I read in the paper that a resident was “disappointed” in what council had managed to do in 2012. I found the remark to be odd, but all such opinions are subjective, so as 2012 comes to a close I thought it was time to look back and see what council and staff had achieved over the year.
Members of staff and council as well as area residents Cindy Stutt, Melanie Stutt and Jill Hayward attended the Regional Economic Investment Pilot for the Barriere to McBride corridor hosted by the Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training in Valemount. We all voiced our concerns and gave suggestions as to what needs to happen here in the valley. The initiative is ongoing with targeted projects.
Staff and council have been working on a bylaw review for the District. By doing this in-house the District will save a considerable amount of money. There have been a number of open house roundtables so that the public can see what is happening and be involved. The review is no small feat as each and every section must be gone over and worded so that there is no confusion going forward. Up to now the District was using the old TNRD bylaws which no longer fit the needs of the community. In addition to the bylaw review council and staff have done the required work to become a part of the Bylaw adjudication system.
I had mentioned last week how the sewer project is progressing; however, I didn’t really expound on the behind the scenes work. Staff has arranged public meetings, worked long hours with various government agencies, as well as with local land owners to keep this project on track and under budget. Council members have spent many hours learning how the system will work, and attending meetings with the engineer and project manager so that they can make decisions based on what is best for the District.
The water meter project was approved last year. The actual installation of the meters started early this year and is now complete save for one meter. Staff did a great job of having the project done on time, and a bit under budget. Council and staff will now have to review the usage and set the rates going forward.
Council approved entering Communities in Bloom for the first time this year. With the help of numerous volunteers, the District was awarded three blooms out of a possible five categories. Councillor Smith was the chairperson and she did a wonderful job of getting the whole effort arranged. Council members could be seen out cutting grass, weed whipping and doing what they could to help. Staff arranged for a community dinner so that the volunteers and all Barriere residents could meet the judges. The judges told me later that the people they met here in Barriere where the friendliest they have ever met.
There were projects from years past that needed to be completed. The concession stand at the Community Park need the roof finished, the siding installed and a revamp to the inside. Staff arranged for local help to do the work. The area in front of the bandshell needed to be finished and railings installed. Councillor Kershaw found a great deal on some pavers, and a group of volunteers from Argo Road Maintenance and from MOTI came to do the work. Area roads manager Bart Chenuz had mentioned that each year they try to give back to the community and this year they picked Barriere. Many thanks to all that helped.
There is a long list of things that have been completed by staff and council, but most of them are not visible, so maybe to some it would appear nothing is getting done.
I think council has done a great job of working with staff to rectify problems, approving various projects and land use changes. The list goes on.
I also feel that council and staff have gone the extra mile to get some of these projects and changes done without hiring people to do studies that cost a fortune and say basically nothing useful.
It is late night shopping this week. If you can, come out and shop local.