At its Annual Convention in Vancouver, UBCM recognized the District of Lake Country as a leader in the provision of services and long term planning and asked the District’s Chief Administrator Officer (CAO) to present Lake Country’s cutting edge approach to infrastructure management and agricultural planning.
On Wednesday Lake Country’s CAO Alberto De Feo spoke to a number of mayors and councillors on Lake Country’s approach to Asset Management and the positive impact Council’s proactive approach will have on the community as plans are made to address the decline of the municipality’s infrastructure, which in some cases, is thirty or forty years old. In order to illustrate the concept that local governments need to act promptly on the current management gap, the CAO told the story of the grasshopper and the ant emphasizing that times have changed and we need to be like ants, planning for the future and the inevitable ‘rainy’ day. “This issue belongs to the whole community and not just to local governments,” De Feo said to a packed audience, “we all need to work together with the public to find solutions. This is a unique opportunity, which, if missed, can become a time-bomb.”
On Thursday, De Feo was asked to speak on the successful integration of the District’s 2008 Agricultural Plan with the Strategic Priorities and the resulting effect on the relationship with the agricultural industry. De Feo explained that many of the recommendations from the Agricultural Plan have been integrated in the Official Community Plan and the Zoning Bylaw and that the District is now looking at the next step which will be to address industry profitability through coordination with the District’s economic development focus. “Agriculture is the main economic activity in Lake Country and we need to take care of it,” said De Feo. “Integration of agricultural policies with land use plans is only the first step. We have a very good agricultural plan and we need to move forward on it.” De Feo explained that the District has dedicated staff to implement the recommendations in the Agricultural Plan, and that through coordination with the Economic Planning & Development Committee and Agricultural Advisory Committee the Plan will be a great asset to both the agricultural industry and the District of Lake Country.