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Cumberland reviewing Lake Park relationship

Cumberland councillors Bronco Moncrief and Gwyn Sproule will work with staff to determine whether the Village will operate parts of Cumberland Lake Park or if certain operations will be put to tender.

Coun. Leslie Baird forwarded the motion that passed unanimously at committee of the whole proceedings Monday.

"I think it's an important function to be operated by the Village," said Moncrief, who chairs a seven-person committee appointed that considers park operations. "There's a lot that can be done out there."

A priority for Moncrief is the boat ramp, which he notes took in $11,000 last year despite being relatively inexpensive to operate. He feels money should be invested in new floats before paying someone to operate the ramp.

The Lake Park committee recommended Holiday Trails Resorts be contracted to operate the park until Sept. 30. The committee, however, is concerned about the nature of the contract in terms of cost recovery or profit sharing for the Village, and does not support it being extended. Deteriorating park infrastructure is another concern.

"The committee is also concerned that at least one user group is afforded exclusive use of a public space within the park without demonstrating a clear benefit or contribution to the broader community for this privilege," Moncrief states in a report to council.

• • •

The committee approved a recommendation from Kate Greening to not support a pair of recreation grant reports drafted by the regional district.

Baird, who sits on the CVRD board, finds the reports confusing and feels they contradict the district's Sustainability Strategy.

The CVRD retained the services of Jennifer Wilson Consultants to look into the feasibility of establishing a regional service for facilities such as the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay.

Greening said the Sid, as an example, is not big enough to serve as a regional theatre.

The Wilson report includes eight Courtenay facilities but just two each in Comox and Cumberland, those being the Village's museum and recreation centre. It also lists the CVRD’s Sports and Aquatic Centre, the Exhibition Grounds and CVRD community halls.

Sproule, noting a problem with distance, agrees money would be better spent at home on Cumberland facilities.

"I'm very suspicious of the regional district," said Moncrief, who feels the weighted voting system at CVRD board meetings is "ridiculous."

The committee supported Moncrief's motion to look at the process of opting out of the regional service, except where it concerns the ice arenas and the two indoor swimming pools in Courtenay.

• • •

At a special meeting Monday, council approved third reading of an amended Official Community Plan bylaw that will incorporate the Parks and Greenways Master Plan.

Although there is still room for improvement in the document, Greening said, "It's nice to see it come along."

Baird notes a "tremendous amount of work" has gone into drafting the OCP.

"It's a good starting point," she said.

The Parks and Greenways Master Plan has been evolving for many years. It includes input from the community. A full-size version of the plan's map is on display at the Village office.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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