Chilliwack issued $217 million worth of building permits in 2016, according to the city’s annual report. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

The 2016 report is ready for Chilliwack to read

The 2016 Annual Report from Chilliwack is chock-a-block with facts and figures

It’s a snapshot of what City of Chilliwack accomplished in 2016 on its citizens behalf.

The 2016 Annual Report was just released from City Hallwith statistics and easy-to-ready info graphics.

Coun. Sam Waddington commented during the last council meeting that the annual report was Chilliwack’s “best” in years.

“The information is readable and approachable,” said Waddingon. “It answers the types of questions we always get, like where do our taxes go and what do we spend money on.”

There is a financial overview, municipal highlights and more, and the entire report can be found online, in the June 6 council meeting agenda on page 53.

“It’s online if people want an opportunity to see what the city has done on your behalf,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz, as she thanked staff for the Herculean effort to put the annual report together.

The Mayor’s report recounts 2016 highlights, like the new Neighbourhood Grant Program to support residents and groups who have “small but powerful ideas” to unite and enhance neighbourhoods in Chilliwack.

“Through this matching grant program, we were able to support 18 celebration and activity events and two community projects in 2016. From small block parties, to large community celebrations, to community school projects, neighbours worked together and created an even greater sense of community.”

There were kudos for the Chilliwack Community Forest, and a report of the major challenged posed by homelessness and addictions.

“As homelessness became more visible in our community, we quickly realized that a single entity could not address the enormity of the concern,” according to the Mayor’s Report. “Although the Provincial government is responsible for housing, mental health, substance use support services, shelter beds, supportive housing and low barrier housing, Council created a task force to develop a Homelessness Action Plan.”

It was a huge group effort of more than 40 health, social service and enforcement agencies.

The report chronicles how 2016 was also a year of prosperity for Chilliwack in terms of economic development.

“Our real estate market was busier than ever and many residents and businesses choose to move to Chilliwack.”

The Molson Coors Canada decision to move to Chilliwack was trumpeted, citing about 1,000 construction jobs that will be generated during the building phase of the project.

2016 by the numbers

• Building permits worth $217M

• Development applications up 55% this year

• 799 housing starts

• 430 new lots

• average house price $400K

• Business licences 4,593.