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South and central areas shoulder burden after west and north reject sportsplex funding

The west and the far north have just said ‘no’ to the Cowichan Sportsplex.

North Oyster joined all three Cowichan Lake areas recently in rejecting funding Duncan’s Cowichan Sportsplex to the tune of $100,000 in 2011.

This leaves the six remaining Cowichan Valley Regional District electoral areas, Duncan, Ladysmith, and North Cowichan, to fund the Chesterfield Street recreation complex.

“At this point, we don’t want to fund regionally,” Lake Cowichan Mayor Ross Forrest said, adding his council’s focus will be to use tax money more locally.

“This is a big hit,” Cowichan Lake South Director Ian Morrison said. “I’m hearing loud and clear that the sportsplex is not a high priority.”

Minimal usage by his area — below one percentage point — is not enough to justify funding, Morrison said.

Youbou Director Klaus Kuhn had a similar sentiment.

“It’s the old thing of regional funding,” Kuhn said. “To me, it’s obvious. We’re too far away to benefit from it.”

Another worry of Kuhn’s was chipping in now would lead to an obligation of continued funding, with little input from his community.

The areas that will contribute will pay 80 cents per $100,000 of their property assessment to the sportsplex.

If all electoral areas voted “yes” that number would have been 68 cents per $100,000.

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