January 14, 2016
Chetwynd’s new Town Hall, open for business and serving Chetwynd as it should, for the most part (a few kinks still to be worked out), is a beautiful and functional addition to Chetwynd’s inventory of capital assets. And an asset it is! It is hard to believe we once squeezed ourselves into the former office with its ATCO attachments, and hard to imagine how we functioned at all.
I know that most of you have not yet visited the Town Hall. But do so. You owe yourself a treat and close look at the heart of local government in Chetwynd. As always, my door is open and you are welcome to share with me your perspectives on any current municipal issues.
What are these issues?
Well, for one thing, with the medical clinic and the Town Hall construction now history (and I don’t see any more building construction in the short term) don’t be surprised if my interest tends to issues more earthy.
For example, you are aware of Chetwynd’s success in obtaining the 2/3 Federal and Provincial grant for the construction of the new sewage treatment facility. In addition to these grants, the Regional District through the Rural Directors chipped in with $500,000. At approximately 4.5 million the sewer project in itself is a major undertaking, on the completion of which our Director of Public Works will be focusing considerable energy in the coming months.
Of course, the project is out of sight and likely out of mind so I will happily bring you up to date from time to time. However, in the meantime, please don’t flush your toilets (that’s a joke, a really bad joke). Actually, while the construction is progressing, you will not notice any difference in the good service you are accustomed to enjoying without thought or effort on your part.
I have mentioned earlier some of the surface work to be undertaken by our Director of Public Works and his crews. It is pretty hard not to notice when your streets are being resurfaced, and some of them are scheduled for restoration this season, so we ask your forgiveness on the temporary inconvenience that may result.
Work of a more cosmetic nature is also on the schedule so you will be seeing the 2016 improvements to our trail system. More eye catching, some of the trees in the boulevard have to be removed and replaced with the next generation of tree. Sad to see the big, old trees with their spreading limbs go but that is the way of most things in this world.
I don’t expect any surprises in the property tax rates for this year. Council consistently attempts to keep the rates relatively flat. At most we aim for parity with the cost of living.
I remind you that our regular Council and Committee meetings are open to the public and, with ample room and comfortable seating, we trust that you do not find our debates overpoweringly sleep inducing.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor