The Village of Cumberland’s summer was marked by extreme heat and continuing COVID challenges. File photo

The Village of Cumberland’s summer was marked by extreme heat and continuing COVID challenges. File photo

Cumberland staff’s summer meant changing COVID orders

Other issues that posed challenges for village included the heat dome and drought

The last quarter was not exactly business as usual for the Village of Cumberland.

During a presentation to council at their Oct. 25 committee of the whole meeting, chief administrative officer Clayton Postings noted some trends for staff over the summer months.

“We still seem to be responding to the COVID health orders,” he said.

Three months earlier, with vaccines and falling case numbers, the expectation might have been for the virus to been on the wane. With more recent increases though, the province has responded with new masks orders and measures such as vaccine passports.

“There continue to be adjustments,” he said.

He said the issues posed some challenges around restrictions for the local recreation facilities, but that things had settled down toward the end of the quarter last month.

Staff also had to work toward a communicable disease policy. Of course, the whole period through COVID-19 has required some flexibility for the Village.

Another issue was this summer’s drought, as the number of dry days pushed the community toward the uncommon step of stage two water restrictions.

RELATED STORY: Cumberland follows Comox Valley region with watering restrictions

The heat dome also posed challenges for Cumberland and other communities, as record temperatures forced local governments to take measures to help keep residents, especially some of the most vulnerable ones, a little safer. Postings talked about working with other municipal partners in the area about future responses.

“We don’t know what that will look like in the future,” he said.

One positive development, even with the hot, dry weather, was that the fire department managed to avoid any serious wildfire outbreaks in the area. An issue for the department though is a wish for more recruits.

The rest of the quarterly report looked at a number of matters for local government, including development, the fire department and the financial status for the Village.

The staff plan also outlines goals for the village — in this case, 115 of which 51 per cent were completed. These included the new fire hall, the zoning bylaw update and a housing needs assessment.

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