Lake Cowichan council briefs: Kasapi Centre to tourism numbers

Catalyst installed pumps in 2016 when river levels got dangerously low. (Ed Bonenfant file photo)

Lake Cowichan’s councillors are still interested in looking at the possibility of establishing some kind of composting facility.

CAO Joe Fernandez said the town is also waiting to see if the Cowichan Valley Regional District “is willing and able to allow us to have control over that.”

Coun. Bob Day, who is interested in the project, said, “The reason why this is a timely thing to be talking about is that they want to start talking about all topics concerned with solid waste because they are opening up the solid waste master plan and it’s good to get these conversations going now so that when they ready amendments to that master plan that they have good information to make decisions.”

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Lake Cowichan town council will make a decision soon about the future of the old restaurant building formerly known as The Logger Hut.

It is now hopefully named the Kasapi Centre, and at least one arts group wants to be able to use it, but everything has been on hold in recent months as the town looks at whether or not the building itself is worth keeping,

It would need renovations to be put to any public use, and councillors have been waiting to hear about the physical state of the structure.

However, it’s been a long wait, and Coun. Tim McGonigle said last month that he thought council should get on with deciding one way or the other.

Look for this subject at a meeting soon.

***

Town councillors and work crew members will be taking part in workshops with the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s Sybille Sanderson on the subject of evacuating the community in a disaster.

Coun. Bob Day also told council last month that the Lake Cowichan RCMP want to take part in these sessions.

One of the most important aspects of organizing people in an emergency is a clear chain of command, Mayor Ross Forrest said, adding, “You can’t have too many people who think they’re in charge.”

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Hazelwood Construction Inc. has won the job of revamping the Greendale water main, with a bid of $685,245.57.

Lake Cowichan town council made the award last month. Eight bids were received, ranging from $476,283 to $1,136,287.80.

Town CAO Joe Fernandez recommended the town select Hazelwood, despite a much lower bid from Stone Pacific, because the town had stipulated that the completion date for the project had to Feb. 16, 2018. The lowest bidder could only complete the project by April 1, so the second lowest was recommended to council, according to town Fernandez.

***

The Town of Lake Cowichan will investigate how much information it can glean from the traffic speed board at the west end of town.

Coun. Bob Day said at the committee meeting last month that he wanted good, solid information about how many visitors were coming to Lake Cowichan from the Circle Route.

“We hear numbers from the Tourist Information Centre, but it would be interesting to see how many vehicles travel there,” he said, suggesting the board could be of use.

Mayor Ross Forrest said he was also interested in learning how many people travel to Lake Cowichan.

“It would help for such things as planning our work force. It’s important if those boards can give us information, we should be using it.”

Coun. Tim McGonigle agreed.

“It would be good to have concrete instead of anecdotal numbers. It would be useful both for the town and for businesses,” he said.

***

Lake Cowichan council discussed short-term rentals and how they might affect the town, but did not come to any decision yet about a plan for the future.

It’s a conversation many jurisdictions have been having with the rise of websites like Airbnb that allow people to advertise and book non-traditional accommodations online.

Mayor Ross Forrest urged his colleagues to act fairly soon.

“Eventually we are going to have to come up with something,” he said. “If there are only a handful now, it’s easier to get a handle on it. If we wait too long, the harder it will be do deal with it.”



lexi.bainas@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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