Shawnigan Basin Society gets green light for $50,000 in annual public funding

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Fifty grand a year for watershed and safety studies and initiatives is headed to the Shawnigan Basin Society, pending final regional board approval.

Results of a recent alternative approval process were handed to the Cowichan Valley Regional District board Wednesday. The AAP gained 152 of 570 official opposition forms needed to force a referendum about Director Bruce Fraser's motion to gain the society's annual taxpayer funding, CVRD staff reported.

The AAP deadline closed Jan. 6.

Response forms from 10% of 5,700 eligible voters in Shawnigan Lake (Area B) were needed to spark the referendum.

The yearly $50,000 will help address environmental and safety issues in the Shawnigan and upper Koksilah basins.

That society's annual purse will cost Shawnigan homeowners about $3 per $100,000 of assessed residential property value.

The area's major water pollution worry is a provincial permit — under appeal by the CVRD and Shawnigan Residents Association — allowing 50 years of treatment for five million tonnes of fuel-tainted soil in a pit off Stebbings Road.

Fraser failed to return calls by press time Thursday.

Resident Blaise Salmon recently resigned from the basin society, citing what he believed was a flawed AAP process. He also objected to the society signing a $90,000 contract with consultants.

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