Council's strategic plan for 2017 is built on eight major issues affecting the community of Houston. An update to Council on the progress of several items was provided at the June 20, 2017 Regular Council Meeting.
With the impact of the reduced Allowable Annual Cut in the Morice Timber Supply area and the loss of major industry, Council recognizes that the forest industry will be faced with difficult decisions in the near future. As forestry is the primary employer in Houston, the District recognizes that the local economy is vulnerable to any market adjustments which may occur in the future.
As such, Council has determined that it will pursue economic diversification as a strategic objective. This will include promoting economic diversity within Houston in order to broaden the base of primary employment in our community. Diversification to other types of employment will help the District adjust to future changes in industry.
Update: March 29, 2017
Council has issued a letter of support to Buy-Low Foods to encourage them to open a store in Houston, and has encouraged residents to do the same.
Update: June 5, 2017
Buy-Low Foods announced that it would be leasing the former Supervalu space from the Houston Mall, and provide a full service grocery store to Houston.
The District recognizes a fully staffed and engaged team is necessary to deliver services to citizens and achieve strategic goals. This year the District will examine ways to attract more candidates for vacant positions, and ways to ensure the current staff are engaged and retained.
Update: June 20, 2017
An employee engagement survey was completed, with the recommendations to be brought forward to Council at a closed meeting held pursuant to section 90(1)(c) of the Community Charter.
The District is committed to maintaining and improving the vibrancy of Houston. The District will continue to focus on revitalizing the downtown core, improving business facades, and ensuring Houston has many attractive and enjoyable places for visitors and residents alike.
Update: June 6, 2017
The Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure has committed $300,000 to improvements to the Highway 16 Corridor. At the June 6, 2017 Council Meeting, Council determined to proceed with upgrades to the northside of the highway at an estimated cost of $463,000.
Update: June 20, 2017
Council designated improvements to the northside of Highway 16 from Buck Creek Bridge to Butler Avenue as the first phase of Highway 16 Improvements. Improvements will include the installation of sidewalks, curb, gutters, lamp post bases, and the closure of the northern westbound merge lane exiting from Butler Avenue between Elements Restaurant and Steelhead Park.
Houston has a bounty of parks with great potential to be signature spaces for recreation and events in our community. The District will complete a Parks Master Plan to guide investment in all recreation services in the community.
Update: April 21, 2017
Council awarded the contract for the design of the Parks & Recreation Master Plan to Urban Systems, led by Catherine Berris on April 4, 2017.
Update: May 10, 2017
An open house meeting was held on May 8, 2017 at the Houston Public Library, from 4:00pm to 8:00pm. Residents and stakeholders participated in the engagement process and provided their feedback and vision for the District of Houston's parks and recreation to the consultant.
The District's municipal airport offers the community a potential source of economic growth. In 2017, the District will complete a land use plan for the airport that will guide future investment and development of the airport.
The District owns many valuable and important assets necessary to deliver services to the residents of Houston. In 2017 the District will take important steps to ensure it is managing the assets in a fiscally responsible and sustainable manner for current and future generations.
Update: June 20, 2017
The contract for the Lifecycle Maintenance Plan for the Municipal Office was awarded to Bulkley Valley Engineering Services. A previous Lifecycle Maintenance Plan prepared for the Community Hall was completed in early 2017.
The District works with many other local governments and organizations to deliver services to residents of the region. In 2017, the District will continue to strengthen partnerships with local First Nations, other local governments and other agencies such as the School Board.
The District recognizes the importance of locally provided health services to its community. In 2017, the District will continue to attract medical services and promote the use of local services.