January 2012
Council's Community Connection Newsletter




Welcome to 2012! 


The "Energetic" City reflects not only our large resource base of oil, natural gas, forestry and agriculture, but also the vitality of our residents who are keen to live and work in a community that gives back so much.

We just finished another chilly High On Ice festival.  This year's events expanded to include pond hockey.   Those brave souls who faced the elements to enjoy our winter festival were able to enjoy the beautiful sculptures and the spectacular fire in the ice chimney.  The ice slides are still being enjoyed by children of all ages!  Thank you to all those who worked hard to make this festival another great event! 

In February we will see two National Speed Skating Championships in our community, the Chocolate festival, numerous music events and many of our community volunteers preparing for more events to come in 2012. 
Stay in touch with community events in our community.

Stay safe and warm!
Lori, Bruce, Byron, Trevor, Larry, Gord & Dan

Tangible Capital Assets - What you need to know! 

"Over the years, local governments have invested billions of dollars in tangible capital assets. These assets play an essential role in a community's ability to diversify, expand and cope with population growth and improve environmental conditions. Unfortunately, there is growing anecdotal evidence that the backlogs of maintenance, renewal and replacement of aging infrastructure is causing financial stress on local government and jeopardizing the sustainability and affordability of services" Quote from Guide to and accounting for Tangible Capital Assets.  


In a nutshell, for most asset value equals wealth.  For local government, assets equal liability. 


Fort St John spent about two years determining the asset value we have.  At this time, it is approximately $78 million.  With every new pipe that is put down and asphalt road laid, it increases.  The harsh reality is that local governments across Canada must now deal with this.  The benefit will be that the funds will be put aside to deal with the costs that face the community in the future.

Other links:
Public Sector Accounting Board

BDO Dunwoody LLP:  Tangible Capital Assets - Time to get ready

The value of water.... and sewer 

In Fort St John, as in many communities our budgets are separated into Capital and Operating.  Our Capital budget further separates out the Water and Sewer from other projects. 

From all the conversations we have had with the community over the years, we have heard your concerns about the value of water.  With that in mind, the principles created to move forward were
  1. Conservation
  2. Financial Sustainability
The first, water conservation saw success with the programs initiated.  We were able to decrease the community's water usage by 42%.  This extends the life of the water treatment plant at it's present capacity. 

Council is now moving to achieve the second goal for water and sewer, financial sustainability.

Costs of collecting and purifying water regulated by health departments has only recently been recognized.  Distribution of this water has now been impacted by the Tangible Capital Assets (TCA)  Processing the sewage is becoming increasingly expensive.*

Council has before us some options on how we achieve goal #2.  Here is a .pdf of the water rates presentation we received.   


*FSJ is in the process of renewing it's Liquid Waste Management Plan.  A committee has been made up of those in our  community in fields of engineering, water and health professionals.  It is anticipated that the plan will be complete by mid 2012.  


Budget 2012 

Council has reviewed staff's recommendations for the Capital and the Operation budget.  Here is the list of projects for the Capital budget.  Council also received the first version of the Operation budget and it will be refined and presented to us again on February 1st.  If you are interested, please send an email to me requesting the operation budget and I will sent that to you

We are hosting a public meeting on February 6th at 5PM in Council Chambers.  Feel free to join us in the conversation about our budgets. 


In This Issue
Tangile Capital Assets - What you need to know!
The Value of Water... and Sewer
Budget 2012
Mayor Lori Ackerman
Clr Bolin, Clr Christensen, Clr Davies, Clr Evans, Clr Klassen, Clr Stewart
Council's Community Connection