Local officials deserve praise for Cowichan Lake upgrades
Re: Town of Lake Cowichan Special Report by Lexi Bainas in the Nov 8/17 Gazette on the successful direction the Town of Lake Cowichan has made in the last 10 years or so.
I could not agree more with Ross Forrest’s town analogy made in relation to houses and/or property that are up for sale: you need to make them attractive if you want to successfully promote your product for sale.
Town improvements like the traffic calming measures with plants, the traffic circle, the library, and the new town square, updated baseball fields, have all combined to make our town more attractive to both business, like the Co-op Gas Station and individual investment, such as real estate. In addition, we once again have young families with children interested in moving to town, which is well needed for the town’s endurance, not to mention keeping our two schools open.
Ironically, in the same paper reporter Lexi Bainas reported in her Lake Flashback column from 10 years ago, there was local opposition to the use of J.H. Boyd, a closed school, for a housing development because the land was donated to School district 66 “for public education needs.” Obviously the opposition was successful in their protest to halt the development and 10 years later the ever present eyesore remains a blight on our beautiful town landscape. Considering the virtually zero rental availability now present in Cowichan Lake, wouldn’t it be nice if we had that housing now?
Similarly, J.H. Boyd is a stellar example of what happens to structures, fences, landscaping, and towns for that matter, which do not maintain and/or invest in their upkeep. I realize that the town renovations over the last 10 years are costly, but what is the alternative? Where would this town be today if we had not invested in ourselves to present ourselves as a viable place to live and invest?
In the same manner as Ross Forrest, in the Nov 1/17 issue of the Gazette, another Lexi B. report, covered CVRD Area F Director Ian Morisson, who essentially told the Cowichan Lake Chamber of Commerce that “not all ideas for economic growth need to be flashy,” which I wholeheartedly agree with as well. Mr. Morrison provided some insight into the CVRD’s local investments in infrastructure that would eventually build or improve bike paths to include more off-road or mountain biking opportunities, walking paths, as well as the million dollar Mesachie Lake sewer improvement. All these initiatives are extremely important for the area’s longevity and I am curious to know what improvements Area I Director Klaus Kaun has in store for Youbou.
Finally, as there is no longer big business like the forestry industry to rely on in Cowichan Lake, or the likelihood of an industrial resurgence, it seems to me that we need new money steadily infused into our economy to survive. Subequently, to be successful attracting these funds, we need to have a product that business and people want to buy and/or invest in.
The Town of Lake Cowichan, as well as Area F, have a lot going for it right now and I would like to commend Mayor Ross Forrest, the Cowichan Lake councillors, and Area F Director Ian Morrison for the long term vision they are tirelessly working towards. Our municipal politicians are often criticized by the public, sometimes for issues not in their control, when in fact they are producing positive results based on present and future conditions of our excellent Cowichan Valley.