Town of Lake Cowichan Mayor Rod Peters said development in town is continuing, but services need to be upgraded to keep up. (Warren Goulding/Gazette)

Town of Lake Cowichan Mayor Rod Peters said development in town is continuing, but services need to be upgraded to keep up. (Warren Goulding/Gazette)

Mayor says new weir in the planning stages, lots of work to be done in Lake Cowichan

“Unfortunately the infrastructure is not keeping up”

The building boom continues in Lake Cowichan as the growth spurt that began four or five years ago in the region shows no signs of slowing down.

Mayor Rod Peters told the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting that 200 new lots are going to be developed in the coming year.

“Unfortunately the infrastructure is not keeping up,” Peters acknowledged, adding council is working on a five-year plan to establish priorities and complete projects such as the water treatment plant.

“I am trying to get an inventory of things that need do be done. [For example] the water system. We have fire hydrants that can’t be used because there’s not enough pressure. The sewage system is operating at close to capacity.”

Peters says the sewage system is going to be improved and should be more than adequate well into the 2030s once the work is completed.

“Streets in our town need a lot of work and there are so many projects that aren’t finished such as the sewage lagoon and the ball park.”

The mayor said Lake Cowichan would like to encourage more commercial and industrial development since those sectors pay a much higher rate of taxes.

Peters provided an update on the progress of plans to replace the existing weir on Cowichan Lake.

“It’s a two to three-year process just to get the engineering done,” he said. “Is it 100 per cent going ahead? Yes.”

Senior levels of government are kicking in funding to help pay for the preliminary work required to build the new weir. The Cowichan Valley Regional District, in collaboration with Cowichan Tribes, Paper Excellence Canada and the Cowichan Watershed Board, who submitted a joint application, will receive $4.08 million over three years for the work, with $1.3 million this fiscal year and the remaining money coming in the next two years, from the joint-federal/provincial BC Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund.

When the project was announced last year, Area F CVRD director Ian Morrison said while the total costs of the weir project to its completion were yet to be determined, it wouldn’t fall to local taxpayers to cover it.

Peters says that hasn’t changed.

“Taxes go up,” Peters smiled, “but they won’t go up as a result of a new weir.”

Peters also noted that “management of the weir is going to be done by the federal government…not by Catalyst.”

The mayor said it will be at least four and likely six years before a new weir, a structure that could include a walkway with First Nations art, is in place.

Water

Just Posted

Island Health’s new Wellness and Recovery Centre at 5878 York Rd. is now planned to be open in the fall. (File photo)
Wellness and Recovery Centre now to open in the fall

Three community dialogues scheduled for May

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

Before you take on a pet, make sure you want to have it for life. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Editorial: A pet is a lifetime commitment

Tons of people are getting pets during the pandemic, some for the first time

Over 60 Indigenous youth from Qualicum to Malahat are participating in the Step Up Work Placement Program. (Submitted photo)
New Mid-Island Indigenous youth work placement program seeks employer partners

So far, more than 60 youth from Qualicum Beach to the Malahat are participating in the program

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clot after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Canada’s demo Hornet soars over the Strait of Georgia near Comox. The F-18 demo team is returning to the Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Sgt. Robert Bottrill/DND
F-18 flight demo team returning to Vancouver Island for spring training

The team will be in the Comox Valley area from May 16 to 24

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Saanich police and a coroner investigated a fatal crash in the 5200-block of West Saanich Road on Feb. 4, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Police determine speed, impairment not factors in fatal Greater Victoria crash

Driver who died veered across centre line into oncoming traffic for unknown reason, police say

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Bow-legged bear returns to Ladysmith, has an appointment with the vet

Brown Drive Park closed as conservation officers search for her after she returned from relocation

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Pixabay
Island Health: two doctors, new clinic space to avert Port McNeill health crisis

Island Health has leased space to use as an immediate clinic location to avert health crisis

Most Read