District now working on new DCC bylaw

As The Mayor Sees It With District of Barriere Mayor Bill Humphreys

The District Zoning Bylaw has passed, and now District staff has recommended that the council direct them to go on to the next item on the Strategic Priority Plan which is to develop Development Cost Charges (DCC). Like the zoning bylaw, the creation of a DCC bylaw is not an easy process.

Some think that there are a number of pro and con arguments to setting up the DCC process. Going forward, I am sure there will be those that are very vocal against going down this road. If residents are not well informed they may be led to think that there are a number of very valid and compelling arguments against the process.

The whole issue comes down to process. By creating development charges, which in truth are just another form of taxation, the local government must take on the responsibility of properly managing what these funds are meant to cover, properly track that this actually happens, and provide accurate accounting.

The Ministry of Community Sport and Cultural Development has developed a Development Cost Charge Guide For Elected officials. It can be accessed here:   http://www.cscd.gov.bc.ca/lgd/intergov_relations/library/DCC_Elected_Officials_Guide_2005.

I would urge all residents to take the time to go over the document and become familiar with the process. It may help to clear up some potential questions and worries.

This would particularity apply to those of you that may be thinking of running for public office this November, due to the fact that the process will most likely not be completed by the time of the election. By becoming familiar with the various process steps, newly elected officials can step into their roles with a measure of confidence.

By reading the Guide the general public will get a very good insight into the Development Cost Charge bylaw. Also, it may help sort out some of the comments that will be made by candidates that have never taken the time to become familiar with the more complicated parts of governance, like the Zoning Bylaw because it gives them a headache.

Now that we actually own the land, work is being done at the Louis Creek Industrial Park. The District has started work on providing the required services. There has been a water well driller working for the past few days and the results look promising. District staff has been researching where the various pipes are located on the site. Hopefully we can use some of these and reduce costs. The existing reservoir is also being assessed to see if it can be used.

The promotion of the Louis Creek Industrial Park is going well. It has been advertised n the paper, on the internet and at various business development conferences and meetings.

The District has had preliminary meetings with Simpcw First Nations around developing a development plan that will suit all those involved. It is imperative to properly plan what will be the best mix of services and businesses so that everyone’s needs are met.

Bandshell Fridays have started once again. This year we have a summer student, Jordan Froste, assisting with the Bandshell program as well as the NTVIC summer Net Ball Camp. We also have two students, Carter Rudd and Robert Underhill, working with us for the summer,  mostly in the Parks department. Welcome to you all, and many thanks for your help and very enthusiastic support.