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Holdout ready to join south end in the pool

Loren Duncan -
Loren Duncan
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The last significant remaining holdout in the Cowichan pool war appears poised to dive in.

A month after North Cowichan announced a deal to sink the controversial two-tier payment system for residents of Mill Bay, Cowichan Bay, Shawnigan Lake and Cobble Hill, Area E (Sahtlam/Cowichan Station/Glenora) is ready to follow suit.

Director Loren Duncan said his area's taxpayers will to contribute $2.67 per $100,000 of assessed property value to the North Cowichan Aquatic Centre if North Cowichan exempts them from the two-tier fee system.

In an email to cowichannewsleader.com, Duncan said he anticipates North Cowichan will accept the offer, which will then be subject to Area A resident approval through the alternate approval petition process.

Because the process could take six months and delay implementation until 2014, Duncan also offered to fund  2013  contributions through a grant-in-aid.

"I am ready to go tomorrow, if North Cowichan wishes to welcome Area E residents into the fold, on the trust that all will end well with the service establishment process and that funds will be forthcoming then from the Grant-in-Aid allotment," he said.

"The two-tier funding mechanism was an ongoing irritant between the North Cowichan operated pool and Electoral Area "E" residents. It's end is clearly seen as possible, likely and timely."

Even prior to the south end deal, Area E was the closest geographic area not contributing to the pool. If this deal is approved, it would leave residents of the three Cowichan Lake areas as the only ones affected by two-tier fees.

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