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Mayor’s Column – November 29, 2017

November 29, 2017


I skipped a week in writing this column and asked Councillor Clay to share with you his passion on mental health. I appreciate that other members of Council are able to write on topics from which I draw back but which are very important to the health and well being of our community.

You may have heard (I hope you have heard) that Chetwynd is among the thirty most charming communities in Canada. When I read this I had to reflect on the reasons. Without apology, I can affirm that much of the background for this designation rests with your six Council members. They are a dedicated, idea body, eyes and ears always tuned to the pulse of the community. What a committed group who, not always seeing eye to eye, still listen to each other and respect the decisions of the body!

These last two weeks I have been ill and unable to function in my office. Fact is, nobody would have willingly tolerated my presence. That said, I can also affirm that I fully support the decisions made by Council in my absence. But it is good to be coming back from the brink of the abyss. (Some of you know what it’s like – probably many of you. Realistically, you know that the present illness likely is not the one that will put you under – you just wish it would release you from your misery.)

Let me share with you some of the good things that are happening in our home town. Indeed, life and work continue apace in spite of the absence of the Mayor. It helps me realize that I am not indispensible – a humbling but essential concept for any Mayor. You can get along without my hovering over your shoulders. As it should be!

Work camps in town that generated so much interest and discussion earlier this fall are now actually serving the workers. I think your Council made the right decision in limiting the term to one year with the first permit. While full now, as are the regular rental facilities, twelve months down the road will allow us clearer vision of conditions at that time. New decisions can be made consistent with the changing work and occupancy environment.

Your recycling habits are an encouragement to those who believe in recycling. Both blue-bag pilot projects (Crown Sub and Rodeo Grounds) are turning in respectable quantities of materials that formerly ended in the landfill.

Chetwynd’s relationship with Conuma Coal reached a new level in November. A number of months ago, Chetwynd and Conuma came to an agreement that would see Chetwynd’s receiving a monthly contribution from Conuma in recognition of Conuma’s strong dependence on the community for workers and services. The first of these contributions arrived on November 21. As Conuma prospers, so Chetwynd also prospers. It is a good and healthy relationship. Long may it thrive! How will the funds be used? For the time being, Council has directed that they be placed in a reserve against future needs and good ideas.

New businesses in town are always encouraging. For years I have advocated for a car dealership. It’s here. Located in the former carwash facility down the street from Tim Horton’s and behind Duz Cho, you won’t have any trouble finding it. Long may it thrive!

In other work, construction has begun on the new water treatment plant expected to be completed within four months. During the construction period residents should not experience any changes in the way water is delivered. While restrictions are imposed on commercial haulers, all rural residents will continue to be served.

That’s about it for this update. We continue to appreciate the way outside workers rise to the challenge of keeping our streets serviceable during the heavy snow we are experiencing. Thanks to all of you who work to keep our community safe and functional.


Merlin Nichols, Mayor