Accomplishments

Community

  • Hosted and attended many community meetings and information sessions.

  • Provided community updates through the Area E community email list and Facebook page.

  • Canvassed neighbourhoods on controversial land use applications to listen and learn

  • Supported Area community associations and the work they do to gather the community together

  • Supported emergency preparedness information sessions in the community

  • Participated in the Cultural Connections initiative, including Hul'q'umi'num language classes

Land Use Planning for a Sustainable Future

  • Supported Cowichan 2050, a framework for regional land use planning

  • Supported comprehensive review of Area E Official Community Plan – including land use policies, proposed "village" containment boundaries, and detailed local area plans for Sahtlam and Koksilah Business/Eagle Heights area

  • Advocated for better inventory information for groundwater and sensitive ecosystems and mapping capabilities for land use planning

  • Collected survey information about businesses in the Koksilah Business Park area in preparation for development of a local area plan

  • Strengthened proof-of-water requirements for subdivisions

  • Support for the proposed bylaw to provide seed funding for affordable housing and homeless prevention services to be delivered through the Cowichan Housing Association

Water and Natural Environment

  • Supported development of a bylaw to prevent indiscriminate soil dumping in watersheds

  • Advocated for the proposed region-wide water and watershed protection services bylaw

  • Advocated for better communications and enforcement of riparian regulations

  • Supported and participated in a community-led initiative to study and learn how landowners can help protect and restore the health of the Koksilah watershed 

  • With Cowichan Tribes, supported Sh-hwuykwselu watershed stormwater study, to reduce flood risk in Koksilah Business Park area

  • Participated in Cowichan Watershed Board governance review

Parks and Trails

  • Completed Area E community parks and trails master plan, including roadside pathway priorities

  • Advocated to improve opportunities for people to volunteer on parks and trails projects

  • Initiated planning for pathway along Koksilah Road to better connect Cowichan Station to Cowichan Bay

  • Supported grant funding for building key Trans Canada Trail connections

  • Completed Currie Park shelter and washroom and playground replacement on Hykawy

Governance

  • Solid record of attendance and participation in CVRD Board and committee meetings

  • Advocated for change in procedural bylaw to allow public to provide input at the beginning of CVRD meetings, prior to decision making

  • Advocated for regional recreation services planning

  • Advocated for routine third party reviews of CVRD programs to evaluate and improve service delivery

Regional Infrastructure

  • Ongoing liaison with Ministry of Transportation regarding road safety and maintenance

  • Advocated for Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s soon-to-be-completed roadside pathway standards for regional districts

  • Supported full life cycle asset management to better plan for maintenance and replacement of built infrastructure e.g., Sahtlam firehall

  • Supported third party review of CVRD water systems and implementation of recommendations

  • Supported CVRD advocating for modernization of BC legislation pertaining to regional districts, particularly to strengthen subdivision and enforcement tools

Local Taxes and Services

There is some confusion about local taxes and the services they provide, and for good reason since it's complex.

 

Below is a chart showing tax rates, overall taxes collected, and service costs going back 13 years. 

 

The CVRD Directors as a whole make decisions on service levels, and projects in one Area affect finances in other areas, so it's a collaborative process.

 

With population growth, the CVRD faces increasing pressures on service levels. This is reflected in the numbers over the past 13 years.

 

The other factor is property values set by the province, so that tax rates per $100k assessed can be dropping, but if the a property value is rising, then the absolute amount of tax paid on that property can be rising. This is the case for many owners in Area E.

 

Over the past few years we've done a better job as Directors with "full life cycle assessment" of public assets like buildings and sewers, investing more in keeping them maintained well rather than letting them degrade so that money can be spent elsewhere.

 

We can always do better, and I will keep working at that.

 

Authorized by Alison Nicholson, Financial Agent, alison.visavis@gmail.com

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