slow traffic and make things safer.