Water meters, people think they are a great idea or they hate them. Through the will of council we are now starting the installation of them. Everyone that is served by the District of Barriere water system is required to have one installed or be charged a flat fee of $300 per month.
There are a number of reasons to install water meters. Some residents think it is a cash grab by the District. This is not the case. The plan is to monitor water use in such a manner as to arrive at a per litre cost that closely resembles what the average customer pays now. If customers use more than the average they will pay more. The reverse is true as well, if you use very little you will pay less.
Conservation of treated potable water is the object of the exercise. In fact in order to qualify for grants to improve our water system we are required to show good practises of conservation and stewardship of our aquifer. Since we need to repair, upgrade and improve our water system in the very near future everything we do that can help us to qualify for additional grants is a good thing.
Speaking of grants and success, our MP, Cathy McLeod was in town recently to present the monies received through successful grant applications to the New Horizons for Seniors program. Ms. McLeod pointed out that Barriere received two of the seven grants available in our area which is testament to the skills of those that write applications here in Barriere. The funds will go towards renovations and equipment purchases for the Barriere and District Seniors’ Society and the District of Barriere’s Seniors in Motion program.
The Seniors in Motion program will install outdoor exercise equipment in Fadear Park. Some of this equipment will be placed in the proposed Lions club gazebo. The placement of the exercise equipment and the building of the gazebo have raised concerns once again around the fact that The District does not actually own the land that Fadear park is comprised of.
I have mentioned before that in response to these concerns Council passed a motion to direct staff to proceed with the required applications to have the land titles transferred to Barriere. Since our parks are part of our tourism plan we will be appealing to Minister Bell of the Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Ministry to hasten the process on our behalf as part of the McBride to Barriere Corridor Regional Economic Investment Pilot.
It is my hope that by appealing to Minister Bell and his team that we can have the lands on which we now have considerable infrastructure placed transferred to the District in a timely manner. We cannot hope that community service groups like the Lions Club will continue to provide such valuable assistance to our community improvement efforts without having the security of title to such lands.
I mentioned last week about the good news the Robson Valley was given by B.C. Hydro around their considerable investment towards improving the power problems in the Robson valley. It is my opinion that it is now our turn for some good news.
We need stable and reliable power to have many of the proposed projects go ahead here in the North Thompson. If political pressure can bring about the announcement for the Robson Valley then it needs to be applied on our behalf as well. In the near future we need to have a meeting with the JTI Ministry and all the interested parties concerning the upgrade of power to the North Thompson Valley.
It is vital that Barriere, Clearwater, Simpcw First Nation, the surrounding regional areas and the proponents of major projects here in the valley work together to persuade other orders of government to work on our behalf towards economic stability and growth here in the North Thompson Valley in a timely manner.
We have solid, viable, shovel ready projects that must progress soon. If we wait, our time may pass. Our valley is a stable, strong and vibrant area.
We need to sell that to both local and global investors as well as other orders of government. They need to know what we know already. We are ready and able to grow and prosper.