Mayor thanks firefighters for keeping community safe

As the Mayor sees it with District of Barriere Mayor Bill Humphreys

On Oct. 4, I was privileged to attend the annual Fire Department Awards dinner. Unfortunately, I had to leave before the awards. As a result I did not have the opportunity to tell those attending how much I appreciated their efforts.

In every small community volunteerism is the backbone of the community. We are very fortunate here in Barriere that there has always been a strong element of giving back. Our Fire Department has always been staffed by volunteers. Through the years they have provided great service to our community.

In fact a number of our homes would not be here if not for the efforts of our volunteer fire department. For a good number of years they have always been there when needed.

In 2003 they stayed behind and did their best to keep the forest fires at bay. During that time of tragedy and loss they worked non-stop to do what they have been trained to do. In the aftermath they have worked with other agencies to create new procedures to improve the system of co-ordinating efforts in time of crisis as well as improving their skill sets should, heaven forbid, another major fire occur again.

What I really want to say to our firefighters is, thank you. For your efforts in the past, your current dedication and for the safety of our future, we all owe you a debt that is next to impossible to repay.

Another volunteer group has been busy lately. Al and Stacey Fortin have finished painting the inside of the multipurpose rink as well as replacing the top boards. They are now working to pour a concrete floor in the storage shed next to the warming room. This will allow the storage of off season items when they are not in use. Hopefully we will be able to bring the multi use idea back into the rink next year with the addition of tennis nets.

Mr. Fortin presented a good idea to have the rest of the wood in the rink replaced as needed. If local businesses give a 4×8 sheet of plywood with their logo or sign on it, and another blank sheet of plywood, we will put their sign up inside the rink and give the blank sheet to local artists so they can provide us with art to put on the outside of the rink. In the end, the rink will be rebuilt and will provide another focal point in the parks.

Council received notice that our application for an amendment for the Licence of occupation on the lands next to the proposed Wastewater Plant has been approved. This allows us to carry on with plans for the outflow from the wastewater plant. A proposed design has been drawn up and it looks quite nice. No big ugly settling ponds for us.

District staff will also be starting on the process of applying to have the lands that are not in the District of Barriere’s name transferred to the District from whichever other order of government currently holds title. This is a long and involved process, but now that the amendment required for the wastewater plant is being dealt with, we can proceed with the other steps. As with any long and complicated process it is better to start sooner than later.

The tenders for the construction of the septage receiving plant have been received. The decision on who will do this work will happen very soon.

We are hoping to get most of the ground work and the building in place this fall. The completion date is targeted for April of 2013. This will work well with the spring septic tank pumping season.

Later this month Ms. Hannigan and I will be attending a North Thompson Corridor Tourism Workshop being hosted by the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association. TOTA is putting together a plan for promoting our area in conjunction with other defined areas of the province.

Good things are happening here in our little part of the planet. There will be more to come soon. Plans are in the works to finish the inventory of our commercial and investment opportunities, as well as establishing firm ties with the required Provincial ministries that can help us to move forward.