Some very exciting news this week as Platform Properties announced that Sport Chek and Bulk Barn will both be coming to Williams Lake this fall. These are two national retailers new to Williams Lake.
This is a great example of the confidence investors have in our community.
On Tuesday, council adopted the Tax Rate Bylaw, completing the process of the 2014 budget and five-year financial plan. Work will continue this summer on the 2015 budget.
Our financial planning needs to be an ongoing, strategic process so that we can make the most efficient use of funds and address the city’s needs by taking a long-term approach.
The three per cent tax rate increase means an additional $23.47 per $100,000 on a residential property, or an extra $70.41 for a home valued at $300,000.
Of the increase, one per cent addresses inflation in fixed costs (and we’ve cut $388,000 from the operating budget this year), and two per cent will go to addressing our roads through a pavement management plan.
Councillors Danica Hughes and Surinderpal Rathor and I attended the North Central Local Government Association (NCLGA) Convention last week in Fort St. John.
There was strong support for both of Williams Lake’s resolutions: one to support $10 a day childcare, and a Junior Council resolution to have NCLGA and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities establish a youth caucus.
There were a number of engaging presentations, including a truly inspirational address from Olympic speed skater Denny Morrison.
We also learned there will be new tools for local governments as we undergo audits by the auditor general for local government.
The new city website is up and running. Williamslake.ca offers an easy to navigate place for city news and information.
You can now pay your taxes and utility bills, customize how you engage with the site, and participate in engagement tools such as the Community Voice discussion area. Be sure to take a look.
Thank you and best wishes to Director of Municipal Services Kevin Goldfuss, who will be moving to Ladysmith this summer after 31 years with the city.
Kevin has made a real difference to this community through his work not only on our streets and parks, but also with his many volunteer activities. Kevin helped establish Williams Lake as a winner in the Communities in Bloom program, and has volunteered in a number of capacities, including on our Accessibility Committee.
Kevin, we will miss your hard work and passion for Williams Lake.
We wish you all the best on Vancouver Island.
Congratulations to the new Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Area Board of Directors, elected at the AGM last week.
Council is looking forward to working with you towards our shared goals of a lively downtown and increased economic development.
Kerry Cook is the Mayor of Williams Lake.