Stick with the FVRD, suggests city staff

A report, scheduled to be presented on Monday, is recommending that Abbotsford remain as part of the FVRD.

Abbotsford’s explorations in leaving the Fraser Valley Regional District may be coming to an end.

A staff report, scheduled to be presented on Monday, is recommending the city remain as part of the FVRD.

Early in 2011, council and then-Mayor George Peary directed city staff to examine the financial implications of leaving the district to become a single-tier governance.

It was believed that the move would save taxpayers as much as $750,000 annually. In 2010, Abbotsford contributed approximately $3 million to the district. A majority of council felt the city could provide the same level of services, such as 911 and fire dispatch, mosquito control, and regional planning, for a lower cost.

However, in 2012, new Mayor Bruce Banman and the city manager met with Ida Chong, then Minister of Community Sport and Cultural Development. She told them the province would not consider the city’s request to become a separate entity, but would examine a proposal to create a new regional district if at least one other city and one other electoral area was involved.

Banman held a meeting with several local mayors representing Chilliwack, Mission, the Township of Langley and the City of Langley.

It was agreed that the change was not needed at this time.

“I think when you take into light that we are talking about the region as a whole, my personal opinion is that Abbotsford is much better off to stay part of a region. It will make us stronger,” said Banman.

While council will have the final say, Banman said staying in the region will help the city to “defend” itself against things like “Metro’s garbage burning incinerators.”

“In addition to that, also in my opinion, the FVRD found us between $500,000 and $600,000 in savings when they revamped their budget,” which Banman said eliminates much of the financial argument.

Another factor in the recommendation is that the city will have a stronger voice on the FVRD.

Due to the recent census, based on the city’s population, Abbotsford gets one more additional director at the table.

Currently, Banman, along with Couns. Patricia Ross, John Smith, Simon Gibson and Moe Gill, are members of the board.

Banman said it is likely the sixth member would be appointed on Monday night, if council approves the recommendation.

Ross is the vice-chair of the FVRD and said she is relieved staff has made the recommendation to stay.

“I’ve never thought it was a good idea to leave the FVRD, so I’m very pleased that finally we are giving up on that and giving some certainty to the FVRD.”

She said it was difficult for the district to plan and budget for the future with the issue “hanging over its head.”

Ross believes the motion will likely pass on Monday night.

While the issue did cause some uncertainty, Ross believes it will only take a “little bit of fence-mending” for Abbotsford and the FVRD to move forward.

“There have never been any nasty remarks or poor behaviour because of it,” she said.

She believes both parties will “put it behind them” and “look forward to planning our future.”

The FVRD consists of six municipalities – Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Hope, Kent and Harrison – and seven electoral areas.

Each member community pays the FVRD user fees and a tax requisition based on population.

Just Posted

n
Quarry Questions: Supreme Court ruling spells concern for Mission bylaws

Judge ruled that provincial permits overrule municipal bylaws relating to mining activity

column
COLUMN: Permanently scarred or temporarily paranoid

Covid has changed my view on socializing

Brandon Hobbs (turquoise shirt), brother of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs, gathers with other family and friends to distribute posters in Chilliwack on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Search efforts expand to Chilliwack and beyond for missing Abbotsford man

Family, friends put up posters in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope for missing 22-year-old Adam Hobbs

poster
Drop-in Covid vaccine clinic in Mission June 17-18

Neighbourhood clinics complement appointment-based clinics currently operating in Mission

Stock photo by LEEROY Agency from Pixabay
Drop-in vaccination clinics slated in Abbotsford for construction workers

Among three sites in Lower Mainland holding no-appointment clinics in June and July

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

Most Read