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Council receives fourth quarter economic indicators report
The City of Williams Lake’s Fourth Quarter Economic Indicators report shows building permit values of $15.4 million during the year, the highest since 2009, the city noted in a press release Tuesday.
The new West Fraser planer mill and Andre’s Electronics were the biggest contributors to the building permit numbers. Building permit values were $8.4 million in 2012 and $13.1 million in 2011.
There were 19 new single family homes constructed in the city during 2013, valued at $4.3 million, consistent with previous years. New business licences issued were also comparable to previous years, with 75 issued and a city total of 975 licences in 2013.
Unemployment has dropped since the third quarter, from 6.5 per cent to 4.5 per cent in December. Passengers through the Williams Lake Regional Airport remained consistent with previous years, with 33,790 passengers travelling in 2013.
Both Tolko and West Fraser made capital investments in their lumber facilities in Williams Lake during the year as the industry continues to recover from the downturns of the last several years and adapt to timber supply challenges and new market opportunities.
The mining sector continued to be a strong contributor to the local economy with the completion of the expansion of the Gibraltar Mine and continued operation of the Mt. Polley copper / gold mine. Both Taseko Mines and Imperial Metals continue active drilling programs at each mine site to expand mine life and economic values of the operations.
Retail business development continued to be pursued by Platform Properties on the Prosperity Ridge site next to Walmart, and by the Janda Group with efforts to ink a deal to secure an anchor store in their Boitanio Mall site.
The city’s cooperative marketing efforts with the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium continued to realize benefits of attracting more bike tourists, local expenditures and increasing market awareness of Williams Lake as a preferred mountain bike destination in Western Canada.
The Williams Lake campus of Thompson Rivers University has developed programs with input from business and industry to provide training that will assist in meeting ongoing labour force requirements.
The city will continue in 2014 to develop and action projects that promote and assist business enterprise towards a sustainable economic future.
The Fourth Quarter Economic Indicators report contains economic statistics from the City of Williams Lake, the provincial and federal governments (unemployment rate) and the Northern BC Real Estate Board. It provides a snapshot of the year 2013, compared to previous years. The report is available on the City’s website at www.williamslake.ca, under the Business tab.