City council to take issues to next month’s UBCM

The City is looking to get support for several initiatives during this fall’s Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention.

The City is looking to get support for several initiatives during this fall’s Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention.

In addition to promoting two resolutions that include victim services funding and a combined federal-provincial environmental assessment process for natural resource projects, City officials will meet with provincial ministers on a number of other issues.

City chief administrative officer Brian Carruthers says there will be meetings with Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Ida Chong and Solicitor General Shirley Bond.

With Chong, City officials want to discuss the future of the Station House Gallery and the Towns of Tomorrow grant that the City had hoped would fund part of the gallery’s relocation. The City’s application was turned down earlier this summer and Carruthers said they want to impress upon the minister how important the funding is to the project and the significance of the project itself.

The City is also interested in establishing a fair share tax agreement with the province. That, says Carruthers, could be similar to what’s been established in the Peace River region and other areas of the province. A fair-share agreement is one where some revenue from industries located outside a hub city are shared with the city as a way to fund services the industry uses within the municipal boundary.

“So the city doesn’t collect any tax for that industry (located outside of its boundary). However, all the support, the heavy trucks that come through the municipality carry a pretty heavy burden to support that industry and they don’t collect any taxation.”

Currently most of Williams Lake’s industry is located within City boundaries but Carruthers says this could apply to industries such as mining.

“Where Williams Lake would be the hub community. All the traffic would go through our town and we would absorb all the social issues and those other things that come with all the development and the industrial activity but we don’t collect any taxation, so the idea is to talk to the provincial government about an arrangement similar to what they have in the Peace.”

City officials will meet with Bond to promote the ongoing funding of the CRIME task force as well as to request funding for an RCMP crime analyst. The analyst, says Carruthers, would help RCMP members work smarter and provide a more strategic way of policing by finding trends in local crime.

“If we have a crime analyst it allows the members really good information on which to conduct their investigations,” he says. “That’s been an issue for a long time. We always said we don’t necessarily need more boots on the ground; we need to do things more strategically and do it smarter.”

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