Last week I wrote of some foundation blocks Council shaped, fitted, and laid in 2012. For some of them, this is the year the rubber meets the road. We are confident in the successful completion of the right-in-right-out. It seems almost a given as we wait for the construction season to begin. Barring a major reversal in all our fortunes, the new District Office will start to grow. Other projects are outside Council’s control though Council continually works to create the environment for development – and all development gets the careful scrutiny that ensures that our cherished natural environment is preserved and enhanced.
I have a dream: to see the two big vacant lots downtown attractively developed and contributing to the life of the community. When it comes to placing concrete and rebar, there is not much Mayor and Council are good for, but we have done and we will continue to do our best to convince developers that Chetwynd is a great and secure place to convert their capital dollars to steel, concrete, wood, paint, and more. And it is!
Chetwynd offers one of the best family-living environments in the north. We really do not have to convince those of us who live here but we do want the message to reach and impress those whose capital dollars are being weighed against the potential returns.
Chetwynd’s economic base is still healthy and vigorous. Having been blessed with resources as diverse as coal, natural gas, forests, water, wind, soil, and location, it is no wonder that most of our residents enjoy the returns of their labor in the wonderful, still-natural world surrounding us.
I have another dream: to see the bulk of our transient population, those whose livelihoods are gained here but whose homes are still in Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Kamloops, and elsewhere, settle their families in Chetwynd and become a part of the community that supports them. Moving is never easy. I know. I haven’t moved for more than 30 years but I just completed a renovation of the laundry room. But the results can be most rewarding. I know. I just completed a renovation of the laundry room.
And I dream on: With spring just three months – short months – around the corner, it is time to start preparing our minds for action on community beautification. Public funds do have limits but Council has no plans to cut back this year on the budget for flowers, grass, shrubs, and other natural beauties. This is an appeal to downtown business, and all other business, to budget a few bucks for creative displays of seasonal flora. If you lack ideas, I am sure ideas will readily be provided by any one of the suppliers in our immediate area. If only 90% of our in-town business would take the plunge and transplant a floral display, we would have the good folks driving in from Dawson Creek just to see it – and buy lunch while here.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor