Town council can’t justify sidewalk expense, and town memorials discussed

Mayor and council said no to the town paying for a $18,000 sidewalk at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena site, leading from Centennial Hall to South Shore Road.

  • Oct. 10, 2011 2:00 p.m.

Mayor and council said no to the town paying for a $18,000 sidewalk at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena site, leading from Centennial Hall to South Shore Road.

“There are certain spots along the sidewalk where the new lift will be higher,” mayor Ross Forrest said.

Forrest brought the request forward to the town’s Tuesday, October 4, council meeting, despite his personal disagreement.

“Other than one nick, there isn’t one bad spot on that sidewalk,” he said. “It’s pretty hard to justify pulling out a good sidewalk when there are dilapidated sidewalks elsewhere.

The council table agreed, unanimously.

“It wasn’t planned very well,” councillor Jayne Ingram said. “When they design these things, they would have realized this… This should have been planned a while back.”

“Is ‘going green’ tearing up something that’s in good shape?”

The parking lot is to be an eco-friendly project, and includes catchments for oil runoff and a rain garden component.

“We do not have the dollars to pay for this,” the town’s chief administrative officer Joseph Fernandez said. “This is not something we can justify.”

Council agreed with a unanimous vote to turn down the request.

• Town memorials were discussed by mayor and council, during their Tuesday, October 4, meeting.

“We’re running out of room for space for trees at most parks,” councillor Bob Day said.

This was part of an ongoing discussion, in response to the realization that there area a whopping 37 memorial trees and benches in town.

“I’m afraid that we’re going to have to pull the brakes and offend someone,” the town’s superintendent of Public Works Nagi Rizk said.

The solution to this problem could come with next year’s re-working of South Shore Road, councillor Jayne Ingram suggested, in that there may be some room for benches.

“The bricks that they sell for the Forest Workers Memorial Park; they don’t have to be forest workers,” mayor Ross Forest said.

The concensus thus far is that the town will still take applications, but the final say will remain with the town.

“We cannot always use specific sites,” Day said.

A policy will be drafted.

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