Clinton’s hard work paying off

Clinton's Mayor Jim Rivett talks about the highlights of 2015.

Clinton is known for being a small but active town, and that activity in 2015 is producing great benefits for the residents.

Clinton’s new water treatment plant was completed last year and this is the first year that residents will enjoy the newly treated water.

Boil Water Advisories were common in the past, says Clinton Mayor Jim Rivett. The new treatment will remedy that. Also, he says, the water tastes better because there’s less chlorination in the new system.

This is also the first year of harvesting logs in the new community forest. Rivett says the town was approved by the province in 2014. The forest is 62,000 hectare and the Annual Allowable Cut is 20,000 cubic metres. Rivett says that, depending on the price of wood and harvesting costs, “There is the potential for a significant amount of money” for the community.

After three years of lobbying, Rivett says Clinton was also given a seat on the Southern Interior Beetle Coalition (SIBAC). He says Clinton was looking for a closer relationship with its neighbours to the north, and as a board member, they can participate in “developing, supporting and funding projects and initiatives that will stimulate and advance rural development in the southern interior” with them.

Proponents of the water bottling plant are still moving forward and are hoping to break ground in April, says Rivett. That could mean up to 40 new jobs for Clinton and area residents.

“They’re just waiting for provincial okay,” he says, adding that this may create a challenge for the town: “We may have to look at residential development to accommodate growth,” he said.

Council has also worked to complete more mundane tasks set out for them by the province that might not have the same economic impact, but is important for the health of the community.

About four years ago, says Rivett, local governments told the province that infrastructure funding was inadequate. The province created the position of municipal auditor general, and one of the things that are positive about the position is the creation of an asset management strategy in order to make decisions on infrastructure spending. If municipalities aren’t developing an asset management plan, infrastructure grants will no longer be available to them.

“We initiated asset management planning via a provincial grant,” he says, and have the basis of a plan. Clinton has incorporated roads, water, the Public Works building and parks already. It is still  working on sewer and water systems. “We’re well on our way,” he says. “It takes a lot of time.”

Clinton Council also began updating their Official Community Plan last February. The OCP is a framework for the community of zoning, vision statements, bylaws, policies and strategies that assist the town in planning for the future.

Rivett says they’ve been receiving input from stakeholders and will seen be presenting it to the public for general iput. He says it should be completed later this year.

Clinton also has a new web page and logo, created by a local committee who also came up with a new tagline to promote the town: Where history meets adventure. “There was a lot of thought put into it,” Rivett says, “and I hope people like it.”

The town is also planning for a new dog park in the Spring. Last year they received a $20,000 grant for it from the province. The new park will go behind the Clinton Emporium on a “brownfield” lot – a former gas station property. Rivett says it will have pathways and benches and will hopefully appeal to people travelling through with their dogs, persuading them to stop and visit more of Clinton.

“I’m quite happy with what we’ve been able to achieve,” he says. “I’ve seen more new faces around town lately.

“I’m hoping for a good year,” Rivett says. “2018 is election year and I’m hoping that I’ve made Clinton a better place.”