The inaugural council meeting in Harrison Hot Springs included a speech from returning Mayor Leo Facio. He announced that next year the Village will look into ways to reduce overall operating costs of the water and sewer systems.

New year to bring analysis of water and sewer

Harrison mayor hopes to reduce overall operating costs

Harrison’s new council was sworn in on Monday night at a special council meeting held at Memorial Hall.

The council was piped in by Harrison Highlander Jim Waldron, and were joined by RCMP member Cst. Jared McGinn. Mayor Leo Facio sang O’Canada before the councillors took their oath of office.

The new council includes incumbents Sonya Reyerse and John Buckley, and new councillors Samantha Piper and John Hansen.

In a speech to the public during the inaugural meeting, Facio thanked the two councillors not returning.

“On behalf of the community, a special thank you and good wishes to former Councillor Zoltan Kiss who served one term, and to former Councillor Allan Jackson for serving three terms in the community,” he said. “There will be many challenges moving forward to improve, impress, explore, expand and deliver. We are honoured to serve you for the next four years.”

Harrison council’s new committee structure will be presented in January, he said, and will incorporate residents and businesses. Facio also said the new year will bring a thorough look into ways to reduce costs for the Village.

“I will ask staff to conduct a core operation and maintenance analysis of the Village’s water and sewer systems and bring a report to Council based on the findings,” he said. “It is my hope that this review will identify potential areas within the systems that could reduce the overall operating cost with these savings passed down to the system users by way of a reduction in the annual user fees.”

Facio has been in local government in Harrison for 19 years. He said he is looking forward to making a difference in the community.

“With two good working councils in my previous terms as mayor, we have been successful in transforming our Village with beautification, infrastructure, increase in events and tourism,” he said. “Together we can take pride in our community, making us a livable and an attractive place to live.”

The only other business dealt with at the meeting was a report on the elections.

While the election process went well, Debra Key noted, she asked council to consider renting electronic voting machines in the next election, to be held in October 2018.

Staff worked late into the night counting the Harrison ballots by hand. Key also noted that mail in voting may not be necessary in 2018, as the elections are being moved to October, before many of the “snowbird” residents leave for warmer regions. This election, 25 mail in ballots were requested, and 20 arrived in time to be included in the election process.

 

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