Enderby residents may not always know what’s happening with their tax dollars, but a lot of it’s going underground.
Like other communities, keeping up with aging infrastructure is the 2014 priority for Enderby city hall and that means upgrading road beds and water and sewer pipes.
“It’s difficult for taxpayers to understand at times because they can’t see it because it’s underground but it’s very important,” said Mayor Howie Cyr.
“We have a plan for areas we need to target.”
The need to tackle drainage became evident two years ago when torrential rain led to flooding.
To try and minimize costs and create efficiencies, it’s not uncommon to combine replacing water lines with resurfacing roads.
“We try and piggy back on other projects,” said Cyr.
But even with such planning, infrastructure is expensive and outstrips the ability of Enderby residents to cover the entire bill.
That’s why the city is always urging senior levels of government to provide assistance.
“Hopefully the federal government will announce another series of grants,” said Cyr. “Our MP (Colin Mayes) is well aware of the situation.”
Another major focus in 2014 will be Enderby’s vitalization initiative, which is focused on promoting community pride and bolstering the economy.
“We want to breathe more life into the business sector,” sid Cyr.
A 140 recommendations were compiled during consultation with residents, and the city and other organizations are moving ahead with many of them.
“An example of this is the digital sign board which will benefit the community through awareness,” said Cyr.
The billboard, once installed along the highway, will not only let residents know of ongoing activities but encourage tourists to stop and explore the community.
The city is also supporting plans by the Splatsin First Nation to construct a $12 million community centre. It will include meeting and banquet facilities, as well as recreational amenities and space for educational training.
Long-term, the facility could also evolve to include hotels to accommodate those using the centre.
“We have a very close relationship with the Splatsin,” said Cyr.
“How do we leverage that into a rejuvenated business community? If there’s a big convention there, how do we enhance the possibility for people to stop and stay here?”
November is still months away, but soon residents will be speculating as to who will let their name stand for mayor and council in the civic election.
Cyr hasn’t given any thought to his future.
“That will be for contemplation later,” he said.