Give the Gift of Local News!

In a report to Council, City Manager Dianne Hunter argues the competition “comes with considerable cost and effort”, and suggests the community would benefit from cleaning efforts being spread over the summer months, not just a few days before judging. She added in council, “In those two weeks leading up to the Communities in Bloom, we basically pull all our resources in to work just on getting the town beautified. We’ve had some discussion of what would happen if we spread that effort over the whole summer.”

Taking a year off in between could relieve some of the pressure on the community, noted Hunter in council, and give extra resources to the flowers and trees and other components of the program. Each year, the City allocates approximately $77,700 to Communities in Bloom activities, including planting flower baskets and upkeeping green spaces. Much of the cost is for overtime for workers during the days leading up to judging.

Fort St. John will go ahead with the 2012 competition, but will look at changing its strategies in the future. Councillor Gord Klassen says, “I do believe it’s a good thing for us to be involved in and to celebrate, and it does go a long way to spruce up our community, but I think we just need to always be evaluating the benefit vs. the cost in some of these things.”

Under similar circumstances, council voted in 2008 to participate without judging. However, the overall community’s commitment to keeping everything tidy fell off, and the city has competed ever since.

Last year’s competition garnered the city a 5 Bloom rating, and Fort St. John was the national winner in the Community Edible Garden category.

Report an error

Read our guiding principles

Thanks for reading!

This holiday season, give the gift of local news!

Our goal is to cover all the headlines and events happening in Northeast B.C. If you believe in this coverage, becoming a Supporter is a great way to help!

More stories you might like