North Cowichan council considered options for 2019 forestry operations within the Municipal Forest Reserve at a special meeting Friday, and endorsed completion of existing 2018 forestry contracts and harvesting of trees blown down from the December 2018 windstorm.
Council began hearing in late 2018 from citizens interested in the municipality’s forestry activities within the Forest Reserve. Council has asked for a detailed review of North Cowichan’s forestry operations, but is required by law in the meantime to adopt a budget and set tax rates by May 15, 2019.
In order to meet that target, council had to make an immediate decision about 2019 forestry operations that affect the 2019 budget.
Council’s decision means an anticipated budget shortfall of around $150,000, and confirmed the shortfall will be offset by around $25,000 from the Forestry Reserve Fund and $125,000 through budget savings that staff will recommend.