Council Matters for March 2, 2022

Council met for just over three-and-a-half hours during our Regular Council meeting on March 2, 2022. Here are some highlights from the meeting.

During my Mayor’s Report, I noted that our application to exclude the Chemainus River Campground from the Agricultural Land Reserve is back to the forefront. Recently, I toured the property with the two island ALC commissioners, and noted the lack of agricultural capacity of the property and the need to use lots of water from river. Our application is now being formally considered, and we look forward to the outcome of this longstanding issue.

The new RCMP labour contract was discussed last week by UBCM’s Local Government Contract Management Committee (LGCMC). The Province is sending letters to each municipality with RCMP contracts that will outline the retroactive impact of the recently negotiated contract. Staff received North Cowichan’s letter this week. The formula for determining our costs is complicated, and staff continue to analyze the budgetary impacts. Further details are expected in the next month or so

Keith Lawrence, Senior Environmental Analyst and Kate Miller, Manager, Environmental Services from the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) presented their Regional Climate Adaptation and Risk Management Strategy. The multi-phased program started in 2014 with the development of projections, and Phase 3 completed last year with the adoption of the Adaption and Risk Management Strategy. Phase 4, the Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Strategy, is now being finalized, and Phase 5, the Implementation Strategy, is underway with presentations (including this one), meetings with staff, and sharing the joint strategy and implementation road map with the community later this spring/summer.

Joanne Sales of Broombusters Invasive Plant Society updated Council on their successes and challenges, and requested permission and assistance to cut and remove broom from public roads and parks. Broom is a highly invasive and flammable weed, and Broombusters offers a number of solutions and opportunities to reduce and remove this invasive plant.

The Parcel Tax Bylaw and Fees & Charges Amendment Bylaw received first three readings. The changes will update the utility fees for water and sewer and introduce a Parcel Tax Bylaw to establish utility parcel tax rates for 2022.

A Development Permit for a Mixed Use Building at 9744 Willow Street in Chemainus was approved. The development permit with variances (DPV) is for a mixed use building with a variance to decrease the required height for a loading zone space from 5 metres to 3 metres.

The Crofton Fire Hall Building Replacement Project was referred back to staff.

An Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program Grant Application was endorsed by Council. The application for grant funding will be for the Crofton Sewage Treatment Plant Clarifier Project and includes a commitment of $935,000 to the project, as well as any additional costs that might arise as the project unfolds.

Staff will prepare a report about Volunteer Appreciation for an upcoming meeting. Volunteers play an important role in North Cowichan and include committee members, working groups, trail stewardship organizations, fire department volunteer members, and many more.

Council directed the Mayor to write a letter in support of the BC Wildfires Petition. A Letter from the Town of Oliver to the Member of Parliament for South Okanagan-West Kootenay calling for better forest management and wildfire protection was received for information.

The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 16, at 1:30 p.m.

Thank you for reading and staying informed!

Al Siebring, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan
T 250.746.3117