Lake Cowichan briefs

Lake Cowichan hoping for Meade Creek upgrade funding

Will the Meade Creek recycling centre be upgraded so it’s as user friendly as the Peerless Road facility near Ladysmith?

Lake Cowichan town council is hoping so and its public works committee recently sent a letter of support to the Cowichan Valley regional district for its application for a grant under the Federal Gas Tax Strategic Priority Fund to see the Meade Creek site, which is located between Lake Cowichan and Youbou, finally get a thorough renovation.

According to Coun. Tim McGonigle, the plan is to use an ash remediation program, putting a cap on the ash from the incinerator that operated at Meade Creek.

At Peerless, the site housed a batch incinerator for two decades, spewing pollution into the air and laying down a bed of 45,000 tons of ash. That was contained in an upgrade completed in March 2014, and 125 tons of metal was reclaimed from it before it was sealed up. Dealing with the ash onsite rather than shipping it away saved the CVRD millions of dollars.

McGonigle anticipates something similar near Lake Cowichan.

"It’s a project similar to the Peerless Road project and we were second on the list at Meade Creek. I look forward hopefully to a similar ending to that project. And, it’s a very user friendly facility," he said.

Town takes ownership of former lakefront restaurant

The old restaurant building on South Shore Road that once housed the Lunch Tray and then the Shaker Mill but which has stood empty for many years is now owned by the Town of Lake Cowichan,

Mayor Ross Forrest announced briefly April 28.

"It’s the Town of Lake Cowichan’s now. We have no plans for it yet," he said, explaining that the first order of business for the Town will be adding it to the list of town facilities having an asbestos assessment. "That would be needed before we make any decisions about what we do with it."

The building stands facing the street on riverfront property right beside Ohtaki Park and the footbridge, across the street from the Forestworkers Memorial Park.

It is also near the recently completed Ts’tuubaa-asatx Town Square, which opens officially Friday, May 15 at 1 p.m.

Officials considering lowering Cowichan River flows early

Concerns about the water level in the Cowichan River are continuing, according to Lake Cowichan Mayor Ross Forrest.

"The latest reading at the Lake Cowichan weir shows that the level of Cowichan Lake is below the crest of the weir," he reported at the April 28 council meeting.

The normal plan for managing the flow is to allow 25 cubic metres per second of water to pass into the Cowichan River until May 1 until which time flows will become 15 cubic metres per second.

"There are discussions now taking place to determine if there is a need to sustain 25 cubic metres per second outflow or can a lower minimum flow be set to maximize the lake level," he said.

Officials have already warned that river levels could reach critically low levels this summer, and storage levels at the lake are already below ideal conditions.