Lake Cowichan council has decided to wait and see before making any more comments about the decision to allow Catalyst Paper to pump water over the weir. (Gazette file)

Lake Cowichan council briefs

Lake Cowichan will be able to see how many people voted for and against the affordable housing

The town of Lake Cowichan will be able to see how many people voted locally for and against the affordable housing referendum.

Replying to a question from Mayor Ross Forrest, CAO Joe Fernandez said those numbers would be available.

“And on that note, each area will have its results, the main result is regionwide so if it passes in the region it passes. It’s not area by area. I also think this is a subject that will be broached by the new council, no matter what the outcome,” Coun. Tim McGonigle said. “We’ve been waiting for years for this moment.”

Coun. Bob Day said, “A no vote is a definite no, it doesn’t go forward. But a yes vote will still give the next board an opportunity to decide whether to move forward.”

***

“Cyclecross is getting closer to coming out and doing some volunteer trail enhancement to the trail leading back from the beach,” Coun. Bob Day told council Oct. 9.

“They’ll be dressing that up and moving it back a bit to make room for two or three riders abreast instead of one. They’ll be getting that done before Oct. 28, and they’re working with staff already.

“They haven’t started their promotional part yet, but will. We all want to make it a place they will want to return to.”

Mayor Ross Forrest asked, “Have they got any numbers yet on how many people they’re expecting?”

There are “between 300 and 500,” Day said. “It depends on registration. There are two other races before that.”

***

The Crofton mill will get its approval to pump water from Cowichan Lake over the weir at Lake Cowichan if necessary, for 10 years.

Darryl Slater, provincial water manager for the ministry of forest, lands, natural resources operations and rural development, told the Town of Lake Cowichan that “a decision has been made to approve the pump out operations applied for by Catalyst Paper. The rights within this approved authorization come into effect once lake levels in Cowichan Lake reach 161.4m elevation.”

He said in his letter that “The Water Sustainability Act gives the recipient of this notice the right to appeal my decision,” but Coun. Tim McGonigle said the town has had its say already.

“I know we have dealt with this in the past and have voiced our concerns. The appeal process is outlined quite well but I think…it’s time to move forward and not beat a dead horse. Unfortunately, in my opinion, they did not take into consideration some of our concerns. We perhaps could re-address this at a later date, if and when the pumping occurs and we find the impacts that will perhaps happen,” said McGonigle.

***

The town has received requests that camping be allowed in the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena parking lot during events.

It was decided last week by Lake Cowichan council that “staff will take into consideration [councillors’] discussion and deal with applications on an individual basis, with the request for proof of liability insurance.”

***

The Ohtaki Footbridge water main upgrades are on hold but the Greendale Trestle water main upgrades have been awarded.

***

The town will put up signage regarding seasonal closures of public washrooms.

***

Concerns about garbage collection raised by residents in the newer sections of the Brookside development on Grosskleg Way were discussed briefly at the September public works committee meeting.

Once the final phase of the development is completed, and a through way constructed, on-site services may be considered for those houses subject to certain conditions, council decided.

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