It has been a year since Brad Layton was elected mayor of Telkwa.
This past year the new council has gotten the ball rolling on some projects and will hopefully finish some soon, such as the Trobak Hill Water Reservoir.
“We are in the process of a lot of things, we are working on water upgrades besides our water tower— we are hoping that is done shortly, that in itself is a long process that started when I was a councillor. Finally bringing it to fruition is something I will be happy with,” said Layton.
He added that considering where the water tower project was sitting when he become mayor, he is happy with the progress, but wishes he could move things along faster.
“But that’s just the thing, with bylaws and tendering and all the different things that are involved, this is my third term in local government and I’ve learned that you can’t just snap your fingers and get things done like in private business,” he said.
Layton said council is hoping to lay the foundation to solve or deal with some of Telkwa’s problems such as housing. He said the new water tower will allow for more development.
A weakness in the village’s water system identified in the Water Study completed by Opus DK in 2006 is that the existing water system, with only one reservoir on Morris Hill, does not provide sufficient fire flows to the community and the system pressures under peak hour demand fall below recommended values. Several proposed residential subdivisions are on hold until this problem has been addressed. The study also said the new reservoir on Trobak Hill should address this weakness.
The other foundation work to help with growth that council is working on is reviewing the bylaws and zoning.
“We are heading into bylaw and zoning reviews, we started that with our strategic planning after our election. It is stuff that we set out that we want to do and we are just getting to some of those. That is the thing about government, nothing moves fast when you have to jump through so many different hoops,” he said.
Layton said they are also hoping to address sewer issues and do some more water upgrades.
This past year has also seen some turnover on council.
A council seat became vacant this summer when Matthew Monkman stepped down. He recently took a job as assistant superintendent for School District 54 and didn’t feel like he could do both.
“I really liked having Mathew on council but unfortunately with the change in his paying job, I understood why he had to step down,” said Layton.
Local business owner Derek Meerdink will be sworn in later this month after he ran unopposed in a byelection.
“I don’t know him personally but I look forward to working with him and as soon as he’s sworn in he’ll be part of our council meetings,” said Layton. “I’m looking forward to having that extra councillor again. That’s the thing with a small council like Telkwa’s, there are many times when someone gets called away for family stuff or whatever, if we are missing that one person we still have quorum but when you are down one already, we end up in a position where we might not have quorum.”