District pursues grants

District pursues grants

Improved business facades possible

A planned Oct. 4 meeting between the District of Houston council and Coastal GasLink to discuss impacts and effects of the latter’s natural gas pipeline to be built south of the community has been rescheduled until Oct. 23.

The company is planning two meetings a year with council, the first was in May, to discuss everything from skilled labour shortages to demands on community social, recreational and medical services to increased traffic to shortages in both housing and commercial rentals.

Coastal GasLink is also filing two reports a year to go over its socio-economic effects management plan (SEEMP).

“Typically SEEMP meetings are not public and are attended by one or two council members,” said District of Houston chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck.

Coastal GasLink also welcomes comments from the public on effects of its project within Houston and area.

District staffers, council sharpen pencils

District staffers and council are well into preparations for the 2020 budget and for the 2020-2024 five-year financial plan in following a schedule set out by finance director Yun Ke Ni.

Councillors reviewed property tax rate data on Oct. 15 and on Nov. 19 will be reviewing basic budget estimates and capital project estimates.

District department directors have been holding sessions since early August to plan out the 2020 financial year and to have ready the 2020-2024 five-year financial plan, the latter being required by provincial legislation.

Resolution languishes

The one resolution council took to the annual Union of B.C. Muncipalities (UBCM) convention in Vancouver the end of September failed to make it to the convention floor for debate and vote.

It was a call for ICBC to release more detailed information on the total value of premiums paid for insurance and the total value of claims settlements and payouts by postal code beginning in 2014.

That continues a campaign by former Telkwa mayor Darcy Repen who, through his own research and analysis, asserts motorists in northern and rural areas pay far more for ICBC insurance than what is paid in claims when compared to urban areas.

“Unfortunately, due to the volume of resolutions considered and the time to debate various resolutions, the resolution on ICBC was not considered at UBCM. As a result, the resolution was referred to the UBCM executive for direction,” said District of Houston chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck.

Based on his research just for the Telkwa area, Repen estimates households there are overpaying more than $1,800 a year for car insurance.