North Cowichan guaranteeing Forest Discovery Centre loan

North Cowichan is guaranteeing repayment on the $400,000 loan on the Cowichan Visitor Information Centre at the BC Forest Discovery Centre for a further five years.

But council didn’t do it on Dec. 17 without a few questions.

"What is our surety?" asked Coun. Al Siebring.

It’s complicated, according to CAO Dave Devana. "We would divert our grant in aid. We could not get surety on the land because it was given for a museum in perpetuity. In the event they [the Chamber of Commerce] can’t make the payments, we will withhold the payments we make to them."

However, despite that possible concern, the chamber is in the midst of establishing what they receive from the province, Mayor Jon Lefebure told his colleagues.

Devana agreed, adding that he had heard there had been an increase of 160-180 per cent in visits at the new information centre.