Westward Independent

Poor Attendance for such Important Events at AGM

by Westward Independent
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A mere 26 residents of the almost 800 homes of the Cherry Creek District, attended the April 18, 2024, Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Cherry Creek Hall.

The Improvement District is nestled beside the City of Port Alberni on the West side of Vancouver Island and has a population of 1,977 people. Financial auditors spoke about the over $800,000 Water and Fire services costs for 2023 that was accepted by everyone. Discussions then were mainly pertaining to the newly proposed water treatment plant that is being designed as Island Health in 2006 adopted the 4-3-2-1 Drinking Water Treatment for Surface Water Policy. A conversion study was done (with final disclosure yet to be detailed) by Dan Huang of Connections Planning Ass. Ltd., detailing the treatment plant costing upwards of $6 million, however, many attendees to the AGM commented that this study was over-pricing the estimates. It was felt that the study was biased so that residents would opt to convert to the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) which, according to many of the attendees, was why the study was slanted to accept government acceptance.

During the conversion study open house on March 14, 2024, many residents spoke against joining the ACRD as it would negate our sovereignty – most want to keep our independence. The drawback to joining the ACRD is the lack of government grants. The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) voted to not fund or grant Improvement Districts (which CCWD is) as the municipalities all fight over the available funds and of course there is nothing left for the Improvement Districts, according to past CCWD trustee Ron Crema. “We have a gravity system and full proof – best thing in the world,” Crema said. As Wes Kovac, CCWD administrator says “We have the best water on Vancouver Island. Wendy Johnston, who already served a one-year trustee position, won the 3-year term against Lars Bank. Previous years, there were few applicants who went forth to serve on the CCWB, and most were elected by acclamation, but with the new water system being implemented and a new firehall to be constructed – renewed interest is happening and this is good. 

It is diffficult to get residents involved in community activities – be it everyone is too busy working so much to keep afloat or Netflix is more important. In any case, the CCWD now has a good board of trustees whom we feel will do just for the ratepayers of this District.

By Charlaine, Port Alberni

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