Council affirms priorities

Major infrastructure projects a focus for years ahead

The replacement of key infrastructure assets in the years ahead is to be a priority of the District of Houston, council has determined.

The community hall, fire hall, and water services are among District assets coming to the end of their useful life.

And this year has been pegged as a planning year to renew or replace them.

Financing of the projects would be a blend of the District’s own resources and from acquiring grants from outside sources.

At the same time, the District has affirmed it will this year “take important steps to ensure it is managing the community’s assets in a fiscally responsible manner for current and future generations.”

The two goals are among seven strategic plan priorities set out by council for this year and for the next three years.

Council is also to continue efforts to diversify the local economy, reducing a dependence upon the forest industry.

“Diversification to other types of employment will help the District adjust to future changes in forestry,” reads the strategic plan.

Within this category the District is moving ahead on a video marketing project and will be placing new informational signs for visitors and locals alike.

Also on the list is preparing for emergencies such as flooding and wildfires “to reduce the risk of and improve response to disasters.”

To that end, the District is awaiting word on a $1 million application to the Forest Enhancement Society of B.C. to clear away fuels on a one kilometre area from Buck Creek to the Morice River.

Under environmental responsbility, council is to take action leading to the reduction of local emissions affecting air quality and to offer recycling services.

Council will also have its eye on safe and affordable housing and the local labour force.

“In 2019, the District will work with property owners where needed, and increasing availability of job and skills training,” its strategic document says.

And the District will continue to build on past efforts to provide local health and social services.

“In 2019, the District will work with many agencies to advocate for provision of services locally,” the document adds.

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