Cumberland has purchased land for a future public works site.

After a search, the village found a portion of unutilized lands from West Fraser Mills. 

The four parcels were previously used as private forest land.

 The village will use one of the parcels to house a new public works yard.

Mayor Leslie Baird said the old site isn’t equipped to handle the demands of a growing village.

“We’ve overgrown the lands that we are on now, actually connected to the village office,” she said. “And we need a bigger piece of property to hold all our equipment and for safety reasons, also.”

The pieces fell into place for the acquisition, Baird added. “We were looking for different areas of land within the village and we contacted them and they were willing to sell.”

Baird noted that the village’s existing public works yard is very small, in a poor location in the residential and commercial core, and the old buildings are unlikely to withstand a significant seismic event.

“We are very happy to have found a suitable parcel of land near the Inland Island Highway at a reasonable price,” she said.

The site for the new public works yard is accessed from Union Road and is on one of the two largest parcels, together totaling 11.5 hectares. 

The parcels were part of a package deal at a price tag of just over $1 million, funded from reserves and short term debt. 

The package also includes two small parcels included at no extra cost to the municipality and which are expected to be retained for park use. 

These smaller lots include a 0.6-hectare portion of the South Wellington Colliery railway bed near Comox Lake, as well as a 4.4-hectare parcel of wetlands and riparian areas sited between the Community Forest and Comox Lake Road.

While the village says it has a healthy inventory of community parkland holdings, to-date it has not owned any land available for future operational and community needs (other than the acquisition of a one ha parcel in 2016 for a new fire hall). 

The village also notes that the latest land purchase will give it options to help meet current and future community needs.

A planning process to determine the use of the Union Road parcels is in the works.

Also planned is a review of civic facilities planning, community and social infrastructure needs, including exploration of revenue-generating opportunities for the municipality. 

The Union Road parcels are currently zoned “Public Use and Assembly (PA-1)”.