Visible growth in Building permits and business investments in Barriere

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

As I mentioned last week there was a meeting held last Thursday around the bid process for the work on the new waste water facility. Thanks to all those that took the time to attend and speak with Mr. Rink. Your interest is a very positive sign. Much work is being done to get the construction of this facility underway as soon as is possible.

The District Of Barriere Building Inspection Services Statistic Report for permits is out.  As of the end of July 2013 there was a 31.5 per cent increase in permits issued, and the dollar value of permits had increased by 123 per cent over 2012. What this also shows is that the growth here in Barriere is continuing at a rate that is positive and is sustainable.

What I mean by sustainable, is a community never wants to be put into a situation where the growth far exceeds the ability of the infrastructure to support the growth. Water and sewer systems, roads, schools, health care facilities and the like all need to keep up to the growth of a town.

Here in Barriere we are currently enjoying growth that can be accommodated through careful planning. District staff and council are looking ahead to design and build services as well as infrastructure that will support the current growth and encourage more of the same. At the same time we must realize that all existing structures like roads and water lines need maintenance and upgrades to maintain them to be efficient and reliable.

We all are aware of the new investments made by businesses like Subway, Act 1 Services and Barriere Irly Building Centre. We can see the new expansion on the IDA, and the numerous new houses being built in various subdivisions like Riverwalk, Green Tree and Glentanna. These are all viewed by potential investors as very positive signs that our community is a worthwhile choice.

In addition to this very visible growth, some businesses like Gilbert Smith Forest Products have made considerable investments over the years to improve operations and grow their place in the market. Most people are unaware of the tremendous cost to do even simple maintenance in a sawmill, let alone undertake major capital improvements. Through bad markets and economic downturns this business has survived and grown. It is a major employer in the area and has provided continuing employment through bad times and good. Good business practises and a willingness to take a chance on the future have proven to be good choices. None of this has been easy or cheap. The fact that they have not moved their operations or quit, shows a tremendous dedication to the community that we all need to recognize and appreciate.

Every community has businesses that become the foundation of local commerce. Long standing businesses give confidence to future investors that the community is stable and self reliant. There are far too many communities that survive on cash infusions from other orders of government. Barriere has certainly received its fair share of grant monies and has done great things with the funds. At some point though the “free money” dries up. If we have a positive attitude and support local businesses so that they can prosper and grow, we will survive any drought of external funding because people and businesses will continue to relocate here.

Speaking of grant money and good things done, after a long wait the exercise equipment has been installed in the park. It is right near the Lions gazebo, and ready to make all of us fit and trim. There is a bit more work to be done, but like all good things it takes time. I understand that Gary Forsythe at Sundown Construction stepped up to do the installs and gave the district an offer that we couldn’t refuse. Thanks to them for their generosity and good work.

The Splash in The Past project has started another fund raising effort. They will be marketing locally made apple pies over the next while. All the details can be found on the district website and flyers are being distributed throughout the community. Please support their ongoing efforts. You can always work the pie off at the park.