District of Houston

Health inspector shortage won’t hold up District permits

The District of Houston has solved one problem it had with Northern Health and that’s its involvement in giving the green light to subdivision proposals and other development permit applications.

The matter dates back to summer 2022 when the health authority said it could no longer be one of the agencies giving the OK to subdivision applications.

District officials then contacted the health authority to ask what should happen in the health authority’s absence but received no answer.

“Progressing development permits, including subdivision applications, in a timely manner is critical for the continued growth of our community and especially for increasing housing stock while our community is facing a housing crisis,” the District indicated in a note to the health authority.

But in updating council at at its Aug. 15 meeting, District chief administrative officer Michael Dewar said the health authority told the District to proceed without its participation.

Dewar said the health authority has not had enough people to fully carry out some of its duties.

Lights, camera, action

The District is applying for a $20,000 grant which will be matched by its own money to beef up its supply of photos and videos to better promote the area.

“It’s common best practice for marketing your community to have a whole variety of different photos,” explained chief administrative officer Michael Dewar of the reasoning behind the grant application.

One upcoming project is a redesign of the District’s website and that will be a perfect location for updated visuals, he added.

Councillor Rebecca Hougen did question as to whether the entire $40,000 would be spent.

“I would expect we can spend that pretty quickly getting a good quality photographer/videographer. That’s a pretty small budget actually,” said Dewar in noting a complete suite of images would cover the four seasons and a range of community events.

The grant money would come from a program run by the Northern Development Initiative Trust.

Bottle collection approved

Residents have the opportunity Sept. 2 to support the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver by taking containers which can be returned for their deposit to the We Care duo of Mae Vienneau and Brian Hewitt.

They’ll be set up on Benson across from the farmers’ market location in the morning and afternoon.

Vienneau, 83, and Hewitt, 93, set up We Care along with their spouses in 2008 to collect recyclables in Granisle and Houston. Their spouses have since passed away but the duo continues.

Brunch planning underway

Council has given its approval for Houston Link to Learning to use the community hall at no charge for its annual family literacy brunch on Jan. 27, 2024.

It will also have access to the hall’s kitchen the day before so food can be dropped off.

“This event has taken place in various forms for 30-plus years and it brings together multiple service providers, volunteers and the whole community,” wrote Houston Link to Learning family literacy coordinator Lindsay Chartier in an explanatory letter to council.