Ward Stamer says he is prepared to seek a fourth term serving as a District of Barriere councillor “Because I really enjoy the job. We’ve accomplished a lot of things during the past term, but there are a lot of projects yet to be completed.”
Stamer says these projects include attracting business, the waste water treatment plant, and improving the water availability and quality in the municipality.
“The new Federal/Provincial infrastructure grant that has recently been announced could be a big step to improving our water quality,” said Stamer, “The intake starts in October and our application will include a number of projects that we have identified in our 2013 budget and annual report. One of these is new wells at Bradford Park, where we’ve already spent money on improving the water quality there. The water pipe along Barriere Town Road is made of asbestos, and is now 50 years old with an estimated lifespan of 40 years. These pipes need to be replaced and then tied in with the reservoir at the end of town. We also have identified that the reservoir does not have adequate reserves and must be addressed.
“There is no guarantee that we will be fortunate enough to get any or all of this infrastructure grant funding, but it is a one time only opportunity and we may not see something similar for a long time to come. We will hear in mid-February and if successful there will be a need to go to referendum due to the fact that the grant requires one-third from the Federal government, one-third from the Province, and one third from our municipality.
“Our original wells in Barriere are just about 20 years old. We are not sure how long these wells are going to last. The wells on the Bradford water system are foreseeable to last for 25 to 30 years. These infrastructure improvements need to be done in stages but would set us up for the next 25 to 30 years for well production, and 40 to 50 years for the water system if the pipes are replaced and upgraded.”
Asked what Stamer feels have been significant milestones for Barriere since it was incorporated, he replied, “Fadear Park – such a focal point for our community. It used to be a bunch of dead pine that we had to clear to get started. I’m very proud of the community to pull together to create the park.”
Stamer says he sees one of the most important milestones as, “To be self-governing. To be able to make our own destiny with nobody else telling us what to do.
“I also see the Agriplex as a huge milestone. People came together again as a community and with private donations we have been able to build and finish it. I’m proud to see all of the events that are held there now; Provincial Winter Fair, Bullarama, the Fall Fair, National Sheep Show, and more. It is really exciting to see everyone in the community come together and build the Agriplex with donations and private money, and with veryvery little government funding going into the construction of the facility.
“Another milestones is the state of the art sewer system going in. This gives us a great opportunity to increase our density downtown, and as that area grows we can accommodate it.
“It is also good to now have the Tolko land at Louis Creek for development. We will be able to use this as a tax base which will take some of the pressure off the residents.”
Stamer says his platform includes working to get the infrastructure of the community functioning the way it should be.
“There are a lot of loose ends that need to be completed,” says the incumbent, “I want to make sure these are done on time, done smoothly and do not go over budget. It is very important to me to have no cost overruns.
“I want to see us continue to grow slowly. We are coming up with some good initiatives with the provincial government. The Barriere to McBride corridor for one, which addresses the labour market and tourism, and it creates an opportunity to attract more business to the area.
“I want to see more work done on our website. It needs to be more user friendly, and it should be providing really good information to people who are travelling to our community. People go to web sites now, that’s where they go for information, that’s where they go for everything now. We can fund this through economic development or Gas Tax funding. The spin offs from a good web site are ongoing.
“I want to see Barriere try to live within our means, but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look to the future, and this is maybe the best time to make some infrastructure improvements if we go to referendum. That said though our job is to make sure that people totally understand what we are talking about – the benefits both short and long term – not getting their information from coffee shop gossip. We need to give the people the information they require to be able to make an educated decision.
“Most of the groundwork has already been done during the past two terms for the running of the District. I believe now that it is done we have the opportunities to finish our river trail and other trails that will interconnect, and we have a $12,000 grant to do this with. I would also like to see the downtown project finished.”
Stamer says he and his wife love Barriere, “We’ve raised our two girls here, they completed school here, and we’ve loved every minute of it.”
His vision for the future of the community?
“It is always said that we are a bedroom community of Kamloops,” commented Stamer, “I guess we are, Kamloops has some services we may never have here, like an indoor swimming pool. But we have great lakes and waterways, a vibrant ranching community, numerous outdoor and indoor activities available to all walks of life – all across the board we have a lot to offer. Most importantly though we have our own identity. People move here to retire, for the relaxed lifestyle, to be safe, healthy and raise a family. If we grow our employment base, have a nice balance of young families and seniors then nothing can stop us from being the community that we can all be proud of.
“My door is always open. I hope people believe I am a straight shooter – I tell it like it is – and I hope people will give me the opportunity to do that again for them.
“Everyone has the opportunity to go out and vote – make your vote count.”
If you would like to contact Ward Stamer call 250-672-5162 or cell 250-319-9693.