Highlights from the District of Taylor council meeting on April 15, 2019:
Council awarded a $3.39-million contract to S. Young Enterprises to build the Jarvis Crescent subdivision. It also approved a $128,000 direct award to Urban Systems for project management services. Read more by clicking here.
Crime statistics in Taylor remained relatively stable year-over-year in 2018.
The district saw 452 calls for service last year, up from 440, and recorded 130 criminal code offences, up from 127 in 2017.
However, calls for service in the district are up 17% since 2016. Fort St. John RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve Perret says the detachment is making a more concerted effort to patrol the district each shift as overall call volumes for the region continue to decline, giving officers more time for proactive policing.
"Just because you don’t see the red and blue lights, it doesn’t mean we’re not here," Perret said.
• Council adopted the district's 2018 financial statements, which was given a clean bill of health from auditor Corey Naphtali of KPMG. The district recorded a $1.5-million surplus due to new capital infrastructure built last year. Overall, the district's operational spending was consistent across the board with what had been budgeted, Naphtali said.
• The district is at a standstill trying to get an absentee landowner to clean up their unsightly and dangerous property at 10471-102nd Street, and is soon likely to foot the bill itself. Read more by clicking here.
• The district is looking to open up its zoning rules to let microbreweries, craft distilleries, and cannabis retailers do business in the district. The issue will be brought forward to an open house next month. Read more by clicking here.
• Council approved wage increases and benefit changes for public works and parks/facilities staff who earn higher levels of certification, or take on acting director or foreman duties. Meanwhile, casual and seasonal employees will be allowed to enrol in the district's benefit programs this year. The changes are expected to cost the district $27,500 this year. Council had previously approved a 2% cost-of-living wage increase this year.
• Council approved a development variance permit for 10616-101st Street, which varies the maximum age for a newly-placed manufactured home on the property from 15 to 26 years.
• Council will write letters in support of the Peace Country River Rats, which is applying for a BC Hydro grant to build a playground at Peace Island Park; and for the district's grant applications to the Northern Development Initiative Trust to buy new tables and chairs for the community hall, and to replace the arena's 25-year-old ice condenser.
• Council proclaimed May as MS Awareness Month in the district to bring attention to the debilitating neurological disease. The disease affects 1 in 385 Canadians, and 12,000 British Columbians. The district will fly a MS Society flag on May 30. A local MS Walk will be held in Fort St. John on May 26. Last year's walk raised more than $32,000, more than double the amount raised at the inaugural walk in 2017.
Council gave first three readings to 2019 Tax Rates Bylaw No. 833, 2019, which sets tax rates for the year. The bylaw will see residential tax rates increase by roughly three cents, up from $3.40 to $3.43 per $1,000 of assessed value. Tax rates are proposed to decline slightly for light and major industry, as well as for commercial, recreational, and farm properties. Utility tax rates are proposed to rise 35 cents, from $34.12 to $34.47.
Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at firstname.lastname@example.org.