Huntsville’s new council is ready to hit the ground running.
This morning the eight-member team, featuring some old and new faces, was officially inducted. New faces around the table include District Councillor Tim Withey and Town Councillor Dionne Schumacher.
Mayor Scott Aitchison, who will be serving a second term at the head of the council table, addressed the new team saying it’s time for bold leadership to do what is hard and achieve what is great.
Aitchison says housing needs are expected to be the biggest priority for council.
“We obviously need to continue to work with all levels of government and the private sector to try and solve that problem,” says Aitchison. “We’ve got a lot of pretty heavy duty infrastructure projects that are going to happen in Huntsville in the next few years, mostly district-related stuff, but we’ll have to play our part in those as well.”
He says the newly created municipal accommodation tax will be implemented in the New Year as well, which he expects will generate more income for the community. Aitchison estimated the town could see upwards of $750,000 annually from the tourism tax.
Aitchison says now that the majority of finances are balanced, it’s time to consider where money needs to be spent in Huntsville.
“We’re probably going to be looking at spending a little more money this time,” says Aitchison. “Because we continue to increase the spending on our roads, which is an important thing too.”
Aitchison says there are a few items which will need to be in focus this term and he can tell council is ready to deal with them.
“We’ve got to spend some money on some of our recreation assets like the ball diamonds, we’ve got the curling club that wants to expand,” says Aitchison. “I think we’re going to have to deal with some of the underutilized properties that exist as bookends of our main street.”
This new group won’t officially sit at the council table for their first meeting until the New Year.
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