OneAreaCode, a social enterprise that develops programs to support school-aged skateboarders, is appealing to Courtenay council for support and financial assistance.
Along with skateboard programs, OneAreaCode includes food and education programs. A goal is to involve underprivileged children and teens.
“We’re not creating a babysitting service or a youth program, we’re creating community,” co-ordinator Brett Box told council. “We promote the safety of skateboarding.”
Box notes many boarders come from single-mother homes.
Council encouraged Box to come back with a plan in writing.
Coun. Manno Theos suggested the possibility of tapping into provincial and federal grants.
Coun. Starr Winchester, who was skeptical many years back before the Lewis skatepark became a reality, encouraged Box to also appeal to the regional district.
“You are helping a huge gap that’s needed,” she said.
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Council adopted a tax rate bylaw that calls for a 4.18-per-cent increase to property owners. Taxes will increase $32.75 for properties worth $280,000. Tax on commercial properties valued at slightly less than $675,000 will increase by $585.
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Ronna-Rae Leonard was the lone member of council opposed to final adoption of a phased development agreement that gives Buckstone Investments an alternate route option for an off-site trail in South Courtenay.
The project proposal includes about 300 properties on 70-plus acres near Fraser and Comox Logging roads. The alternate trail option would go along Beachwood Road to the foreshore before heading north to Millard Road and connecting to the Courtenay Riverway South trail. The original option would contribute to the Rails With Trails project.
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Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent responded in writing to council’s request that the environmental assessment for the proposed Raven Underground Coal Mine be referred to a review panel.
After considering information from Compliance Coal and comments from the public, Kent is confident the study will “thoroughly examine the environmental effects associated with the project.”
He said comprehensive studies and review panels both consider the same factors under the former Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, “involve the same level of rigour, and require extensive public and aboriginal consultation.”