CVRD formally lays Cameron-Taggart ECO Depot to rest

Cowichan Valley Regional District directors have hammered the final nail into the coffin of the controversial ECO Depot.

The contentious south Cowichan recycling transfer station proposed for Cameron-Taggart Road was laid to rest at Wednesday’s board meeting.

Directors voted to not proceed with construction of an ECO Depot on the CVRD-owned property, and directed staff to report back regarding disposal of the land, as well as options for providing recycling services to the south Cowichan area.

Directors also voted in favour of a comprehensive review of the ECO Depot process, including site search, land acquisition and public consultation, with the aim of identifying errors, omissions and best practices.

All directors were in favour of halting the project for good, although some had issues with doing a review of the process and with disposing of the south-end property, as well as a suggestion to conduct a telephone survey.

“Why are we spending more money?” Mill Bay Director Mike Walker asked. “It’s over.”

“We should just move on,” agreed North Oyster Director Mary Marcotte.

But Cobble Hill Director Gerry Giles — the former board chairwoman who bore the brunt of anti-ECO Depot criticism — argued a review was necessary to ensure the CVRD didn’t wind up in a similar schmozzle down the road.

Chairman Rob Hutchins agreed, pointing out assumptions are what led to the CVRD’s “failure” with the ECO Depot in the first place, and steps should be taken to identify those assumptions — and prevent them from being made in the future.

Cowichan Lake-South Director Ian Morrison also wondered why the CVRD needed to dispose of the property — he noted a park, or a site for young farmers as possible options.

But while directors eventually agreed to pass the rest of the resolution, they defeated the portion that proposed conducting a telephone survey of voters to determine why they voted for or against the project.

Even those initially in favour of the idea decided to quash it once it was determined the CVRD would not be able to conduct a telephone survey based on the voting list, and specifically those who voted in the referendum.

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