August 3, 2016
It gives me a great deal of pleasure to provide a snapshot of some of the services, operations, and circumstances that have preoccupied Mayor and Council over the past months. The 2016 Annual Report and the 2015 Financial Report, adopted June 6 are available for your perusal if you are inclined to great bedtime reading – or even if you prefer the shortly after-midnight stimulation of your synapses. You are welcome to ask for a copy. I am sharing with you below excerpts from the Mayor’s message in the report.
Each year Mayor and Council, in consultation with Administration, set priorities for use of District resources to maintain and enhance, wherever possible, the services and infrastructure of the District of Chetwynd. The past year has seen many successes which make us happy to be involved. However, there remain many challenges to occupy our time in the coming months.
Last year saw the completion of the Medical Clinic and Wellness Centre and its occupation by Northern Health, and a few weeks before Christmas office staff regrouped in the newly completed and named Chetwynd District Centre. To complement the construction of the clinic, Mayor and Council worked assiduously to recruit and retain medical personnel to serve our needs. Chetwynd, in collaboration with Northern Health, seems to have achieved a measure of success in this endeavour.
There are other successes still to be achieved. Our major industries face the challenge of recruitment and retention. Owner-operator truckers frequently are faced with parking problems. Chetwynd needs to be a trucker-friendly community. Council will be addressing this issue over the next months.
Of a more down-in-earth nature, Chetwynd applied for and received a major Build Canada Grant for construction of a new sewage facility. We expect to bring that project to completion within this construction season.
Then there is the ordinary: the street repair, the paving, the progress on the boulevard walking path, exchanging over-mature trees for new trees, and other projects. In all the things that contribute to a liveable community, Council is active behind the scenes providing policy guidance to Administration.
While we are cognizant of the prosperity that industry brings to our community, we are also very much aware of its close connection to the world economy with its ups and downs and sideways. The decisions made in Saudi Arabia on the price of oil, for example, have affected the viability of retail outlets in our home town. We continue to watch the world scene as it affects us here in Chetwynd. For the time being, lumber prices are supporting a functioning forest industry and we are encouraged by the number of jobs forestry provides in Chetwynd.
We expect that the months ahead will present challenges yet not on the radar. Mayor and Council are committed to providing an environment in which these challenges will be met with clarity of thought and appropriate action.
The office of the Mayor has an open door. You are welcome to drop in to discuss your vision for our community.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor