This past year has been an extremely gratifying time for council, myself and staff, although this time frame began with the tragedy that our entire community experienced with the devastation of the interior of our heritage City Hall building.
As individuals and as an organizational team, we discovered our resilience and our professional capabilities and despite the circumstances, we remained committed to our vision for the future, and we have continued to deliver our services to our residents through an extended time period. The interior of City Hall is currently being restored, and I believe, will be back better than ever before—this building, which has enjoyed over 100 years of life, will have the capacity to bring enjoyment to the community for another 100 years! Our hope is to have the inaugural meeting of our new council chambers in December this year. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to our residents for your support and patience during the fire and the continued rebuild of City Hall.
The Strategic Plan, which was the visioning of this council, has been fulfilled. Each council, as they begin their term, determines their priorities and goals that best serve the interests and needs of the community. To name just a few of these objectives which include: the amalgamation of the contract for city and rural fire protection; building inspection services taken on by the city; an economic development plan indicating that Grand Forks, is indeed, “Open for Business”; downtown beautification and revitalization; a WildSafe Program which focuses on public education and deer management; as well the paving of 68th Ave. and the water metering project as part of our asset management plan. On Oct. 2, at the Committee of the Whole Meeting at 9 a.m., there will be a presentation which will review the successes and accomplishments of the entire strategic plan. I encourage members of the public to attend this meeting. A couple of community updates will be provided shorty, with regard to asset management and economic development.
The community events in our community this past year have been phenomenal and I applaud our dedicated and selfless volunteer groups who have made each and every event a resounding success! The city has been proud to offer its extended support to these events and organizers. Events such as Family Day in February, which saw a community, as a family, come out to enjoy three days of fun (mostly free!) in the downtown core, our recreational facilities such as the pool and ski hill, and additional activities such as bowling, movies and rides in the fire truck. June was busy with the city hosting the Samboree for the Good Sam Club, who loved our city so much—they are coming back in 2016; and the Grand Forks International Baseball Tournament which is always entertaining. Recently this August, the city experienced an extremely successful Park in the Park, where we saw a very well put together car show in addition to great entertainment and the participation of numerous vendors. A week later, the Grand Forks Fall Fair spread their wings in a multitude of displays and entertainment, and additionally, a very successful Airport Appreciation Day on Sunday was enjoyed by many.
These events are not possible without our volunteers. As council announced its “Call for Nominations” for Volunteer(s) of the Year on Sept. 2, I encourage our
community to put forward their nominations to individuals or organizations who have made such positive experiences possible throughout this past year. This year we are celebrating these person(s) in conjunction with the Community Futures Small Business Awards held on Oct. 15. The deadline for nominations is Sept. 29, and the forms can be picked up at City Hall (old Canpar site), or on-line at our city webpage.
I would like to congratulate council for their professionalism and leadership this past year—the debates have been fruitful, our decisions productive, and as a body, we have a great team. I thank our entire city staff for successfully expediting our visions, and for their energy and expertise in all the objectives which were undertaken in our community. Thanks to our business and professional community for your most important contributions. Special thanks to Roxul and School District 51 for providing temporary homes for council and administration. Lastly, I thank our residents for your patience, your suggestions, and your involvement in our community. As a united team, we definitely have continued the journey of making Grand Forks one of the best places in the world to live.
Congratulations to you all, on a job well done!