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Muni Morsels - November 14 Council

Bite sized business from Bowen's latest council meeting
Muni Hall
Bowen Island Municipal Hall

Bowen’s new council held their first regular meeting on Monday, following their special inaugural meeting on Nov. 7. 

Council Chambers had a much different look as the meeting got underway, both in the faces around the table with five new members, and also the tables themselves, with two tables on either side of the room replaced with a U-shaped three table setup, headed by Mayor Andrew Leonard. 

The meeting was on the shorter side, but there were still items to discuss as the 2022-26 term got underway. Chief administrative officer Liam Edwards provided a report on Bowen’s capital projects which are currently underway.

Fire Hall

The new facility on Miller Road is basically complete, and the Bowen Fire Department is operating out of it on a full-time basis. The only pieces still needing work are some landscaping and the carport for the fleet’s 1969 Pumper Truck

Cultural Corner/Multi-Use Path

The shared pavilion project between the Library and Hearth Gallery should have its roof finished by the end of the year. Along with the anticipated finish of Phase 2 MUP paving this week, Edwards says the area should resemble its old-self again soon. 

“We should see the Library come back to some sense of normalcy, without looking like a construction zone, which it has now for quite some time. So we appreciate the community’s patience with both those projects as they’ve taken quite a bit of time and been fairly impactful to the community.”

Culvert Replacements

Work on replacing culverts continues across the island. A major project to replace the storm sewers under Trunk Road was recently completed, mostly with on-island labour. 

“For me it was a testament to the ability and skill of our team, and it’s something we want to start doing more of, and build capacity within our own labour and save money for the island. Because we have many culverts that are in need of
replacement,” says Edwards.

Other recent culvert replacements include along Grafton Road and Harding Road. On Harding, a bridge was opted for rather than concrete box culverts when the municipality could not secure supplies during a strike in the concrete industry. Edwards says the bridge is more ecologically friendly anyway. 

Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant

“It’s been a source of frustration for many,” said Edwards bluntly. The plant remains offline, 18 months after its scheduled opening date. Electrical repairs and a fix of the break head tank should have the plant commissioned sometime in the new year. While the water colouring may look concerning, Edwards says the tannins are not harmful for consumption, though it is advised immunocompromised people avoid drinking the water. 

Snug Cove Wastewater Treatment Plant

Phase 1 of this project is estimated to be complete early in 2023. Edwards says the municipality is waiting on a capacity assessment to be completed to see if work performed on the plant this year has brought its capacity up to a sufficient level. 

“Once we have that capacity assessment completed and understood then we should be able to be in a position to allow for people to connect to the system that we put on hold,” said the CAO. He added periods of prolonged wet weather and full soil saturation are necessary for the assessment to be done. Once Phase 1 is complete, the more complex and costly Phase 2 can get underway.

Local Advisory Committees

The Tunstall Bay Reservoir improvement project continues, which will provide better supply, capacity, and fire flow to residents of the western LAC. In Eagle Cliff, the waiting game continues on a grant application to help fund a desired hookup to the Cove Bay water system. The results of the multi-million dollar provincial grant were initially slated for late 2022, but it now looks like it will be the new year before a decision is made. 

On-Island Composting Facility/Community Centre

Edwards says further information on the proposed composting facility will be available soon. The Community Centre will be discussed in further detail during a Committee of the Whole meeting on Wednesday afternoon, November 16.

Committee Appointments

Mayor Andrew Leonard was unanimously appointed as Bowen’s Director for the Metro Vancouver Regional Board of Directors after volunteering for the position. Coun. Tim Wake and Alison Morse each offered their names for Alternate Director to the organization, with Wake being selected for the role following a 5-2 secret vote. 

Council representatives for Bowen’s many committees were also scheduled to be decided on Monday, but council voted to push this decision until their January 23 meeting to allow more time for members to research committees and see which ones they’d like to be a part of. 

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