Town’s public meeting gives citizens a voice

The Town of Lake Cowichan wishes to invite all of its residents to come out to a public forum on community affairs at Centennial Hall.

  • Jan. 11, 2012 6:00 a.m.

The Town of Lake Cowichan wishes to invite all of its residents to come out to a public forum on community affairs at Centennial Hall on Jan. 16.

One of two public meetings held annually throughout the year, the meeting gives Lake Cowichan’s citizens a platform and avenue to express their concerns and discuss current events affecting the town.

Topics that are scheduled to be addressed include the new library that is to be built, the paving and reconstruction of South Shore Road, as well as the recent fluoride referendum.

The new library will be the focal point of discussion, as B.C. Regional Libraries and the architectural firm Chow Low Hammond will be in attendance to give presentations.

Both B.C. Regional Libraries and Chow Low Hammond will also be answering any questions the public may have about the new library, its costs, building design and other special features.

The Town of Lake Cowichan has donated the land, which is located at 63 Renfrew Avenue for the project. Vancouver Island Regional Libraries is footing the building and design costs. The library’s location will rest near where the old trestle was.

Visit Vancouver Island Regional Libraries website at www.virl.bc.ca for more information.

Mayor Ross Forrest enjoys holding the public forum. He thinks gaining feedback and direction from Lake Cowichan’s residents is effective and the mayor is looking forward to hearing what the people have to say.

“To me, the library is a huge one and the South Shore road reconstruction is a very big project that is going to reshape the town,” he said.

Town administrator Joe Fernandez concurs.

“They really want to listen to what the public has to say, they want guidance as to where we should be headed in terms of projects, in terms of service needs — those types of issues. Council would like to get an idea of where we should be headed,” said Fernandez.

Fernandez was also in agreement that the new library will be a front, right and center topic during the public meeting’s proceedings.

“The main focus item will be the proposed new library,” said Fernandez.

David Ridley is one of Lake Cowichan’s few citizens who has regularly shown up for Town Council’s past few monthly meetings. Ridley is hopeful that more locals will be inclined to become involved with the political process through the public meeting.

“I encourage other people to go. Council meetings are very open and they allow you to ask questions at the end, which doesn’t happen at all meetings, that’s for sure,” said Ridley.

Ridley has also been overly pleased at how open the mayor and councillors have been at meetings and he expects the upcoming public meeting at Centennial Hall to be much the same.

“This Council is very non-transparent and they’re doing some progressive things,” said Ridley.

Unfortunately the meeting conflicts with a Cowichan Valley School District meeting that is being held the same evening on Jan. 16.

People wishing to attend both may have trouble, as the School Board meeting is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m., the exact time the Town has scheduled their public meeting for at Centennial Hall.