Mayor Stamer looking for re-election “to keep moving Barriere forward”

Ward Stamer announced this week he will be running for a second term as mayor for the District of Barriere. He has served on council since incorporation in 2007, then successfully ran for the mayor’s seat in 2018. He is now running for a second term. (S/J file photo)

Ward Stamer announced this week he will be running for a second term as mayor for the District of Barriere. He has served on council since incorporation in 2007, then successfully ran for the mayor’s seat in 2018. He is now running for a second term. (S/J file photo)

Municipal elections will be taking place this year in British Columbia with voting day being Saturday, Oct. 15. District of Barriere Mayor Ward Stamer says he will be letting his name stand again for a second term to represent the community he loves.

“I think we have done really well over the past four years as a group,” said Stamer, “But we still have a lot of unfinished business to look after. Probably one of the biggest hurdles and highlights for me personally was overcoming some of our water deficiencies. The situation where the Bradford wells just didn’t work out the way they were supposed to, and then having to turn around and shift gears and try to develop a new well. That all took time to get it done right. It’s not like in the past when you could basically drill a well and have it producing in six months – now it takes years to do that. We now have one that not only produces the quantity that we need, but the quality as well. We’re now in really good shape with providing good clean water as we move forward in continuing to develop our community.”

Stamer adds other highlights of the past term include, “Purchasing a new fire truck as we continue to replace older equipment and continue moving forward in improving our fire department. Taking on highway rescue and making sure that we can help with whatever they need to continue to have a healthy department, especially as they are now doing additional things that we never asked them to do before.”

Stamer says in just over a month he will be attending the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention in Whistler, B.C.

“We have a resolution on the floor at the UBCM specifically targeting highway rescue and looking for additional funding from the governments, particularly on the highways because it isn’t cheap to be doing this kind of stuff,” said Stamer, “We want to make sure that the government is paying their fare share.”

In regards to economic development, he advises all of the lots in the Louis Creek Industrial Park have now been sold.

“We have a couple of pretty good sized operations down there with Paradigm Building Solutions and Fort Modular. We’ve also been successful in obtaining a $1 million dollar grant, so now we can put in a Request For Proposal for a brand new reservoir at the Louis Creek Industrial Park to finish that water system as well. We have new businesses, and one of the businesses has applied for a new building permit, so things are moving forward in regards to economic development in Barriere.

“In terms of housing, our building permits continue to be up year-to-year. Even with some of the uncertainty that’s out there right now people continue building new homes, or adding additions. We were also successful in getting a boundary extension for Mr. Delaney’s development which will increase Barriere’s tax base, and we continue to receive inquiries regarding development within the municipality.

“Things are still moving forward in Barriere and that’s good news. We had applications for over 100 business licenses last year in Barriere alone, which shows there is a lot of activity going on and we want to be able to keep growing that. Make it welcoming for new business, make sure the environment is right for them to succeed, or at least help them succeed.

“The municipality works hard to have a really quick turn around on building permits, and to not choke them with red tape. In regards to infrastructure we continue to actively look for grant money for improvements to the town sewer system which right now is working better than it ever has, but there is certainly room for improvement. We want to build it bigger and obviously better.”

What will Stamer be advocating for over the next four years if he is elected to another term as mayor?

“Housing, we still need more housing. However, I think there is a lot of infilling that we can do in the short term. We’re looking at the possibility with some of the buildings that we already have to try encouraging people who have space to perhaps consider creating secondary suites.

“I think we need to actively look at that for our government workers, for our nurses, ambulance staff, BC Hydro. Obviously, that’s one of the areas that we are trying our very best to try to work through.”

Stamer says he is also not afraid to talk about the fact that the BC Ambulance Service and Interior Health, “has some significant staffing shortages.” A subject and concerns that he will be bringing up in meetings with ministry officials at the UBCM.

“We want to try to work through this and get better on the other side,” said Stamer, “That also includes maybe making changes to the Barriere First Responders so that they can actually transport patients and not have to sit there and wait. We need to think outside the box a little bit so we can try to overcome some of these deficiencies in our system. We have the resources, we’re just not using them properly.”

In regards to ongoing projects he notes the Skateboard Park will be done this fall. More will be done on the trails system within the community, and improvements will be made to the irrigation systems in the parks, “So that we rely more on river water than water pumped out of our wells.”

Stamer concluded, “We have a growing community and we have an opportunity here to keep moving it forward, and that is why I want to run again as mayor for another four year term.”

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BC municipal electionDistrict of BarriereMayor's RaceNorth Thompson Valley