The new Vedder Bridge opening was highlighted in the 2017 Annual Municipal Report. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress file)

Annual Report from Chilliwack paints a picture of a growing city

There were 485 new building lots created last year, with 204 rezonings, and 934 housing starts

The work done by City of Chilliwack crews and staff sometimes goes under the radar but their community pride shines through in the pages of the 2017 Annual Municipal Report.

That was the essence of comments made by Mayor Sharon Gaetz in council chambers, referring to the report attached to the June 5 council agenda package.

It points out Chilliwack has reached 90,000 population, and saw building permits issued worth $309 million in 2017.

“Staff did a good job of making it exciting and readable,” said Mayor Gaetz, about the city departments that contributed information to the annual municipal report.

Citizens can peruse info about culvert replacement, sewer repair and downtown greening, but also the major accomplishments like the new $11.3M Vedder bridge, or the curbside collection of compostable waste for the first time.

Waste diversion of compost and recyclables jumped to 58 per cent, up from 34 per cent in 2016.

There were 485 new building lots created in Chilliwack last year, 204 rezonings, and 934 housing starts. New public art graces the community, and there were 31 block parties.

“A few things stood out” for Gaetz, like the rapid pace of building that Chilliwack is undergoing, as evidenced by the ample facilities and amenities being created for the community.

“We added almost 18,000 square metres of dog off-leash areas in 2017, making Chilliwack a little bigger for our canine companions,” stated Mayor Gaetz in the Mayor’s Message contained in the report.

“Three projects contributed to this expansion: the Vedder Park dog off-leash small dog area relocation, a trial, non-designated area along the Vedder North Dyke Trail and a new off-leash area on Sheffield Way.”

She noted there were playground additions or replacements at five parks.

“These upgrades provide more opportunities for families with kids of all ages to get outside and play!”

Mayor Sharon Gaetz reminded any municipal candidates thinking about running for office “as we head into the silly season” which is the fall elections, that they might want to review the detailed Annual Report, as they consider what they may want to do.

“Remember it’s not the mayor, and not council, but it’s the staff that really receives the credit for the work that is done every day,” Gaetz said, offering a “huge thank you” to all contributing staff to this year’s report, from the Finance Department, and more.

The report contains details on city operations, including a financial overview, highlights and accomplishments and progress made on city council’s strategic goals for 2017.


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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