Ucluelet mayor and council accept an early Christmas present of $1 million from the Barkley Community Forest Corporation during the Dec. 11 council meeting. (Nora O’Malley / Westerly News)

Barkley Community Forest nets $1M for Ucluelet

Ucluelet council briefs for Dec. 11 meeting.

Ucluelet’s mayor and council accepted a giant cheque for $1 million from the Barkley Community Forest Corporation at the Dec. 11 council meeting.

Terry Smith, Barkley Community Forest board chair, said nobody expected the market for cedar to be so good this year.

“We had one contract of 20,000 cubic metres that netted us almost $4 million. That’s pretty spectacular,” said Smith.

He said the cuts for next year will be smaller.

“Unfortunately, we won’t be able to repeat this. It’s going to be kind of difficult because we don’t have the wood and the markets are falling too,” said Smith.

Mayor Noël thanked the Community Forest chair and said the windfall is a huge win for Ucluelet.

“You’re right, there was a little bit of luck with the markets. It’s nice to see that the win over the last 24-months will go right back into the community,” said Noël.

District of Ucluelet CAO Mark Boysen said the funds will be integrated into the new council’s budgeting process.

When the District of Ucluelet received their first dividend for $500,000 in June, Boysen said they put forward a public survey asking residents what they thought would be the best use of the Community Forest funds.

“Affordable housing is the number one priority for the community,” said Boysen.

Ucluelet RCMP update

Sgt. Steve Mancini addressed mayor and council during the Dec. 11 meeting. He said it’s been a challenging year for the detachment.

“We’ve had a few major files. Anyone that’s from Ucluelet is well aware of. They’ve eaten up a lot of our time, a lot of our resources.”

He said calls for service are up by about 50 calls from last year. As of Jan. 1, Sgt. Mancini said he will be the longest serving member of the detachment. Mancini took up his role as Ucluelet police chief in April 2017.

“There’s been a big turnover in the past six months. We went through all four of our constables. We’ll be looking at new faces in the community, some of which are already here and are adapting well and enjoying the community and what it has to offer,” said Mancini.

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New daytime council meetings

A motion to adopt a new 2019 council meeting schedule was carried. Starting Jan. 8, 2019, council will meet at 2:30 p.m. and convene at 4:30 p.m. every other meeting.

“I’m looking forward to trying daytime meetings,” said councillor McEwan.

“The new schedule will benefit the people in the fire department. They will be able to partake in meetings now,” said Coun. Cole.

New development on Peninsula Road

A development permit for the renovation and addition to a one-storey accessory building to create a two-storey, four-unit motel building located at 1714 Peninsula Road was unanimously approved by mayor and council.

The application put forward by Warren Barr and Lily Verney-Downey was accompanied with several letters of support from neighbouring businesses, including: the Army Navy and Airforce Veterans Club Unit 293 and Heartwood Kitchen.

UES safety concerns

School zone safety was discussed after mayor and council received a letter from the UES Parent Advisory Council highlighting the volume of traffic in front of the school. Repainting the school zone speeds and securing temporary speed bumps were put forward as solutions to mitigate some of the traffic issues.

Derelict boats

At the tail-end of the Dec. 11 Ucluelet council meeting, a member of the public raised concerns about derelict boats in the harbour, and the potential for oil leaks. District staff said they are working on a clean up strategy.

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