As we wind down 2016 and I've now reached the mid-point of my 1st elected term- I thought I would take an opportunity to look back at the year that was...
Firstly - let me thank all of you in the various communities that make up Electoral Area 'D' - whether you live in McAlister, McLeese Lake, Tyee Lake, Soda Creek Valley, Deep Creek, Xat'sull, Wildwood, Pine Valley, Commodore Heights, Mile 168 Rd or Fox Mountain - for the great honour to serve you as the Cariboo Regional District Electoral Area 'D' Director. It is a privilege that I take very seriously as I work in partnership with you to make your rural neighbourhood the desirous place you wish it to be. Thanks also to all of YOU for your warm/encouraging comments as I served you this past year. It's nice to know that I'm doing the right things on your behalf
Also - thank you to ALL of the volunteers in the aforementioned communities, it is thanks to your efforts that these rural communities are such great places to live.
As to initiatives that I have been working on this past year:
1) 2017 Cariboo Regional District (CRD) Draft Budget
I am pleased to report that the overall budget will see a tax requisition increase of 1%, Cariboo Regional District wide. Within Electoral Area 'D', you will see, generally, a "status quo" budget. All functions of the CRD that Area D residents' pay for will see either no or very modest increases
Like in 2016, the public consultation for this year's budget will consist of placing of our proposed 2017 Budget in our libraries and posted on our website at http://www.cariboord.ca/services/finance/business-plans. Like always - if you have concerns about the budget or any concern involving the Cariboo Regional District/Area 'D' - you can reach out to me on Facebook, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 250-267-6725
2) McLeese Lake Community Hall
I was able to secure garbage receptacles, this past fall, for the adjacent Boat Launch, which is owned by MOTI (BC Ministry of Transportation/Infrastructure) so we should not see any garbage laying around the Community Hall property in 2017. I have asked Cariboo-North MLA Coralee Oakes to confirm that MOTI's highway contractor (Emcon Services) will collect the garbage at the Boat Launch on a regular schedule. In 2017 - I hope to work with the McLeese Lake Recreation Commission to do energy efficiency and other upgrades to the Hall itself and the Hall grounds including a possible fishing dock, similar to what is at Reservoir Lake in Pine Valley, to be funded from external sources (grants) so stay tuned!
3) Tyee Lake Forestry Campground/Boat Launch
Earlier this year - Recreation Sites/Trails BC came in to do some works to expand the road going into the Tyee Lake Forestry Campground/Boat Launch. Thanks to Desi Chevigny for getting the work done as it is an improvement over what was there before
4) McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department (MLVFD)
Much progress was made by the MLVFD Society to get the MLVFD more fully operational for the community's needs. The CRD gave the MLVFD Society Grants for Assistance in 2016 and for 2017. Their fundraising efforts still continue, as many Independent Fire Departments do throughout BC. The Society was the recipient of a $21,000 grant from the Province in April of 2016. Work progresses on selection of a site for a Fire Hall so I hope this item progresses throughout 2017.
5) McLeese Lake Library
The decision was made this past fall to build a new community library at McLeese Lake, across from the McLeese Lake Resort. CRD Staff/I are wrapping up work on the library site plan now. We are anticipating construction of the new McLeese Lake Library in April of 2017
6) Soda Creek Cemetery
I received a request from the caretakers' of the Soda Creek Cemetery for possible funding to update the fencing at the old/current Soda Creek Cemetery back in late 2015. Progress was slow on this item in 2016 and I hope to have something to announce in 2017 on this
7) Wildwood Community Centre
Unfortunately - 2015 saw the closure of the former Wildwood Elementary School. However, in collaboration with the Wildwood Community Association, plans are underway to acquire the property to convert it into a community centre. Progress was slow on this item in 2016 however I am hoping to see fruit on this item in 2017
8) Dog Control Service - Commodore Heights/Pine Valley/Wildwood
As a result of two requests for a dog control service in both Wildwood/Pine Valley - I am working with CRD Staff to present something to the communities of Wildwood/Pine Valley in 2017. The City of Williams Lake has advised that they have no capacity to provide this service to Wildwood/Pine Valley. I am hoping to have a public meeting in the 1st half of 2017 with the affected communities
9) Wildwood Sewer System
This is to advise that I am working with CRD Staff to schedule a meeting with Wildwood community members in regards to proposed user fee increases and the future financial sustainability of the Wildwood Sewer System, given no increase have been done since 2000. I suspect the meeting will occur in the months of February/March 2017, prior to the adoption of the CRD Budget in late March 2017
10) Building Inspection in Area D
In Spring 2017 - those residing in Electoral Area D, north of Wildwood, will be receiving a letter from the Regional District asking for your consent to be removed from the CRD's Building Inspection Function. I am hoping to have this process complete by June 2017. Should this be approved by affected Area D residents', those living north of Wildwood up to Marguerite within Area D will no longer pay into Building Inspection for the 2018 Property Tax Year
Other initiatives that I was involved with in 2016 included:
* Attend LGLA/NCLGA/UBCM Conferences in Richmond, Dawson Creek and Victoria respectively
* Financial Contributions to Tyee Lake Community Association AGM and Xat'sull Save the Salmon event at the Xat'sull Heritage Village in the Soda Creek Valley
* Continue to participate on the Public Liaison Committee with respect to Mt Polley
* Participate in the 'Communities that Care' initiative, on behalf of CRD Area 'F' Director Joan Sorley as her Alternate...
And much more....
While it is not my nature to single out individuals - I want to thank both my Alternate Director, Phyllis Webstad and CRD Area F Director Joan Sorley for their advice/support this past year which has been, very challenging on a mental/physical health level at times this past year and their words of support/advice have been and continue to be appreciated as I serve the constituents of Electoral Area 'D' to the best of my knowledge/ability.
As for 2017 - I plan to report out on what I'm up to often as I can plus my monthly expenses/meeting calendar as well - both here and on my Facebook page which you can view at https://www.facebook.com/Steve-Forseth-CRD-Area-D-Director-530711320407846/?ref=hl
On my own behalf - I wish ALL of your families a very happy/healthy 2017
Director - Electoral Area 'D'
Cariboo Regional District