Council Matters for November 16, 2016

North Cowichan Council met for four hours on November 16. The first item considered was a proposed expansion to the X-treme Skate Park located behind the Cowichan Aquatic Centre, in partnership with the City of Duncan. The design, to be done in 2017, is estimated at $25,000, and construction, in 2018, at $200,000. Council supported the initiative that will be cost shared with the City of Duncan.

The amalgamation process moved another step forward when Council endorsed the proposed terms of reference for the Duncan-North Cowichan Citizens Assembly on Municipal Amalgamation.

Two delegations were up next, starting with the Forest Discovery Centre (BCFDC). The General Manager, Chris Gale, and the Board President, Alf Carter, gave an update on events and attendance at the BCFDC, and presented a framed painting by Dan Sawatzky of the Shay Locomotive to the Municipality in recognition of municipal support over many years.

Laura Court of Success by 6 appeared to talk about National Child Day, concerns for the wellbeing of children in the Cowichan Valley and how Council could be of help.

The rezoning proposal for Donnay Drive was considered for adoption by Council but was returned to second reading to allow time for a planning exercise prior to a final decision. This allows Council to talk freely about the proposal and the future of the neighbourhood, and ensures another Public Hearing will be held. Depending on the extent of the planning process, the proposal could be delayed for months or a year.

The bulk of the agenda focused on the new (draft) Parks and Trails Master Plan, an extensive analysis of all the assets we have, how to manage them, and a vision for their future. Council was very impressed with the work that had been done and offered input on elements of the plan. Council will review the Plan in detail at an upcoming Committee of the Whole meeting, expected to be held in December 2016.

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