Aquatic Centre update
$100,000 from the Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society will now go towards the Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre’s design — the cost of which totals $473,752.
The remaining amount for the design would come from the district’s pool reserve, set aside in 2015’s budget.
Including engineering and architectural work, designing the pool will be a year-long process, including community consultation, Clement said.
“The idea is that we’ll have a shovel-ready contract, with construction to start in 2018,” he added. “It’s a nice step forward to have the design…now just need to find the rest of the money.”
90th celebration update
To celebrate the district’s 90th birthday on Jan. 22, a giant birthday cake comprised of multiple cupcakes will be shared by students and seniors in the arena.
On Saturday, Jan. 23, a celebration for all will take place in the evening from 4 to 8 p.m. in Riverside Park, including sleigh rides, a bonfire, fireworks at 6 p.m., and chilli, as well as the possibility of bannock from the First Nation community.
A collection of historical photos published in booklets from the Nechako Valley Historical Society will also be on sale for the public.
Tax exemption request from senior home society
The Nechako View Senior Citizens Home Society is requesting tax exemption for their facility located at 241 Northside Road for 2016.
The request came in too late to be included in the 2016 permissive taxation exemption bylaw — deadline was Oct. 31. However, the district council is looking at options where they can help, which may include tax exemptions, for 2017, said CAO Tom Clement.
“Affordable senior housing is something that council highly supports,” Clement said.
The society is looking to buy property in Vanderhoof’s downtown area to build units to help reduce its waiting list of over 40 seniors, states the board in a letter submitted to the district council.
Rather than construction projects from the district, it’s a preferred option to assist with the society’s plans, Clement added.
“It’s a much better way to ensure success of the project,” he said. “They have done this before.”
The total property taxes paid by the society for 2015 is $21,462.45, of which $9,911.08 were municipal taxes.
Provincial government compensation for flood damage
The last of the provincial funding arrived in November to compensate for damage and costs incurred during the floods in spring this year.
Though the funding was initially denied and the district council was in talks with the provincial government this fall, $726,810 has now been recovered for the total flood costs — which amounts to $783,034.07.
Portable stage request sparks policy change
The district of Vanderhoof is looking to amend the policy for its portable stage, sound system and lights.
The district council has denied the City of Prince George’s request to rent Vanderhoof’s portable stage and audio-visual system for its one-year post-Games event on Feb. 13.
Liability from wear-and-tear of transporting and using the stage during the winter months, as well as overtime labour costs incurred for specifically trained personnel are the main concerns for the district council. The district’s current policy does not include the recovery of labour costs related to setting up or transporting the stage.
“It’s an important asset to the community, and we want to protect it,” Clement said.
The district acquired the stage in 2011 at a cost of approximately $150,000, 90 per cent of which came from grant money, he added.
Requests for the stage were expected to be mainly local when the district first created the policy for its use, and now requests from other municipalities have come in and the associated liability concerns have emerged, he said.
It’s the second time that the district denied Prince George’s request; the city had asked to borrow the stage as well during the 2015 Canada Winter Games in February.