Welcome to 2016! To say that 2015 was a challenging year for Canal Flats would be an understatement. Yet, here we are and we are still standing.
Our first priority for this year will be to hire an Economic Development/Business Liaison. We have received a very generous grant of $50,000 from the Columbia Basin Trust for this position. We will be reviewing the applications shortly and hope to have the position in place before the end of January. In the meantime, we continue to work on the budget. Our goal will be to continue providing high quality services for the residents of Canal Flats at minimal cost.
We will also be working on several bylaws such as Bylaw 45 (waterzone) and the Zoning Bylaw.
Bylaw 45 will be looking at number of docks along Eagle’s Nest and Painted Ridge subdivisions. Once Council has gone through the bylaw, it will be presented to the public for feedback.
The Zoning Bylaw was originally inherited from the Regional District of East Kootenay and has already gone through several amendments to fit the needs for Canal Flats. After our planning process, which has already given us some feedback from the public, staff has come up with a brand new Zoning Bylaw which deals exclusively with the needs of the Village of Canal Flats. Council will be reviewing the bylaw at an upcoming Committee of the Whole meeting. The bylaw will then go out to a public hearing for further input.
As mentioned before, 2015 was a rough year for us, but I am confident that we will persevere and come out of this stronger than before. We, as a Village and community, have a lot going for us, which makes me optimistic that new opportunities will emerge. I look at the year as a blank page and it will be up to us as a community to map out our future. It is going to be a long process, but we will have the help of our surrounding communities and other organizations. I am a true believer that if one door closes, another will open, and I am looking forward to seeing what is behind this next door.
Ute Juras is the mayor of Canal Flats and can be reached at 250-489-9070 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.