Comox Valley Regional District ‘wants to get a handle on flooding’

The regional district will spend $60,000 — $20,000 for each electoral area — on a legal and technical review about stormwater management, the CVRD board approved Tuesday.

The regional district will spend $60,000 — $20,000 for each electoral area — on a legal and technical review about stormwater management, the CVRD board approved Tuesday.

Courtenay director Larry Jangula, questioning why district staff can’t conduct the review, was the lone director to oppose the expenditure.

“I hate to spend money to find out what should have been done in the first place,” fellow Courtenay director Murray Presley said.

Area directors, however, suggest the money will be well spent.

“We have to get a handle on flooding,” said Area B director Jim Gillis, who hopes money spent now will prevent more money being spent on future flood mitigation.

Area A residents have been hit hard in recent years. Those living near Kin Beach Park, for instance, have been flooded regularly.

Board chair/Area C director Edwin Grieve notes December rains presented a “challenge in rural areas.”

• • •

The board approved a recommendation stemming from the last Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting to discuss with BC Housing a possible memorandum of understanding for the Cliffe Avenue property the district purchased to house a homeless shelter.

Jangula was surprised the item was included on the agenda, considering the controversy surrounding the proposed shelter. He and Presley opposed the recommendation.

“Why are we pursuing this location when it is perceived as harmful by citizens?” Jangula said.

Last month, Courtenay council voted 4-3 in favour of asking the district to reopen the shelter discussion. Those in favour noted 1,100 signatures on a petition opposing the proposed location in the 800 block of Cliffe Avenue.

The board, however, rejected the request at COW proceedings.

Comox director Paul Ives made the motion to attempt to secure a memorandum of understanding with BC Housing, which he said might address concerns of downtown Courtenay merchants who don’t understand how a shelter operates.

• • •

The board appointed Gillis to the Comox Valley housing task force. Gillis hopes those opposed to the shelter might consider sitting on the task force, which will be comprised of elected officials and members of the public.

Grieve said homelessness, though apparent in Courtenay, is a Valley-wide problem. Presley agreed.

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