Mayor Walt Cobb shares his perspective on the year that was 2019. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Mayor Walt Cobb shares his perspective on the year that was 2019. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake mayor reflects on 2019

Busy and productive is how Mayor Walt Cobb described the last year

As another busy and productive year draws to an end, I am happy to share some of the successes and initiatives that the City has undertaken in 2019.

The paving on Airport Road has now been completed, with Airport improvements ongoing.

We celebrated the completion of the façade improvements at the Airport, and are looking forward to continuing to make improvements in the upcoming years.

Read more: Ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrates new facade at Williams Lake Regional Airport

The Toop Road upgrades are substantially completed with some minor deficiencies that will be addressed in the new year.

The City has once again seen strong investment in 2019. Building permit numbers are up over last year with almost $35 million in new investment.

Our business license numbers are also up this year, and we have had some major industry upgrades that will help secure our future. This summer was very trying for our forest industry and the many families it supports.

The good news is that Tolko has finished its re-build after its fire and West Fraser has made some major investments in its operations.

Although they have had a couple of shut downs and shortened week days there have been no permanent closures.

Pinnacle Pellet is retooling and upgrading and Atlantic Power has signed a 10 year contract renewal with BC Hydro, so things are looking up!

We are fortunate to have Cariboo Place in our community, providing much-needed support for our seniors.

Read more: Vantage Living celebrates grand opening of long-term residential facility in Williams Lake

The First Avenue housing project is completed, and is an attractive addition to our downtown.

The City has partnered with the Cariboo Regional District to undertake a regional housing needs assessment to further understand our needs and be able to assist developers in addressing those needs.

The bridge to Scout Island has been installed and will enhance the enjoyment of this beautiful area.

A new electric car charging station located in the City Hall parking lot has been installed by BC Hydro, and should be fully operational early in the new year.

The City of Williams Lake and Cariboo Regional District co-hosted the North Central Local Government Association AGM and Convention the week of May 7, 2019, and it was a huge success.

Williams Lake definitely proved why we are such a great place to live and visit, and I know many will be back to enjoy our Cariboo hospitality. There were around 270 delegates in attendance.

I was pleased to be in Vancouver to support our forest industry during the UBCM Convention in September, when over 300 logging trucks and supporters descended upon Vancouver’s downtown core to bring attention to the impact that mill closures and curtailments have had on interior communities.

I was extremely proud of the independent truckers who drove from Williams Lake and other forest-dependent communities to help make sure we were heard – I know we made a lasting impression!

The Cattlemen’s Association AGM was another great event held in Williams Lake that brought many people to town.

As always, they put on an excellent event, and I thoroughly enjoyed welcoming the attendees at their Wine and Cheese, and cooking with Rotary.

The City was the host community for the BC Mine Rescue Competition in June, which brought approximately 1000 visitors to Williams Lake. It is a great event, and we are looking forward to having them back in 2020.

I would like to thank the BIA for putting on another festive Winter Lights Festival, which kicked off the holiday season on a jolly note.

Read more: PHOTOS: Winter Lights Festival delights lakecity

I would also like to once again congratulate the recipients of Business Excellence Awards, which were presented by the Chamber of Commerce in October.

We have a very strong business community, and we thank you for your investment in Williams Lake.

As we head into the festive season, I encourage everyone to remember that dollars spent in our community stay here.

Williams Lake is home to many excellent retail stores and services, and if you are looking for something special, chances are you can find it here or it can be ordered for you.

Once again I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Walt Cobb is serving his second consecutive term as Mayor of Williams Lake.



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is displayed on Jan. 5, in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Rick Bowmer/AP)
Power outage spoils COVID-19 vaccine at Tl’etinqox

Temperature-sensitive vaccine no longer viable after Jan. 18 event

Chief Leah Stump communicated the state of emergency news through a Facebook video. (Video Screenshot)
Nazko First Nation goes into COVID-19 lockdown

Chief Leah Stump said in a video they will be putting up checkpoints before entering the reserve

Canim Lake Band remains in lockdown. (Martina Dopf photo - 100 Mile Free Press).
Canim Lake Band loses Elder due to COVID-19

Community is devastated, Chief Helen Henderson says.

Tl’etinqox will be going into lockdown at 6 p.m. Jan 20 due to COVID-19. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
House parties, impending lockdown and loss; Tl’etinqox chief grapples with COVID-19 challenges

Tl’etinqox Government west of Williams Lake declared a state of emergency Jan. 18

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson told city council Tuesday, Jan. 19, there have been no further cases of COVID-19 amongst the staff at Cariboo Memorial Hospital than the 10 nurses and two doctors who are off work.  (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA expects health authority to declare COVID-19 cluster for region

Lorne Doerkson updates Williams Lake city council at committee of the whole meeting

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
One in five tests in Fernie area coming back positive: doctor

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
From the “You can’t make this stuff up” file – stories from the BC CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Most Read