Saturday, December 16, 2017
Cumberland Matters aims to provide both factual information and opinion so that we, the citizens of Cumberland, can be better informed and feel ready to express our views at community forums, council hearings and the ballot box

Residents and visitors of Cumberland and the wider Comox Valley can once again enjoy the only road-accessible public land on Comox Lake, at Cumberland Lake Park. Access to this family-oriented beach, campground and boat launch had been restricted since May 2012, when a portion of Comox Lake Road, along the shore of the reservoir, was reduced to a single lane due to the instability of its adjacent slope.

Completed in March, a 200-metre section of the road's westbound lane was repaired with soil nails to stabilize the steep embankment. Soil nailing is a technique for retaining earth which involves the insertion of slender reinforcing elements, such as reinforcing bars, into the slope. It has been widely used for similar projects around the world, and on Vancouver Island.

The project was made possible thanks to $308,000 of the federal Gas Tax Fund and $200,000 from BC Hydro. The Village of Cumberland provided the remaining costs of the total project cost of $683,650.

This road rehabilitation and stabilization project is helping to ensure safe and efficient access to this popular recreation destination – in time for Summer 2015, and for years to come.

About 15 residents turned up at Council Chambers on Monday to discuss the Village's budget and the design of the Welcome Sign. Here are some of the comments made, questions asked, and answers given, if any.

Strategic Plan and Priorities 

  • Did council decide to implement the Lake Park masterplan? Because CVRD has to give a development permit? The Mayor wasn’t sure whether it had yet been voted on.
  • When contracts are being negotiated, it would be good to see them on Council agendas so that contracts become public. 
  • Shaw recording runs out at 1.5 hours - can we have live streaming / recording? It’s being explored - in 2016 budget
  • Congratulations on establishing a new form of economic development
  • Heritage management plan is a little limiting, including conservation plan for village owned assets. Strong possibility that the plan is put in the hands of a consultant and it should include possibility of designation of assets that are in private hands, and it should also look at fundraising, because a small village with this level of heritage would need external support. Should also include development of Heritage festivals for revenue generation and business development.
  • Can landfill methane be captured and used for home heating? Councillor Kishi said that there is a requirement to collect landfill gas, and to have a flaring station which is necessary whatever, and so the first pieces are in place, then further along they will look at other options such as using at the landfill or feeding back into the Fortis network. First step is to capture and burn - which reduces greenhouse gas emissions - then look for other uses. 
  • Landfill and solid waste is part of a larger problem in society - we should support initiatives for locally produced, wrapped in paper products that aren’t arriving triple packaged from China. 

 

The North Island Hospitals Project (NIHP) is hosting a new round of its regular quarterly community information sessions to provide updates on the new $331.7 million, 153-bed Comox Valley Hospital and the new $274.5 million, 95-bed Campbell River Hospital, both slated for completion in late 2017.

The Comox Valley meeting takes place on:

  • Wednesday, March 11th, 2015, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Stan Hagen Theatre, Komoux Hall (K104)
  • North Island College, 2300 Ryan Road, Courtenay, BC

The Campbell River meeting takes place on:

  • Thursday, March 12th, 2015, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Timberline Secondary School Theatre
  • 1681 South Dogwood Street, Campbell River, BC

BC Assessment

BC Assessment presented on the outcomes of the 2015 roll. 74% of properties went up in value over 2014, 16% fell, 2% stayed the same and the others were new - 40 new properties amounting to about $10m of value. 

90% of properties are residential, and they are 88% of the value, businesses are 10% of the value. 

Cumberland Museum and Archives

The Museum’s Executive Director, Anna Rambow, and Chair, Brian Charlton, presented an update to Mayor and Council about initiatives and projects in 2014 and planned for 2015, and made a budget request to the Village for $18,000 of funding, an increase of $1000, and to waive facility rental fees or add $750 to the annual funding. 

Council referred the request to the March 20th Budget meeting.

Motorcycle Roundup - August 7/8/9th

Jean Cameron presented information about the requested street closure of Dunsmuir 1st to 5th for August 8th and partial closure of 2nd Street for August 9th. A beer garden will operate in the Village Park on Saturday 8th, and an extended licensed area for the Cumberland Hotel on the 9th. 

Councillor Kishi asked whether the trick riders will be performing again and how damage to the road way would be prevented. The area will be the same, at the 3rd street intersection, but a movable concrete slab will be placed for the ‘burnout’ element to limit damage. 

Councillor Sproule asked whether the street would be marked off again for vendors, and yes, but the marking paint won’t be used again so there should be no lasting markings. 

Here's what happened at the Council Meeting on Monday night

Councilor Kishi was not present at the meeting.

An in camera (closed) portion was added to the end of the meeting to consider information prohibited from disclosure for privacy or law enforcement reasons.

CCSS Youth Centre

Cumberland Community Schools Society presented their plan to open a youth centre in the second week in March, working from spare classroom space at the Community School and open 11 hours a week. CCSS requested that Council contribute $10k a year to the $51k budget for the Youth Centre. Mayor Baird asked whether the centre would be open year round - it would be - and Councilor Sproule asked how the Centre might partner with Cumberland Recreation. CCSS Executive Director, Sue Loveless, said that the society was very open to discussions about partnering on programming.

Atmosphere Gathering

Council considered the Atmosphere Gathering request for road closure and noise exemption, with music ending at 10:30pm on the final, Sunday, night, rather than midnight the previous year. Councilor Kettler commented that the organisers have done a good job trying to address concerns and that the benefits of the event outweigh the cons. Councilor Sproule praised the plan to circulate letters to nearby residents with contact details for the organisers. Both the noise exemption and road closure was approved.

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