Ladysmith Council met for just over an hour and ten minutes on Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 with the Lot 108 Park Plan update among the agenda highlights.
Mayor Aaron Stone proclaimed October as Foster Family Month in Ladysmith, recognizing and celebrating those in our community who play a vital role in helping children and families heal and reconnect by opening their homes.
The Mayor also proclaimed the week of Oct. 21-27 as Waste Reduction Week. The declaration demonstrates the Town's commitment to reducing our waste, conserving resources, and educating our citizens about sustainable living.
Council directed staff to use $50,000 from surplus in the Parks operations budget to offset extra costs, mostly from the cleanup aftermath following the December 2018 windstorm.
The Town contracted a tree removal company to assist in the clearing of fallen trees and dangerous debris hanging in the canopy throughout the parks and trails in Ladysmith.
The need for these additional services has impacted the overall Parks, Recreation and Culture budget. A portion of the additional funds will also be used to refurbish the two welcome signs on the north and south entrances into town.
The Town will enter into an interim agreement with the Cowichan Valley Regional District for cost sharing and maintenance of the Stocking Lake Dam.
The Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resources, Operations and Rural Development has recently requested that the two local governments enter into a joint works agreement.
Water stored in Stocking Lake is a source of drinking water for both Ladysmith and Saltair residents and the Town and CVRD have maintained a good working relationship in the area, so the agreement formalizes the existing arrangement.
Council also directed staff to submit a provincial grant application that would fund 100 per cent of upgrades to the Stocking Lake Dam. The CVRD will make its own application for its share or the costs.
Next, the Lot 108 Park Plan update was presented and approved by Council. As a first step to enhancing the park, the Town will now work with local service groups to build an accessible walking path around the existing site, with funding to come from service group grants, donations and in-kind contributions.
The updated Lot 108 plan includes new amenities such a practice pitch, baseball and soccer field, multi-sport court and bike skills park and pump track.
The revised plan also confirms previous feedback received as part of the 2016 Parks, Recreation & Culture Master Plan, including the desire for greater accessibility through onsite and street parking improvements.
Council supported a proposal from the Cowichan Valley Regional District to apply for, and administer, grant funding from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.
The funding will be used to prepare a Regional Housing Needs report on behalf of electoral areas and municipalities within the Cowichan Region.