From the Mayor’s desk: Looking back on a busy year

CINDY FORTIN MAYOR OF PEACHLAND   Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone, This will be my last “From the Mayor’s Desk” for 2017, and I’d like to begin by thanking all of the families, individuals and friends who turned out for our special Sesquicentennial Christmas Light-Up. And a special thank you to the District staff members and volunteers who made this year’s Christmas Light Up a hit! They did a beautiful job on the lights, the fireworks were spectacular, and the food and treats provided by volunteer groups were scrumptious. Thank you to Santa and Mrs. Claus for making a special stop in Peachland during their very busy schedule. Also, a very special thank you to the young man in the crowd who provided me with a funny joke for my annual Kid Christmas Jokes, just prior to the countdown for the light-up. It’s no secret that 2017 has been an unusually busy year with the extreme weather events we had to contend with, and then the hard work to get back on track with those things that were delayed. We have been working on getting some foreshore and docks funding to fix the flood damage, but it is a slow process. We would only get 80% funding, with the District paying 20% of the repairs. In the case of the docks, they have to been rebuilt exactly as they were – which is a little outdated. Any improvements, above and beyond, would have to be covered by taxpayers. So staff and Council will be discussing more about what we plan to do in the new year. Things are progressing, however! It’s a great feeling to see the affordable seniors housing going up. The foundation has been laid and if you take a stroll by there, you’ll see the walls being built. This has been a long time in coming, thanks to the work of many dedicated people, past and present, who made this 74-unit seniors housing building a reality. The Water Treatment Plant is another project that has seen positive results, both in that we received a grant for $6.9 million from the higher levels of government, and the recent Alternative Approval Process (AAP) bore just over 40 forms in opposition for borrowing for the remaining funds needed for the plant. That is far short of the 450+ forms needed, so borrowing is expected to go ahead, with Council’s approval in the new year. You can never say never when it comes to unpredictable events, butthe new treatment plant should counteract the annual boil water notices we became accustomed to every year with the spring runoff. The citizens of Peachland deserve fresh, clean drinking water. The completion of the plant is expected in 2020. The Peachland Pier has also ceremoniously broken ground and construction will begin in 2018. Thank you to our local Lions and Rotary clubs, the Peachland’s Sportsmen’s Association, and District staff for making this a reality. We are also expecting to start work on the makeover of the large gravel parking lot behind the Edgewater Inn. It will be paved, the parking spaces better delineated, better lighting, and a new electric car plug-in station with dual connections. Council is also working toward a children’s splash park, which we have been saving up for. We will discuss this further during budget deliberations next year. And lastly, a quick note to remind you that the Polar Bear Dip is fast approaching. Yes, I will be jumping into the frigid Okanagan Lake once again with the many other brave (and slightly crazy) souls. If you’d like to join us the dip will be taking place on January 1st at 1 pm. (Registration is at noon.) It is always fun and brrrrrrrrrr- eathtaking! In the meantime, I hope you and your families and friends have a wonderful Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, or just some well-deserved downtime reclining in the old La-Z-Boy. Keep warm and I will see you in the new year

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