Vanderhoof council: 2016 capital budget hot topics

Discussed on March 7 council meeting: solid waste management, Kwik Safe, recreation projects, and meeting with Saik'uz First Nation

The capital projects budget of the 2016 Financial Plan was presented by CFO Joe Ukryn to the district council on Mar. 7.

Funding regarding garbage disposal by the District is taken out of the budget to be revisited by staff for alternative options.

Solid waste management was originally allocated with $200,000 from its Gas Tax Fund to replace its aging garbage truck and purchase accompanying tip-ready bins.

Contributed by over $200,000 from the federal fuel tax rebate each year, the District’s Gas Tax Fund currently totals at about $700,000 — the entirety of which is decided by the district council to retain for the Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre.

 

Kwik Safe Property

$155,000 was proposed to be budgeted to clean up the property, evacuate pigeon colonies, and remove asbestos from the former gas station.

Now decreased to $25,000, the allotted amount will allow staff to block off and clean up the building — taken into account its prime location on Highway 16 — until the district council decides its future use.

 

Sports Improvements

Improvements to Vanderhoof’s current tennis courts and soccer fields, proposed by community members last fall,  will be deferred to next year and are added to Vanderhoof’s five-year plan; recreation projects such as the Vanderhoof pool, recreation centre, and skateboard park are the priorities for the 2016 budget.

 

Council-to-council meeting with Saik’uz

An addition to Vanderhoof’s museum grounds, summer job opportunities for Saik’uz students, and outdoor murals for Vanderhoof’s 90th anniversary are three of the various topics discussed by the councils of the District of Vanderhoof and Saik’uz First Nation on March. 9.

 

Bednesti cabin

The councils are working together to move a Saik’uz-owned log cabin in Bednesti to the grounds of the Vanderhoof Community Museum as soon as possible, the District says.

With capacity to hold 200 people, the building can eventually become the tourist centre’s new home, provide another gathering place for community members, and serve as a venue for artwork displays — including a workspace for rotating artists.

The cost to move the building is priced at $500,000, not including dismantling costs.

 

Summer student opportunities

A committee is formed to discuss summer job opportunities — and to ensure Saik’uz students’ access to them — for this year’s tourism season.

Opportunities include working with the Nechako Valley Historical Society and the Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre in duties such as cataloguing artifacts and providing tours.

Funding is pending from Saik’uz First Nation, while the district council may be able to provide staff to supervise students this year — supervisory staff availability was an issue for summer students working with the historical society last year, the District says.

 

Town murals

To celebrate Vanderhoof’s 90th birthday, the Saik’uz First Nation’s council is suggesting outdoor murals to decorate the walls of downtown Vanderhoof — designed by First Nation youth artists.

A mural to be displayed in the future Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre was suggested as well.

 

The two councils will next meet in June in Vanderhoof.

 

– with files from the District of Vanderhoof