I am excited to run again for the office of Mayor of Lynden because so many important things are going on in Lynden. It is an exciting time to be involved in local government and I hope my continued leadership will be part of this positive momentum.
Topping the list of exciting projects is the construction of a new water treatment plant for Lynden, the largest public project in the county this year. The new plant will replace our 80-year-old treatment facility and the goal is that our new facility will last an equal amount of time. One benefit of this new water treatment plant is additional capacity; it is well known that the area north of Lynden has a water problem and we're hoping that our additional capacity can be a partial solution to that problem.
It often surprises folks to learn that Lynden has water issues. We have both too much water and too little! The excess water in the city in the winter months should be mitigated by the Pepin Creek project; yet, since we have barely enough water rights to currently meet our needs, city growth will create the need for more water. It takes patience and leadership to work with the broader community to find balance and solutions.
But Lynden's growth trajectory is also exciting. With a rough idea of how much growth we can expect over the next 20 years we are now carefully planning for the growth in our approved Urban Growth Area. This land north and west of the city needs infrastructure that first requires a plan to move surface water effectively through the area while at the same time promoting fish habitat. This is the Pepin Creek project, a win-win opportunity: existing ditches that are currently overflowing due to development in British Columbia can be diverted to a new, wider, fish-friendly corridor though the Urban Growth Area. An additional benefit is that we can extend the Lynden trail system along this new corridor. With proper long-range planning, our community will also be able to use this new stream for the storm water generated by any new neighborhoods.
Growth also brings new opportunities for retail. Lynden is in a unique position with Guide Meridian (SR539) running through the city. A steady stream of Canadians drive south on this corridor and many stop en route in Lynden because we have a lot to offer. Lynden is an attractive location for new retail and we are actively encouraging businesses to come to Lynden where they can sell their goods and services both to our residents and an expanded consumer base from lower B.C.
The newly renovated Jansen Art Center, a showcase in more than one way, is bringing life to downtown Lynden again. A recent proposal for a boutique-scale hotel and farmer's market in the burned out Delft Square building is another indicator that exciting solutions to Lynden's challenges are on the horizon.
As mayor, I am very aware that Lynden's citizens are her greatest asset and devoted caretaker. Last year we passed a transportation benefit district that will increase revenue for street, sidewalk and trail development and repair.
Another reason I felt called to run as an incumbent is because Lynden is in the process of finding a new city administrator. After 11 years providing top-notch leadership and direction, Bill Verwolf is retiring. He will be greatly missed. A new city administrator will mean transition -- it seemed to me that continuity in the mayor's office would be valuable.
I am so proud of our fine city and the accomplishments made with vision and leadership from a unified group of hard-working elected representatives and administrative personnel. Lynden is a great place to live and work and I am passionate about keeping it that way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Scott Korthuis is running unopposed for re-election to the four-year term as Lynden's mayor.