Duncan mayor Phil Kent confirmed Tuesday morning council has decided against a controversial warming station at the field house at McAdam Park. The decision was made Monday night at a regular council meeting.
“Council decided at this point not to support the use of that facility,” Kent said. “One of the problems is there is no hot water there at this point and there were a number of questions asked to the proponents and I think the program still doesn’t have a clear go-forward for support, financially at least.”
Neighbours didn’t support it either. That point was made clear when approximately 100 people jammed into Cowichan Preschool, which operates next door to the park, to discuss the issue on Dec. 6.
The United Way’s Melaina Patenaude, who is also a member of the Cowichan Coalition to Address Homelessness and Affordable Housing, had said in a letter to council “we must house or otherwise support those who are living without a shelter, and it is our hope that the City of Duncan will help meet this end.”
While Duncan council opted against the McAdam Park location, it’s not to say work won’t continue to address the need, the mayor noted.
“We will stay at the table…and continue to work toward filling the gaps that were identified, which are some things like the warming station and the possibility of a women’s shelter as well. We’ll stay at the table for those things and see if we can contribute on a collective impact with all of the groups that are there,” he said.
Meanwhile, the hot water at the field house will be dealt with.
“That needs to be there for recreational uses and the like and it’s a bit of an odd system, a propane system that they’re looking at maybe changing to modernize it a bit,” Kent said.