Council to explore ways to continue lake harvester program
City of Williams Lake Council committed to continue to explore ways to utilize a lake weed harvester purchased by the City in 2020.
At its Tuesday, January 30 Regular Meeting, Council expressed frustration at existing regulatory practices and regimes preventing adequate use of the equipment.
The lake harvester was initially purchased after community concerns were raised surrounding boating and swimming safety due to an abundance of weeds on Williams Lake’s shoreline, particularly near the Scout Island boat launch along north side lake access.
Council further resolved to continue the lake harvester program by submitting resolutions to both the Union of BC Municipalities and North Central Local Government Association in order to garner political support from the provincial ministries involved.
City to work with Province to assist on housing delivery and availability
Council expressed its support for local governments to deliver housing to people faster and recognized a local need to assist in delivering more housing to the community.
Council thanked the Province for a recent $200,358 grant intended to be used to meet new provincial legislation requiring municipalities to update zoning bylaws and Official Community Plans to meet the legislative changes by December 31, 2025.
Discussing the community’s lack of available and affordable housing, Council said it plans to use part of the funds to help with the required OCP and bylaw changes, as well as to look at creative ways to find more solutions to the city’s housing needs.
Council teams up with Rotary to help facilitate seniors exercise equipment project in Kiwanis Park
Council approved an application to the 2024 Northern Development Initiative Trust ‘Community Places’ grant program in partnership with Williams Lake Rotary to assist in the completion of a ‘Seniors’ Exercise Equipment Project’ in Kiwanis Park.
Council also authorized staff to assist the project with in-kind support and required documentation for the project.
The proposed project budget is $50,000 with a $20,000 commitment from Rotary and a $30,000 request to NDIT.
Council weighing 2024 budget options; staff to provide updated report and budget for discussion
Council directed staff to review the City’s capital plan to remove non-essential, non-grant-funded projects from the general capital plan and to present an updated budget for Council’s consideration at a future meeting.
Budget discussions during Tuesday’s Council meeting focused on two items: the City’s water fund, as well as the City’s water reserves.
Noting a concern surrounding depleting water reserves, Council noted water rates in the community have not increased in 16 years and proposed a 13 per cent increase in water rates - roughly $37 per year - to ensure funds are available during the new Water Treatment Plant construction.
The City also wishes to build its reserves to ensure funds are available to implement any deferred projects in the future.
Tower Crescent reservoir design contract awarded
Council approved additional funding of$53,370 in addition to the 2023 approved$75,000 for a total of $128,370 plus taxes for the Tower Crescent Reservoir design project and awarded the contract to McElhanney Ltd.
Tower Crescent Reservoir is one of two reservoirs in the first pressure zone of the City and is at the end of its operational life and has been identified for replacement.
The City’s water distribution system has a total of nine reservoirs with an estimated lifespan of 50-70 years. Tower Crescent was the oldest, having been in operation since 1964.