A report on the Town of Lake Cowichan’s Tuesday, April 12, committee meetings
The collection of organic waste in the Town of Lake Cowichan isn’t entirely off the table.
Councillor Franklin Hornbrook brought the issue up during the town’s Tuesday, April 12, committee meetings.
Hornbrook cited a farm in Saanich, which bids on compost.
“They get paid for dumping there,” he said. Instead of paying a tipping fee, the supplier is paid for organic waste.
Rather than allow governmental bureaucracy make everything more expensive than it should be, councillor Bob Day encouraged the town to do it all, locally, and as simply as possible. “I don’t think we need a million dollar plant to do it,” he said. “Don’t you think it’s sustainable to use our own waste?”
The only hiccup in these plans is the capital investment for a truck, the town’s superintendent of Public Works Nagi Rizk said.
Mayor Ross Forrest said that one option may be purchasing a dual truck, when the town’s current garbage collection truck’s lifespan ends. This way, they’d save money, as it would enable collectors to pick up all garbage and compost-ready waste in one sweep around town.
This option, and others, will be brought up during future meetings, as composting plans have been listed as an ongoing item in the monthly Public Relations Committee meetings.
Other items addressed:
• Things are looking up for the Pacific Marine Circle Route.
The town’s elected officials held a luncheon during the recent Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities (AVICC) conference, with elected officials from various communities along the circular highway, during which time they discussed possible tourism opportunities.
“I think that the lunch meeting we had on Saturday was a good start,” mayor Ross Forrest said. “Hopefully we can get some follow-up in the next month.”
Representatives from the City of Duncan, North Cowichan, Sooke, Cowichan Bay, CVRD areas R, I, F, and a few other communities showed up to the meeting, which included a video produced by the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re going to meet again in the next month… to see who we can come up with for a committee,” Forrest said.
“This first meeting was really more of a feeling it out,” councillor Tim McGonigle said. “It’s been promoted, but not to the extent we feel it should be.”
The Pacific Marine Circle Route links Lake Cowichan with Port Renfrew, Sooke, Victoria, Duncan, and all the communities between, through a circular highway.
The pull-out signage erected last month at the Mesachie Lake Skydome area also helps to promote the Pacific Marine Circle Route.
During the AVICC conference, the town’s resolution for the revitalization tax exemption was endorsed.
The resolution serves to freeze taxes, killing financial penalties against people making improvements to their properties.
The resolution will now go forward to the Union of BC Municipalities.
• The town’s proposed spray park will not necessarily be located at Duck Pond, as previously discussed.
During the town’s Tuesday, April 12, meetings, Cowichan Lake Education Centre and Lakeview Park Campground manager Dalton Smith suggested Central Park as a possible location.
“I think visibility for the spray park is better than tucked away,” he said.
Although councillor Bob Day said that the public has thus far voiced their preference to have the spray park at Duck Pond, the item is still open for discussion.
The town’s superintendent of Public Works will investigate other central options, including Central Park and Centennial Park, and will present his findings during a council meeting in the near future.
• Mayor and council plan on looking over a new draft of the Official Community Plan (OCP) before the end of the month, with the town’s chief administrative officer Joseph Fernandez encouraging them to look over the section in the OCP about boundary extension.
The CVRD has already reviewed the town’s OCP, providing some input.
CVRD manager of Community and Regional Planning Mike Tippett shared his input during the CVRD’s April 5 Electoral Area Services Commitee meeting.
The recommendation in the report reads; “That the CVRD congratulates the Town of Lake Cowichan on its new draft Official Plan and supports it overall, but that the CVRD respectfully requests that the reference in the plan to the possible annexation of industrial lands in the Meade Creek area be deleted from the text.”
Later on in his report, Tippett states that Youbou/Meade Creek area residents do not support the annexation, and that any industry activity that may occur there in the future would still offer job opportunities for Town of Lake Cowichan residents.
“The only reason the town may wish to consider annexing that area would be to derive tax revenues that would otherwise be directed to the Province and the CVRD,” the report reads.
Other suggestions provided by the CVRD are mainly housekeeping items.
• Although the town’s elected officials’ initial plans of opening up a tube shop in town have been put on hold, they still hope to keep on top of the issue.
None of the tube shop businesses that showed up last year have purchased business licenses, yet. But, when they do, the town’s elected officials hope to meet with them in order to remain proactive instead of reactive when it comes to tubing issues.
In the past, some tubers have caused a problem in town, littering, drinking, and trespassing along their float down the Cowichan River.
• Councillor Bob Day, who is also chair of the annual Lake Days celebration, said that he expects between 60 and 70 soap box racers to be constructed in time for this year’s races.
More kits are currently on-order.
“Everything is really coming along,” he said, of the preparations.
• Plans to have lights installed at the entrance to the Cowichan Lake Education and the Lakeview Park and Campground, off of South Shore Road, have been put on hold until next year.
The town’s chief administrative officer Joseph Fernandez described a few unexpected speed-bumps that will result in a cost of about $10,000 to have lights installed.
“What appears to have been a simple and easy project has been sidetracked by not being able to use the pole we’d identified,” councillor Tim McGonigle summarized.