Cumberland council briefs: May 14

Alleyway maintenance strategy passes, council to acknowledge KFN territory

The Village of Cumberland held its regular council meeting on May 14. Here are a few meeting highlights.

Alleyway maintenance strategy approved

Following a presentation from a Wedler Engineering representative, council approved an alley enhancement and maintenance strategy. The Village had commissioned the firm to study and assess Cumberland’s 57 alleyways, considering the village’s future growth potential, increase in laneway housing, and the volume of vehicle and foot traffic through alleyways.

Jenny Burgess of Wedler Engineering presented the firm’s findings on Monday. According to the study, 42 per cent of the village’s alleyways are in good condition and 37 per cent are in marginal or poor condition.

The strategy recommends prioritizing certain alleyways for future improvements, such as paving or widening.

Council to acknowledge KFN

Council members approved to formally acknowledge that Cumberland and the Village’s meetings are located on the K’ómoks First Nation’s traditional territory.

The Village follows in the steps of the City of Courtenay, the Town of Comox, the Comox Valley Regional District, and School District 71 in acknowledging their meetings take place on traditional KFN land.

Mayor Leslie Baird suggested that the Village’s website also recognize that Cumberland is situated on KFN territory, which passed as well.

Council remuneration set for 2019

Council members approved the mayoral and councillor salaries for 2019. The mayor’s annual salary will be $18,255 and a councillor’s salary will be $9,813.

The salaries will apply to the next council, as general municipal elections in B.C. are scheduled for October 2018. Council had last reviewed remuneration in 2015.

Councillor Sean Sullivan brought up concerns that the low pay will be a deterrent to young people interested in running for council.

Contract awarded for water treatment project

Rob Crisfield, the Village’s manager of operations, told council that the tender process for Cumberland’s water treatment and reservoir project had resulted in several bids from companies.

Council passed staff’s recommendation to award the project contract to Knappett Industries for a total cost of $4,692,064.

Property Tax Rates Bylaw adopted

Council adopted its 2018 property tax rates bylaw on Monday, which had passed first, second, and third readings at the Village’s previous council meeting. The proposed residential tax increase compared to 2017 is 2.92 per cent.

According to the Village’s financial services officer Michelle Mason, the average house assessment in Cumberland is $357,557, which is a 19 per cent increase from the year before ($300,365).

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