A new federal program started a few years back that gave local governments money from gas taxes. Many have asked where cobble hill’s portion has gone so i have made this chart showing a simple break down.
1) Grants in Aid: Why has this been increased from $6,500 to $80,000 over the last 2 year period?
Many residents of cobble hill do not know of the grants in aid function. As the cobble hill event society pressed on last year and it became public knowledge that there was funding for community groups, there appeared to be an interest by the community to start initiatives that would benefit the community. So I increased it. If at the end of the year, there is money in the bank, it will be rolled over and the requisition will be lowered accordingly.
2) Federal Gas Tax Rebate: Why was $50,000 funded for a covered pavilion on private property at Evergreen Private School?
Evergreen is also a society. Their grounds are open to the community after hours, on weekends and the summer. The CVRD has an existing arrangment with them that will be extended through this funding. The pavillion will cost 150,000.
3) Why was $70,000 spent to duplicate previous village designs completed in 2012, 2013 and 2014?
The design charrette gave a visual plan to some of the village’s development. The other plans you refer to were 20 years old or for very specific projects. The OCP does not give visual guidelines.
4) Cobble Hill Events Society (CHES)
(a) This was created by Director Clement in 2016 — Why is it being funded by Grants In Aid monies?
It was not created by me. It was facilitated by me with a group of cobble hill citizens who wanted to have more opportunities to engage with the community.
(b) Why has the CHES Grants in Aid been increased from $15,750 in 2016 to $20,000 in 2017?
CHES borrowed a sound system in its first year that was not available to them this year. that increase was to buy a sound system. That sound system will be able to be borrowed by other community groups in the future. CHES is working on a policy for this.
5) Is it true that Director Clement and his alternate, Carolyn Morris do not reside in Cobble or even pay taxes in this area?
Neither of us live in cobble hill.
6) Why was it necessary for Director Clement to spend $1000 on a full page colour advertisement in a local newspaper?
Because people needed to know about the event. There was also advertising on Facebook and Youtube.
Back in the 70’s, people thought it impossible to see Granville Island become what it is today.
Sometimes it just takes some vision and grit.
March 20th @ 6pm is the first of a 4 meetings. 3550 watson ave.
Design charrettes are a visual representation of what a community wants to see. While Cobble Hill has a great official community plan, it emphasizes a “heritage feel”… but is that 1920’s or 1950’s?
And we can all agree that the village could be more “walkable” but what does that look like? And if we build sidewalks, how do we deal with the parking?
These are just a few of the questions to ask at this meeting. You can sign up to the facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1412194338822354/
THIS IS THE FIRST OF 4 meetings.
Below are some visual examples from other Charrettes. It is very community based and very visual.
Taxes in Cobble Hill are going up about $100/year for the 2017 year. I would like to explain what some of the reasoning for that is.
Below, you will see some charts that I have made that break down where your CVRD taxes go. I have broken them down into three categories: Cobble Hill, South Cowichan and Regional. Taxes are applied “per $100,000 of assessed value”. So for example, if your house is assessed at $400,000, you can see in the 2017 taxes that Cobble Hill items are at 47.35 meaning $189 of your taxes are going into cobble hill while $711.52 goes into the regional items.
Some examples for these categories are:
REGIONAL: transit, local government, solid waste, libraries, economic development
SOUTH COWICHAN: Kerry Park Recreation, South Cowichan Parks, Bright Angel Park
COBBLE HILL:Cobble Hill Hall, Grants, Historic Society, Cobble Hill Parks
The reason I have posted the 2015 taxes as well as the 2017 taxes is to show that in the past, roughly 10% of your taxes were directly for Cobble Hill while now they make up 16.5% but that still doesn’t answer the burning question most people are asking, “WHY DID THEY GO UP SO MUCH?” I will break that down into two pieces: Regional & Cobble Hill.
During my campaign two years ago, I knocked on over 500 doorsteps. I heard a lot of concerns, ideas and thoughts that I carried with me into office. I also heard a lot of ideas and desires during this summer’s Music Night In The Park.
The people of Cobble Hill want to see a vibrant, safe and resilient community.
Safety = sidewalks & street lighting
Vibrant = events, community building & arts
Resilient = seniors housing, local economy & local food
Tackling these initiatives are going to cost money. That is why I held 4 community meetings over the last month to hear what people wanted to see in their community. Again, these same ideas of a vibrant, safe and resilient community, came forward.
So with this in mind, I be undertaking some strategic planning in the new year, which will include a design charret, to map out a vision for the Cobble Hill village. That is why I emphasize the main increase of taxes is happening for items related to Cobble Hill.
What will you see?
- You will see the big park in the middle of the village with grass in 2017 as well as picnic tables.
- You will see the road shoulders get leveled and become year round walking paths.
- We are aiming for ornamental street lighting as well to allow walking through out the evening and year.
- More events like Music In the park will make Cobble Hill their home.
- Workshops on farming, gardening and homesteading will be open to the public.
These are the items that we know need doing now but after the strategic planning, there will be more to do and we need money in the bank because…
There are a variety of grants and funding options to access but many of them require “money on the table” because they are matching funds. So if a project is $200,000 , an organization will require we have $100,000 in the bank. What this also means is that if we don’t move forward with some projects, these extra tax dollars can just be rolled into next years budget (which would lower taxes).
If you have any ideas for bettering your community please feel free to call me 250-715-6874 (cell)
We have added several key staff people at the CVRD, most of them in the planning department. When I heard of development applications taking 5-6 months, I inquired as to the reasons why. Simply put, we WERE short staffed. Now with new planners on the first floor, applications are getting processed in a timely manner. And before some comments around “work harder” come up, 2016 saw a record number of development and building permits come through the door. We are growing!
We also added a procurement officer. The CVRD spends millions in purchases for recreation centers, parks and buildings. Right now, each department is left to it’s own to buy these items and we are losing out on bulk buying opportunities by not having a co-ordinated purchasing officer. The good news comes in two pieces:
1. we will save money.
2. this didn’t affect taxes as it was done by letting another staff position go.
There are a few places that you can be kept up to date on some of the issues in Cobble Hill and the valley. There is of course your local paper but you can also have a couple of digital sign ups via email.
- Notify me – CVRD
This is a service that you can find here http://cvrd.bc.ca/list.aspx
You can chose what you will be emailed about.
- My website – subscribe
On the right hand side of the screen you can see a subscribe area where you can enter your email and be notified when there is a new post made.
And if you miss anything you can also go to the CVRD website and find our recorded video of our meetings here: http://cvrd.bc.ca/993/Agendas-Minutes-Video
I thought that a video response would address many of the questions that I have over the last few weeks about LNG and the proposed project in the Saanich Inlet.