Lake Cowichan – Re: Letter to the editor, "Spending must stop in Lake Cowichan" from former mayor and councillor Jack Peak, who asks where council is hiding the money tree.
Mr. Peake states that the recent traffic calming measures and upgrades to South Shore Road are improvements that the town cannot afford. In addition, the former mayor thinks that the new town square and library are investments that are unnecessary in attracting and promoting Lake Cowichan as a viable area for business or families to invest in.
With all due respect to the former mayor, we would argue that these improvements are imperative to attracting industry and financially healthy middle class citizens to our town. First impressions are huge when entering a new area and we think the improvements have enriched the look and feel of the downtown core. As well, the centre medians are providing increased safety by forcing all vehicles to slow down. We also think the plants within the traffic islands accent the natural beauty and ambience of our town. Equally important, it is also our understanding that there were several grants involved with many of the improvements and the taxpayer was not fully responsible for the financial cost of the road improvements or the new library.
The previous dilapidated condition of the main strip of Lake Cowichan did not reflect the pride of people who make up this community. One only needs to walk through a residential neighbourhood to observe the care and attention that many residents put into their homes. The new town square brings that section of South Shore Road up to a standard that is reflected by many proud homeowners in Lake Cowichan. The new amphitheatre will be a wonderful spot for people to gather, who knows, maybe for an outdoor market, school plays, etc.
We believe the reality of our times is that rural areas must put a conscious effort into attracting new citizens and industry that pay taxes. Also, we believe one has to spend some money to attract money and there must be investment in the infrastructure and maintenance of the town if we are to survive. In a world where the global economy seems to be draining small towns like Lake Cowichan rather than helping them, we agree that we must find a way to bring new investment into the area. The recent improvements that the present mayor with council have implemented are an action that needs to happen now so the town has a prosperous future.
In addition, there is a group of proactive and concerned Lake Cowichan residents with positive vision for our town and who choose to act with a focus of revitalizing the downtown core. We are a separate entity from the Lake Cowichan council that will work to attract new families, business, and industry while exploring how we can improve on what we already have.
For those Lake Cowichan citizens who wish to be part of the solution please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bonnie and Ted Gamble