I have resided in the Creston Valley for 39 years. With the assistance of a remarkable staff, I ran a successful business for 30 years. My commitment to our community is shown in that I was voted Citizen of the Year in 1997. I was a volunteer firefighter for 21 years and an Auxiliary RCMP Constable for 10 years. I have also served in the Creston Valley Rotary Club, Minor Hockey and the Thunder executive, and Chamber of Commerce.
As a councillor for the past 4 years, I have worked hard to move our community forward. My advertising lists 12 projects I have been pleased to see completed. Some with the aid of the two Rotary Clubs and some with the aid of nearly $10 million in grants we have been able to secure. We look forward to securing another grant for the acquisition of the Creston Education Centre.
There was a lot of talk during the last election about the empty storefronts on Canyon Street. That has changed. I don’t think Council can take credit for that change but the improvements in the community have had an effect. The award-winning Official Community Plan when we interviewed thousands of people as to what they wanted their community to look and live like shows council is listening to the citizens. The Town has an excellent staff that serves us well.
I urge everyone to approve the Referendum for Fire Hall borrowing. The Advisory Select Committee made up of some very dedicated citizens have met weekly for nearly 6 months to come up with their recommendations. The value of our dedicated volunteers must also be considered. Every volunteer fire department is having trouble attracting and retaining volunteers. If you are unsure of their value to the community I urge you to have a discussion with your insurance provider. They need a safe hall that meets community standards.
Our Septage handling facility and some roads need major improvement. Discussions with MMBC about Recycling and Composting are very important. Keep the material out of the dump.
Every town is interested in attracting economic development and new businesses. Some communities have large budgets for economic development. We have an opportunity with an MDRT (Hotel tax) to acquire funds for economic development with no affect on the local taxpayers. Nearly every community you visit has a 1 to 3 percent hotel tax. We have to ask what is the holdup in our Valley.
Creston has a good record of fiscal prudence. In 2008 we were 81 of 162 municipalities in British Columbia. In 2018 again 81 of 162. In the past 4 years, my Town of Creston taxes have increased by 11.94%. My assessment has increased by 8.50% so when you take into consideration the affect of increased assessment my town taxes have increased by 3.44%. Our water and sewer rates have not changed in those 4 years.
I look forward to serving the citizens of the Creston Valley for the next 4 years.