FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John Mayor Ackerman says 2020 was “challenging, the significant coming together of the community, though, to support each other was just amazing”
The beginning of the year was a busy one; the BC Winter Games took place in February with 1500 athletes, coaches, and officials from across the province. Around 2000 volunteers and countless donations from the community helped make the event outstanding, and the city benefitted from the $1.8 million in local economic activity.
In March, public health orders started to come out as the COVID-19 pandemic began to take effect. City Council took action through the Mayor’s Standing Committee on Economic Recovery and looked at how to help out the community and local businesses.
The City provided some property tax relief, cancelled a proposed tax increase and moved the penalty date for unpaid taxes. Through the committee business support grants were provided to business for supplies needed to COVID safety precautions.
The City could still carry on with its $68.4 million capital plan that included the new RCMP Detachment, cemetery upgrades, the new Festival Plaza and street upgrades for 96th Street and 92A Street.
Mayor Ackerman says these contracts went to local contracts.
“Over 80 per cent of contracts went to local contractors, about $20 million in labour income and about 323 jobs”
Regarding what to expect in 2021, Mayor Ackerman says the City is looking forward to supporting those in the community that are suffering. The City is also looking forward to establishing the Community Foundation and has been something they’ve been working on for some time.
Mayor Ackerman is also still fighting the fight for the resource sector here in the North. She says when it comes to the resource sectors, we may have to become more vocal in advocating them.
Lately, there has been a lot of talk and discussion regarding the holiday break and vacations. According to Mayor Ackerman, no one in council travelled over the holidays. They followed public health orders. The City of Fort St. John has followed the same rules as everybody, as the community and corporations.
Mayor Ackerman also sends a thank you to the employees and every corporation in the community following public health orders.