Council Matters - June 17, 2015

Council met on June 17 to deal with a variety of topics. The meeting began with awards for the North Cowichan Value-added Woodworking Contest. The three winners, Lincoln Rae, Evan Lachmanec, and Jared Popma each created a unique footstool out of Douglas-fir. The lumber for the projects came from a research plot established just 34 years ago and was donated by the BC Forest Service and Don Pigott of Yellow Point Propagation.
 
The synthetic turf field for Sherman Road Park was up for discussion next. Council had many questions for Dr. Paul Hasselback, Medical Health Officer, and Bill Keserich, President of the Cowichan Valley Soccer Association. Discussion centred around concerns raised over suggested health impacts related to playing on artificial turf. Following the counsel received from the Medical Health Officer, Council agreed to accept the Stone Pacific Contracting Ltd. tender for $1,363,300 to supply and install a synthetic turf cover, civil works, and lighting at Sherman Road Park.
 
Council reviewed and commented on a list of requests for meetings with Provincial Cabinet Ministers at the upcoming Union of BC Municipalities Convention in September. Issues such as a new Cowichan High School Campus with integrated trades and vocational programs, year-round use of the Chemainus water wells supply, and cuts to funding for Visitor Information Centres were discussed.
 
In response to direction given at its April 15, 2015, meeting, Council received a report on Municipally-owned lands potentially available for affordable housing projects. Three of six sites were identified as having the best potential. Further investigation of possible site options and partners will be forthcoming.
 
There was a lively discussion on when and how to solicit input from stakeholders and the general public on new marine zoning regulations. These regulations are intended to deal with derelict vessels, liveaboards, vessels on mooring buoys, and the handling of related sewage. Staff have created a draft Bylaw to serve as the basis for an introductory discussion with the public. Members of the public and stakeholders are invited to attend an Open House scheduled for June 22 at 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Maple Bay Fire Hall, located at 1230 Maple Bay Road. Council and staff will be looking for your input so please consider attending this session.
 
In July 2014, Council passed a motion to review the Multi-Materials BC agreement for recyclables after it had been in effect for a period of time. There were some minor changes under the new program, particularly the increase in the materials now accepted for curbside recycling, and a financial incentive for the Municipality. The new revenue from this incentive covers the entire cost for the Municipalitys recycling program. Following review of the staff report, Council was satisfied that this agreement has resulted in good financial value and other benefits for the community.

Thank you for reading Council Matters. Please contact Council by emailingcouncil@northcowichan.ca to provide feedback regarding these or other important matters.