District of Vanderhoof - Council Message

April/May 2011

Our town this month...

This past month has been a very busy time in our community. Most of you will have received an envelope containing your municipal tax notice. Council spent many meetings making sure that taxpayers in Vanderhoof continue to pay some of the lowest municipal taxes in Northern BC. Since our three year term began in 2008, the net property taxes that the District of Vanderhoof collects have gone up only about 1%. Over the same time the cost of living has gone up around 6%. It has helped that the municipality has seen more new building construction than some other Northern BC communities. In the next Updater we will have a more in-depth article about taxes and how we stack up against our neighbouring communities.

The paving crew has been in Vanderhoof this past week. We have spent a fair bit of time and have received some funding to help develop a plan for our infrastructure that needs repair. It looks like 4th Street has finally been upgraded after at least 25 years of working to get this job done. I know the residents in that area are very thankful to see the end of the paving this past week.

In the past two weeks we have seen two major awards come to our town! First was Wayne Salewski, Volunteer Vanderhoof's nominee for Earth Day Canada's Hometown Hero. Wayne was a top three finalist for the prestigious award, a huge honour in environmental circles in Canada. Wayne has done incredible work around Vanderhoof with the Murray Creek Project, WL McLeod Wetland, and the Redmond Pit Sanctuary. It's great to see people like Wayne use their abilities to make Vanderhoof a better place.

Burrard Market Square received first place in the Employment Category of the Scotiabank and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) Small Business Big Impact Challenge. This is a great initiative that was started by a group led by Mark Winston. I really enjoy shopping at the market, especially on the weekend. This project shows what a little creative thinking can accomplish by helping a bunch of businesses accomplish their dreams.
We have seen a lot of hurt in our town with the disappearance of Madison Scott. There are no words to describe this last week. It has been very reassuring to see how many of you have given time and money to help in the search for Madison. There are a couple of acknowledgements that need to be made. Firstly to Nechako Valley Search and Rescue who are available around the clock, as well as their counterparts in Burns Lake, Prince George, and Fort St. James. And thanks to the RCMP who are working very hard to find Madison. Writing this short article has reminded me to never take what I have for granted.

Mayor Gerry Thiessen