Mini’ building boom ready to begin in city next year: Mayor-elect

Timothy Schafer
By Timothy Schafer
November 14th, 2018

The city is set for a mini building boom according to the mayor elect.

Brian Taylor told a packed council chambers at the inaugural meeting of the new council on Nov. 5 that Grand Forks will likely be gripped in a mini boom as a result of at least three building projects slated to happen next year.

Toward that end, Taylor said in response to the needs of the community there will be a task force struck that connects the community to the BC Housing projects that are going to be constructed throughout the community.

“The team will be made up of some people from the community,” Taylor said, and will likely include Coun. Neil Krog. “The intent is to not make this project stop or go somewhere else, we are going to make it the best we can in the location it is in.”

There will be a high level of activity in a very short time, Taylor predicted, and the challenge will be to take that activity and turn it into more long-term benefits for the city.

The need is “to make sure the city can springboard this into possibly attracting new businesses” to Grand Forks, said Taylor.

“But what we are trying to build is a progressive community, a community that will house those that need it, a community that will care for its seniors, a community that will care for families and a community that will feed the hungry.”

Taylor also stressed that the city will need to make the best use of the funding the city receives from the upper levels of government for its various projects.

“If the city drops the ball on this it will be a major loss,” he said.

In addition to Taylor, the new city council at the head of the boom will include Rod Zielinski, Krog, Chris Moslin, Zak Eburne-Stoodley, Cathy Korolek and Christine Thompson. Only Krog and Thompson were holdovers from the previous council (former mayor Frank Konrad did not seek re-election, and councillors Julia Butler and Chris Hammett were not elected).

Not watering down the problem

Taylor said ecosystem protection within the city’s boundaries has been a positive for Grand Forks in the last few years, and the tremendous balance on the newly elected group would help ensure that continued.

The big issue of flood recovery will be the purview of councillors Moslin and Zielinski, he explained.

“I think these are two gentlemen who will be able to take that very complex subject of flood recovery and bring it back to the table and make it understandable,” Taylor said.

“That will be a chore. It’s a moving target and things are changing and it’s important that link begins to work very well.

“It will be one of the keys links over the next few months for us to get things done here that we’re not holding things up and we are supporting what is going on.”

A deadline for requests for quotation (RFQ) had been set for Nov. 13 (10 a.m.) to provide quotations for conducting appraisals on properties affected by 2018 flooding in and around the City of Grand Forks “where flood protection and public safety projects require acquisition of private property.”

The city and the flood recovery team have been applying for funding to develop flood protection works and green infrastructure in critical areas, noted the City of Grand Forks website.

“Further, the city requires the appraisals to reflect market value of properties within six months prior to flooding of May 2018 as well as the current market value with any major post-flood improvements in value,” noted the RFQ.

Other postings posted

Taylor also noted other councilors will be playing key roles in the community, not just in council chambers.

Eburne-Stoodley will be the city’s representative on the West Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital board, he noted.

Korolek and Thompson have a tough job ahead, Taylor predicted, since they have to bring the Downtown Business Association and the Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce into a position of cooperation.

“Getting that group downtown ready for what we can see as a future revitalization (is important). I think there will be a tremendous challenge there to revitalize the downtown,” he said.

“I hope (they can) bring a stability there.”

Krog is on the policy task force and he will be the “wingman” for themayor on the beat with the RCMP.

“Policing is one of the great things in this community and we have got to have it start working for us better so it can support what we need to do out there in terms of the B.C. Housing developments coming forward,” Taylor said.


Categories: General

Other News Stories