Town Council’s regular monthly meeting on Dec. 20 at Town Hall marked the final time Council would be meeting this calendar year.
Councillors, Tim McGonigle, Jayne Ingram, Franklin Hornbrook and Bob Day as well as town administrator, Joseph Fernandez and Ronnie Gill, CGA, Town of Lake Cowichan were in attendance. Mayor Ross Forrest was regretfully absent, having to tend to other business.
As Deputy Mayor, McGonigle chaired the meeting’s proceedings.
Judy Stafford of the Cowichan Green Committee opened the meeting up with a video presentation on a year in review of what her organization has been working on.
The video presentation showcased green and environmentally friendly local companies around Lake Cowichan, literacy workshops and other program and innitiatives the organization promoted over the past year.
Stafford also encouraged Lake Cowichan citizens to visit their website to see the abundance of events Cowichan Green Committee has to offer at www.cowichangreencommittee.org.
McGonigle expressed his appreciation for the presentation and was impressed what the Green Committee continues to do for the area.
“I think the Cowichan Green Committee does an excellent job with the limited funds they have received,” he said.
One of the recent initiatives Stafford promoted in her video was a map that the Green Committee had drawn up, which had locations and directions to dozens of local farmers. For both visitors to the area and those who would like to shop for their produce and meat closer to home, the map appears to be a terrific idea.
“That has helped a lot of the local farmers increase their market share with the tire traffic they have been seeing,” said McGonigle.
Councillor Ingram updated Council on Pat Weaver’s letter of resignation from the Advisory Planning Committee due to Weaver’s recent electoral win that made her Cowichan Valley Regional District Area I Director. Busy hours in her new role as Area I Director forced Weaver to resign.
Council was appreciative of all the hard work and hours Weaver put into the Advisory Committee.
“The best thing about her point of view and adding to the Advisory Committee is that she was always reminding us of the past and the way things used to be. She always reminded the group where it was and how we got to be where we are today. It was very helpful I thought,” said Day.
“She contributed a lot of long hours. Her work was thankless a lot of times.” said McGonigle.
Ingram then updated Council on the Chamber of Commerce’s recent Small Business Dinner and Auction that unfolded on Dec. 10 at Cowichan Rocks Curling Club, which she thought had been overly successful.
Likely the biggest piece of news to emerge from Town Council was verification from the Public Works Committee that fluoridation was to be discontinued in the water systems on Dec. 31.
McGonigle said Lake Cowichan citizens will not have to worry about the interruption of their water services.
“The injection of fluoride happens at the source so removing it is just a matter of turning off the induction system. There will not be any interruption of the Town’s water service during that time,” McGonigle explained.
The Deputy Mayor added that the community’s fluoride supply might even run out before the new year.
“We were assured that supplies will probably be depleted by Dec. 31, if not before and we were reassured that fluoridation of water would not be increased to expodite this either.”
The recent inaugural ceremonies of both the Town Council, CVRD and School District 79 Board of Trustees were discussed during the Council meeting, as well. McGonigle was impressed that Lake Cowichan’s swearing in ceremony outdid the CVRD’s. He cited the presence of the town’s RCMP and a local bagpiper, as to what gave the local ceremony the upper hand.
“I think we did it bigger than them. It’s nice to see the little town can outdo the regional district,” said McGonigle.
Ingram reported back from a recent meeting with the Stewardship Society on didymo, a type of river slime and a growth that has been detected in Cowichan Lake. Didymo is often found in low-nutrient bodies of water. Currently the Stewardship Society is assessing how to handle the situation.
“It’s a growth in a river and not an algae. The only way to get rid of it is phosphates,” said Ingram.
Councillor McGonigle then adjourned the meeting with the words, “May 2012 bring us joy and happiness.”