On Monday night, council took its first steps of a new budget process, which will see a provisional budget in place by Dec. 1.
By advancing the timetable for the budget, we can make decisions earlier in the year and maximize the construction window each year. A new budget process makes planning easier, leading to more strategic, long-term decisions to benefit the city. Thinking long-term is the best way to maximize tax dollars and to enhance the city consistently.
Some more good news: Williams Lake has dropped to number six in Canada in the Crime Severity Index, with our index score falling from 348.1 in 2008 to 198.2 in 2011, a drop of 43 per cent. In 2008, Williams Lake had the highest score in Canada by a large margin. A lower score indicates lower crime severity. Obviously there is still work to do, especially when it comes to domestic violence in Williams Lake, but this is something to celebrate.
And also in the good news category, city staff have calculated that the economic impact of the Pedal by the Puddle and Peel Out mountain biking events this summer has resulted in $45,000 in new money coming into the community. More than half of the competitors in these events came from outside the region.
This is also an example of partnerships, as the city works with the Williams Lake Cycling Club, the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium, the Cariboo Regional District, Tourism BC, the Northern Development Initiative Trust and the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition to market our incredible mountain biking opportunities to the world.
It’s clear that this initiative is working, and we hope to build on the success!
Kerry Cook is the mayor of Williams Lake.