District of Vanderhoof - Message

January-Febraury 2014

Snow and Taxes

There is one thing that you can be sure of if you spend a winter in Vanderhoof, there will be snow. Efficient snow removal is a priority of Council, and is an important part of budget considerations.
This past week I met with Mayors across Northern BC, and every one of them have received more snow removal complaints than usual. The entire region has gone through a month of terrible weather. On top of that, the worst weather came during the holiday season. Public Works had to not only deal with snow and ice removal, but also with keeping frozen catch basins open.
Council has not changed snow removal criteria, the budget for snow removal has remained stable, and there were no significant changes in staff levels. We have also upgraded our snow removal equipment. We have one of the most stable work forces of any municipality, and Council hopes to keep it that way. While visiting my children in a neighbouring community, it was not uncommon to see stuck vehicles. Because of Vanderhoof Public Works’ hard work we have been able to stay ahead of it.
This year, we have started budget planning earlier than in previous years. Vanderhoof has some of the lowest tax rates in the region. Over the past seven years residential, industrial, and commercial tax rates have been stable. However, Council knows that tax rates alone do not make a community. It’s easy to have the lowest tax rates - one night of budget cuts and you’re the lowest. The key is to provide the services residents want.
Both snow and taxes need the community’s input. You can find Council agendas at vanderhoof.ca. We appreciate everyone who talks to Council, and we have a spot on our agenda for questions from the public. I’m not sure how Facebook works, I’m going to ask my grandkids, so please email me at mayor@district.vanderhoof.ca I promise I will respond.

~ Mayor Gerry Thiessen