Current city councillor and former Williams Lake mayor Scott Nelson is seeking another term on council in this year’s municipal election. Nelson has served nine years as a councillor and three years as mayor, and said he wants to stay on council to keep the momentum going trying to diversify the economy and keep jobs in Williams Lake.
What is the solution to Williams Lake’s current housing and rental shortage?
Williams Lake’s solution to its current housing and rental shortage is to increase the number of rental units in Williams Lake by encouraging investment and partnerships in new multi-family apartments. An example is the brand new 39 multi family apartment building being built across from the bowling alley.
New housing rentals needs land, and I support opening land up from dog creek turn off and proposing a new westside secondary crossing into the city of Williams Lake.
We can build hundreds of new homes and parks schools within that large parcel of land this is critical for short-term diversification and new lots for supply of housing but it also creates a second access into Williams Lake from Westridge to the downtown core. Housing is the core that creates a connected community.
What are your thoughts on the proposal to burn rail ties at Atlantic Power?
City council asked the provincial government at UBCM to assist our community in providing a 10 to 20 year long-term contract to Atlantic Power at the electrical base rate. Upon condition that the province provide three things to assist:
1.) Access to the fibre supply with our TSA at a reasonable rate.
2.) Long term access to fibre supply to mirror the contract with hydro.
3.) And to recognize that as part of our fire protection strategy around our community if we want to use the wood fibre around our community in fire protecting Williams Lake to assist in nearby communities.
Atlantic power pays $1 million in taxes, $1 million for water and spends tens of millions of dollars locally and on top of the 40 to 50 highly paid specialized work force.
We see a win win for the community and Atlantic Power Hydro and the Province of BC.
What measures by council do you think would help diversify and strengthen the local economy?
Creating a positive investment climate dovetailed by reducing red tape will assist in additional capital flowing into Williams Lake.
Williams Lake is going through a positive boom right now and we need to continue on building on the boom.
1.) Create tax initiatives to attract investments and local expansions.
2.) Utilize our economic development office to net work and assist in closing new investments in our community.
3.) Show case the positive attitudes of a strong well positioned community as a mass transportation corridor.
4.) Provide capital to enhance out key transportation networks such as New Westside Bridge, Expansion off Western to Maple Street and a loop around from Walmart to Highway 20 this opens up land in partnership with developers and allows for housing New institute’s commercial buildings and the opportunity to diversify our economy and strengthen our university programs and create partnerships to and attract International students is a must.
The BIA partnership of attracting more people and business to the downtown core is critical.
Adding Seniors amenities is key to a successful downtown core.
Williams lake is getting $150 million for a hospital upgrade with a new heli pad.
With the change in climate and increasing threat of wildfires, what strategies would you support to make the community safer and more resilient?
Climate change and the threats of wildfires are changing the way we do planning. The world is becoming hotter and the seasons are changing creating significant challenges.
Development standards play a significant role in helping reduce the impact of a wildfire will have on a community example.
Hardy plants concrete siding stucco birch ensue roof has a resistance to fire yard fire resistance with unique water systems.
The city needs to continue creating a interface priority zone thinning the forest s close to the city with the plan to fire smart around the community to a five kilometer zone.
Example thinning or reducing or removal of dead trees and shrubs that make up the fuel under the bush.
Considering we always rank in the top 10 for crime severity, do you think Williams Lake is a safe place to live for everyone?
Williams Lake is a safe place to live and work and play and invest. We have gone and continued to drop in crime severity index.
The problem with the severity index is it doesn’t paint a realistic picture of the real crime in the communities like Williams lake that’s why current city council has been working hard to ensure that statistics that impact our community and others are accurate and truly reflective.
We proposed change to the province and the federal governments.
Williams lake is truly moving in the right direction with Crime reduction we have increased funding of $400,000 dollars in 2018 adding new police officers adding police resources.
We have increased cameras supported GPS tracking. Additional IHIT support.
Williams lake has a massive network of community volunteers and one of the best role models in B.C.
As we continue to lower crime we cant take it for granted in fact this is the time to continue to add additional resources and pressure to combat crime.
What would you do to protect and/or enhance the city’s air quality?
Air quality in Williams Lake needs to continue to be a high priority to enhance the quality of life and the air we breath in
Williams lake has one air quality monitor system installed in a populated area downtown by Columneetza. This was updated by the province in 2017
Air shed planning taskforce is a must for Williams Lake and neighbouring communities in the valley. We need to continue to engage actively actions and solutions to maintain a good quality of air in the entire valley.
Working together in a collective unified voice with all key stakeholders to continue finding positive solutions is important. Furthermore, I so support the opportunity of a movable instrument reader for our community. These are portable equipment and are less expensive and can be moved around inside the community and valley to investigate hot spots or a specific source of concern.
What ideas do you have for the proposed trail and amenities on the RC Cotton Site that would preserve Scout Island as a nature sanctuary and wildlife viewing area while giving residents more access to the lake?
This is really really exciting for Williams Lake. We finally own the head of the lake land we can put the lake back into Williams Lake.
Creating trails around the edge of the lake and capitalizing on boardwalks along the water to the south side of the lake to the beaches are fantastic adding benches viewing decks, lighting and fencing creates a massive networks of boardwalks and local amenities along the RC Cotton Site waterfront.
Adding a bridge to Scout Island along with parking and a brand-new boat launch will encourage much more active us of our lake.
Scout Island is the jewel of the lake head and creates significant opportunities to attract and showcase the beauty of our waterfront and the real positive benefits of nature here in Williams Lake.
Williams Lake continues to promote a healthy lake and a positive community nature centre with a huge added attraction now with owning the lake.
This is a huge opportunity to open up the end of the lake and tie the trails into a master plan trails network and create a stunning nature opportunity that citizens and tourist can come and enjoy.