Partial approval from Comox Valley Regional District for artificial turf
The Town of Comox and electoral areas B (Lazo North) and C (Puntledge-Black Creek) support a referendum for a bylaw that, if supported, would increase taxes to pay for a pair of lit artificial turf fields at Valley View Park, as proposed by the Comox Valley United Soccer Club.
Area A (Baynes Sound-Denman/Hornby Islands) has indicated it does not wish to proceed as quickly as the club would like, while the City of Courtenay has yet to respond as to whether or not it wishes to proceed by way of referendum or the alternative approval process.
At Tuesday's regional district board meeting, Area A director Bruce Jolliffe said he supports the long-term idea but is not in favour of collecting the maximum, preferring instead to proceed gradually one field at a time. He notes his area does not contain an abundance of fields.
Comox director Patti Fletcher noted the efficiencies of building two fields at one time while Courtenay representative Jon Ambler said a gradual approach is impractical.
Courtenay director Larry Jangula has asked the project committee to provide details about maintenance costs and the lifespan of turf fields.
Next month, the committee of the whole will receive a report that describes the referendum question and provides Courtenay's response to the project.
The club is committing $800,000 to the $4.05 million proposal.
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The board approved a recommendation to provide $700 to the Dawn to Dawn Action on Homelessness to assist with the Soccer for the Homeless pilot project. The money will be used to purchase equipment, and provide for logistics and an evaluation process.
Dawn to Dawn proposes to initiate the program at the Harmston Park soccer pitch.
Soccer for the Homeless is becoming popular worldwide, with an established event dubbed the Homeless World Cup.
According to research, 73 per cent of players improve their lives by coming off drugs and alcohol, and moving into jobs, education, homes and training.