The local branch of the SPCA hopes to maintain its low income spay and neuter program, for which the City of Courtenay has provided $5,000. Not all of the money has been spent.
“The need is there,” branch manager Emily Priestley told Courtenay council Tuesday. “We’d love to be able to keep the program.”
There is a proliferation of cats and dogs in the Comox Valley, especially the former. Feral, or wild, cats are particularly problematic, though Priestley is seeing fewer numbers coming into the shelter.
City staff partly attributes fewer feral cat complaints to the $5,000 it contributed a few years back.
The shelter has only received funding from Courtenay. The branch plans to approach other Valley municipalities.
•Council approved a $230,000 budget/work plan for 2015 from Discover Comox Valley Tourism, submitted by the Comox Valley Economic Development Society (CVEDS). One objective of the plan is to expand destination marketing initiatives to increase visitation and overnight stays in the Valley.
In 2013, the City entered into an agreement with CVEDS to provide marketing services with funds from the Additional Hotel Room Tax (AHRT) — which requires Courtenay hotels to collect an additional two per cent on accommodation sales.
The City has received $172,401 of AHRT funds that were transferred to CVEDS for marketing and tourism programs.
Mayor Larry Jangula said last year’s WinterBites Festival is perhaps the best example of such a program.
He noted Courtenay is the lone Valley municipality where hotels participate in the AHRT.
Brent Curtain, destination marketing and tourism manager at CVEDS, expects the annual seafood festival to be “even bigger this year.”