Annual financial audit yields positive results
The City of Williams Lake's 2021 Financial Statements and independent Auditor's Report showed positive signs for the municipality.
During a presentation to Council, the independent auditor noted the City had $31.4 million of financial assets at the end of the year and $16.5million of liabilities with positive net financial assets of $14.9 million.
The report also showed the City has reduced its long-term debt by $1 million to $7.4million, along with a total accumulated surplus of $124.5 million, up from $116.5million the previous year.
Speaking to the financial statements and auditor's report, Council noted its commitment to reducing long-term debt and improving the City's financial health.
Interior Health updates Council on drug crisis
Dr. Carol Fenton, Alison Houweling and Katie Matuschewski of Interior Health provided Council with an update on the current toxic drug crisis impacting the Cariboo region.
During its presentation, Interior Health noted the sharp increase in toxic drug deaths in the Cariboo Chilcotin from 15.5 per 100,000 people in 2016 to 34.4 per 100,00 people.
Dr. Fenton, Houweling and Matuschewski told Council why toxic drugs are a problem, outlined effective methods aimed at preventing overdose deaths and stressed the importance of the City's role in preventing overdose deaths.
Dr. Fenton also outlined several options for Council to consider moving forward in order to reduce the impacts of toxic drugs in the community, such as the potential for a safe consumption site, providing healthy coping outlets such as more recreational opportunities, promoting wider-spread naloxone training in schools and creating more supportive environments.
Council approves request to move stop sign
A request from Williams Lake resident Arnie Zimmerman to relocate a stop sign in Williams Lake was approved by Council.
Council endorsed moving a stop sign from the low side of Terra Ridge and installing one on the top and bottom of Wotzke Drive and Terra Road in order to improve driver safety.
During his presentation Zimmerman, a Terra Ridge resident, said the current location of the stop sign poses challenges for motorists during the winter months.
In his letter to Council Zimmerman said there are 80 residential units at the Terra Ridge complex and 10 residences on Wotzke Drive, pointing to a lower volume of traffic on the latter roadway.
Council grants budget approval to 2022 asphalt rehabilitation project
A poll of Council conducted on April 12, 2022 on budget approval for the 2022 asphalt rehabilitation project at the adjusted budget price of $1,669,447 plus $285,000 for saddle replacement was ratified. The early budget approval for the project was requested to allow staff time to tender the project as soon as possible.
Financial Plan Bylaw gets green light
Council approved its five-year 2022 to 2026 Financial Plan Bylaw.
The financial plan sets out the City's operating expenditures, amounts required for capital purchases, proposed funding sources and proposed transfers to or between funds.
The financial plan incorporates a 10 per cent residential tax rate reduction along with a zero per cent water and sewer rate change for 2022.
In the plan, the City's total budgeted revenue and expenditures equal $31,261,068.
Williams Lake Tax Rate Bylaw approved by Council
Council approved the 2022 Williams Lake Tax Rate Bylaw resulting in a 10 per cent residential tax rate reduction for 2022.
Council noted it has been working hard to find ways to lessen the impacts of sharp property tax assessments in the community for residential taxpayers, resulting in the reduction.
Residential taxes make up the largest portion of the City's tax load. In 2022 the tax load will be divided as follows: 44.1 per cent residential, 5.7 per cent utilities, 19.9 per cent industry-major, 4.3 per cent industry-light, 25.9 per cent business/other, and 0.1 per cent recreation/non-profit.
Outdoor patio licenses issued to pair of local businesses
Council approved two outdoor patio licenses Tuesday.
The first was a request from the Oliver Street Bar and Grill to continue an outdoor patio installed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a separate application, Fox Mountain Brewing Co.'s request for an outdoor patio license from April through to October was also approved by Council.
Williams Lake Public Art Committee established
Council endorsed a memorandum of understanding between the City and the Downtown Williams Lake Business Improvement Association (DWLBIA) to establish a Williams Lake Public Art Committee. The committee will be administered by the DWLBIA for a three-year term effective 2022 through 2024.
Council also approved an annual budget of $5,000 toward the program for a three-year term. The public art committee will create a fair and equal call for public art proposals to artists aimed at enhancing the City's public art collection.
Application for UBCM grant funding approved
Council supported an application to the Union of BC Municipalities Strengthening Communities' Services for project activities of $112,500. The fund will focus on providing support to the local CMHA for the continued operation of a BC Housing Temporary Warming Shelter.
New outdoor climbing wall location chosen
Council approved the installation of the Daybreak Rotary Club's climbing wall project in Boitanio Park. It also agreed to provide additional support for the project such as ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the structure.
Early budget approval granted for several items
Early capital budget approval was granted for several items: HVAC Works Yard, crush gravel, single axle dump truck with combination box, wheel loader and cemetery irrigation upgrade projects.
Dry grad parade route approved
Council approved the 2022 Graduation Parade route scheduled for June 11 at 5 pm. The route is scheduled to begin at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex and continue to the Stampede Grounds via Borland Street and Seventh Avenue.