North Cowichan Council considered progress indicators in its 2015 Annual Report at its Wednesday, June 1 meeting. The report shows trends in the municipality’s achievement of its objectives toward social, economic and environmental well-being.
The crime rate in North Cowichan, which is an indicator of “safety and security, as well as an indicator of other social and economic problems” has crept up from 6.92 per cent in 2013 to 7.07 per cent in 2014 and 8.03 per cent in 2015.
In the economic section, housing starts were down from 102 in 2013 and 103 in 2014 to 89 in 2015. New commercial business building permits issued were also down, following an upswing to 21 in 2014, from 12 in 2012, down to 9 in 2015.
In the environmental column the report says ‘net carbon emissions’ were zero in both 2014 and 2015, down from 986 metric tonnes in 2013.
That figure includes “offsets from municipal initiatives to reduce corporate emissions.’ Under the provincial Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program municipalities are allowed to purchase carbon offsets, to bring their ‘net’ carbon footprint to zero.
As well as reporting on progress toward stated objectives, the Annual Report lists 2015 accomplishments, including:
• The Chemainus Skate park, which “provides a much needed recreational area for skateboarders, inline skaters, and scooter enthusiasts alike”;
• A municipal forestry partnership called Story Trails with the Cowichan tribes and School District 79, which “provides high-school students with access to the Municipal Forest Reserve where they work on teambuilding and trail building for credit.”
The annual report contains the consolidated financial statements for North Cowichan, which show actual revenues of $47.5 million for operations in 2015, compared to a budgeted $51.5 million. Expenses came in at $43.4 million, compared to $49.9 million budgeted. The annual surplus was $4.2 million.
The full draft Annual Report can be downloaded from northcowichan.bc.ca by doing a search for ‘2015 Annual Report’ choosing PDF format.