With a new spray park, cenotaph and care facility, Lumby’s mayor admits it will be pretty hard to top 2013.
“We had an amazing year as far as the village goes,” said Mayor Kevin Acton. “It’s going to be hard to top that.”
While there are some big plans for the future of infrastructure, they aren’t as flashy as the projects of 2013. And they will come at a price for taxpayers.
“We’ll do a small increase this year again,” said Acton of taxes.
“These next couple years are going to be tough, we’ve got some big things to tend to.”
Solid waste management is one item on the list of infrastructure improvements which the village is saving up for.
“There’s all this failing infrastructure but no money there.”
Another item being eyed is a new public works building.
“We have the design so council’s next move will be to figure out where to put it and how to fund it.”
There’s also the possibility of putting a bio-mass system in for heating White Valley Parks.
Economic development is also a priority in Lumby.
While many families and businesses are “extremely happy” in the village, says Acton, some residents are being forced to move.
“It’s still a challenge for a younger person to find work here,” said Acton.
“The lower cost of living attracts young families but then sometimes they’ll move on.”
While Lumby is still making slow and steady growth, and also boasts the lowest average age group in the Okanagan, Acton wants to do more to boost the economy.
“We’ve been looking at the industrial park and seeing how we can make it more attractive.”
Another benefit to the area in 2013 was the Highway 6 improvements and re-instatement of rail, which make Lumby more attractive for industrial opportunities.
“The railway is going to certainly make Lumby more accessible for industry.”
So with so much to look forward to, Acton will be seeking another term at the head of the table in the November 2014 municipal elections.
“I just got started,” said Acton, who is eager to build up reserves, ensure developers pay their way and preserve agricultural land.
And he suspects many of the faces around the council table will remain the same.
“They (councillors) are all doing a great job. I’d be surprised not to see them all run again.”
Overall, Acton is pleased with the progress being made around town. And he’s happy to see residents enjoying the lifestyle, low crime rates and small town atmosphere, where you can walk down the street and are always guaranteed to see a familiar face.
“I’ve lived here 22 years and I don’t think the village has ever looked so beautiful.”