Mayors look ahead to busy 2013

The coming year is going to be a good one Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach said as two big initiatives are set to take centre stage in 2013.

The coming year is going to be a good one for the Town of Smithers, Mayor Taylor Bachrach said, as a couple of big initiatives are set to take centre stage in 2013.

Smithers is celebrating its 100th birthday, and numerous events are being planned throughout the year all culminating with the Homecoming, Aug. 2 – 10.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing a bunch of former Smithereens come home and see what’s happening in the town and take part in some of the events being planned,” Bachrach said.

“It will be a big celebration.”

In the next year, the building of a new arena is also gaining momentum.

“I think it will be the project of the year,” Bachrach said.

“It will be a key priority, it’s right at the top of council’s priority list right now.

The new arena project recently took a big step forward with the completion of a geotechnical study to determine the best location and method to construct the foundation.

Now council is aiming to have the arena construction put out to tender early in 2013.

While the new arena project is well on its way, Bachrach said the work to bring the arena to fruition is by no means complete.

“The arena will prove to be a challenging project, “ he said.

“It’s one that’s been on the books for awhile and we still have a lot of work to do to bring it to reality.”

For Carman Graf, mayor of the Village of Telkwa, the success of 2012, by any measure, is going to be difficult to match.

Highlights for 2012 included a silver prize from the United Nations Liveable Communities competition, and the celebrations around the 100th anniversary of the Telkwa BBQ including the completion of the new stage at the fairgrounds.

“The word is out, Telkwa is a great place to live and invest in,” Graf said in his opening remarks at the Smithers District Chamber of Commerce luncheon last month.

In addition to four subdivisions currently being developed in Telkwa, Graf said the village is using funds from a recreation grant to refurbish the playing field at the fairgrounds, a project that will result in a regulation-sized soccer field.

The project, initiated in the fall of 2012, will take a year to complete, Graf said.

Telkwa also expects to build a small water reservoir this year, adjacent to the current reservoir which requires repairs.

The smaller reservoir, Graf said, will provide Telkwa with sufficient water capacity until upgrades to the water system are completed.

Plans are also in place to upgrade the water treatment plant

A new water reservoir, on the east side of the village is also on the horizon, but funds to cover the construction of the reservoir have yet to be secured, Graf said.

The dismantling of the former municipal building is an ongoing project that involves recycling of as much of the materials as possible, Graf said.

Once the building has been removed, Graf said, the village will seek public input as to what the space should be used for.

2013 also sees the Village of Telkwa continuing with its successful door-to-door recycling.

“Every month we have diverted the equivalent of one large-sized automobile from the transfer station,” Graf said of the recycling program.

Telkwa will add to their recycling program in 2013 with the development of an organic composting drop-off station, which may develop into a door-to-door service in 2014.