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District of Vanderhoof - Message

March 2016

Taxes, Community Forest, Community Foundation, Pool and Garbage

Life at Council has been busy over the last 2 months, with budget meetings, as well; we have been granted our community forest, and have now got our Community Foundation up and operating with its independent board of directors.

The budget process has been an interesting time this year, we are fortunate to be debt free, we are looking forward to getting some reserves built so that we can withstand some challenges we will face in the future. The two items that seem to have had a fair bit of discussion are RCMP costs that become many times larger (from 15% to 85%) once we go over 5,000 in population. The other expense we know we will have soon is our lower water tower; we are told we are close to the end of the towers functional life, somewhere in the next 5 years.

Our ommunity forest is a great legacy for Vanderhoof, we can harvest 80,000 cubic meters of timber for each of the next 5 years. This will not only allow us to take care of some community values in the area around us, but also keep jobs in Vanderhoof, and on top of that get some non-tax revenue.

Our Community Foundation is something we have as an asset for generations to come. We have received support from Jerry Petersen and rural Vanderhoof, along with our funding, all of that matched by Northern Development Initiative Trust we now have a foundation with over $150,000.00. The principal can never be touched and grants can only be made from the earnings on the principal. I encourage each of you to consider making a tax deductible donation to the foundation.

With all the exciting things, we need to work with some challenges. The Regional District has decided to quit accepting all cardboard in the waste, or in other words the ‘dump’. This will all come to a very distinct finish in June, a mere 3 months away. Commercial businesses will have to find other ways of getting rid of their cardboard. I thought someone would come up with a business plan to recycle the cardboard, but none have come to light at this point. We have talked to the Chamber of Commerce for the last few years on this topic so we encourage businesses to work together to find a solution.

Then, what can we say about the fundraising for the pool under the leadership of Zoe Dhillon. $500,000.00 is an incredible amount. I certainly sense that both government and industry can see that the community is really behind this initiative, and will join with us to see success on this important desire to have a wellrounded recreation facility. We are over half the way to our goal of 12 million, we are working hard at Council to secure the remaining funds and have this month set up a Aquatic Centre Design Committee. This is an exciting time in Vanderhoof; I encourage you to come to Council on Monday.

~ Mayor Gerry Thiessen