A regularly scheduled Municipal Services Committee meeting as well as a special meeting of Council were held on Monday, April 8.
Council directed staff to prepare a letter confirming its support for increasing the Town's Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) detachment from seven to eight members.
Municipalities such as Ladysmith with a population of between 5,000 and 15,000 cover 70% of policing costs while the Province contributes the remaining balance.
Ladysmith RCMP Staff-Sgt Ken Brissard attended the meeting to provide context to Council on the day-to-day duties of his members.
Policing makes up approximately 7% of a homeowner's property tax bill and the increase for the new member is reflected in the 2019-2023 Financial Plan.
As a result of Council's decision, a letter is being sent by the Town to the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General of B.C. requesting the additional RCMP member be added.
Following a short break, the Municipal Services Committee meeting opened with a delegation from residents Sandra and Brian Smith, together with Valerie Crossley. The local residents provided a detailed response to the Ladysmith Traffic Safety through the Highway 1 Corridor report.
Representatives from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) presented the findings and recommendations of the report at the Municipal Services Committee meeting on March 11, 2019.
In 2018, the Ministry hired a consultant to undertake the traffic study in response to several concerns shared with Council by local residents about speed and safety issues on the highway through Ladysmith.
Mayor Stone attended the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities Conference this past weekend in Powell River and indicated he would have an opportunity to discuss highway traffic safety study with MOTI officials, as well as bring forward to MLAs and provincial cabinet ministers other important issues facing Ladysmith.
The Ladysmith Fire Chief's report for the months January, February and March was received for information by the Municipal Services Committee. The year-to-date call-outs for local volunteer firefighters is 39, excluding practices, which is lower than the previous two years.
Committee members recommended that Council endorse the draft Cowichan Attainable Housing Strategy prepared by the Cowichan Housing Association.
Mayor Stone was also authorized to sign a declaration on behalf of Council to join the Cowichan Attainable Housing Strategy Partnership. This partnership reflects the Town's commitment to work with others in the Cowichan Region to help promote and implement the Strategy.
A summary of the 36-page Strategy was presented by the CHA's Terri Mattin at the April 1, 2019 Council meeting. It is available to read here on the not-for-profit’s website.