An economic development function to generate more business for Delta, a decentralized focus on communities, industrial parks and their business issues and opportunities, and continued advocacy for interchanges, not intersections, when the South Fraser Perimeter Road opens in 2013, were the focus of decisions which members made at the annual general meeting of the Delta Chamber of Commerce held Thursdya at the Coast Tsawwassen Inn.
John Appleby, who just completed his term as Chair of the Delta Chamber of Commerce, said that the board now has the full backing of members, with the approval of a resolution, when it speaks up as the voice of business on the official plan for the South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR).
The SFPR plan was changed in more recent time to include intersections, rather than interchanges, in the Tilbury and Sunbury areas, which, it is anticipated by many businesses in the transportation industry, will rapidly lead to yet more gridlock in those areas and throughout Delta, at tremendous cost to business and to the community in terms of safety and environmental impact.
One of the key strategies adopted by the board over the past year is an economic development function, such as the highly successful one in Prince George. Chamber members also formally endorsed that initiative at the annual general meeting.
“Over the past year we celebrated our 100th anniversary in a variety of ways,” Appleby said. “We have had a considerable heritage to recognize and now we look forward to the next 100 years. Dredging of Ladner Harbour and area was on the agenda back in 1910 as it is today, but the current issues we have been addressing are equally important to our members, the business community and all of Delta, such as the reduction in time spent in gridlock when there is accident on our highways and roads, the restrictions built into the plan for the South Fraser Perimeter Road, the decline of the bee population so essential to our major farming sector. There is much more we can be doing and will be doing for small businesses and the entire business community in the coming business year.”
Delta Mayor Lois Jackson, who spoke prior to the annual general meeting, reported on the $34 million worth of major infrastructure projects completed in Delta, or nearly completed, over the past year with $23 million in federal and provincial stimulus funding and municipal resources.
Among the 12 projects were: Delta Archives and Reading Room; Sungod Recreation Centre expansion; new Delta Gymnastics facility; dike upgrades; East Delta pump station; 80th Street overpass; 82nd Avenue revitalization; and three flood protection projects.
Jackson also mentioned Delta’s twinning with Mangalore, India and the high satisfaction rating Delta residents have indicated through an Ipsos Reid survey. Finally, she reported on progress with Delta’s Debt Management Policy which has led to a 68-per-cent reduction in municipal debt, from a high of $58.5 million to $18.5 million in 2010 and a target of debt elimination 11 years from now.
Elected to, or moving ahead in succession on, the Delta Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for 2011-12 were: Chair, Tudor Williams, of TWI Surveys Inc., Vice Chair, Ian Tait, of Tait Consulting, Second Vice Chair Kelly Guichon, Treasurer, Phil Posehn, of Century Group, Immediate Past Chair John Appleby, of the Portside Group, and Directors, Michael Anderson, of Northern Vision Realty Advisors Inc., Scott Armstrong, of BCIT, Dave Hamilton, Delta Optimist, Peter Harasymchuk, accountant, Debbie Kemp, of Emerge Coaching and Consulting, Hugh Reynolds, of Reynelda Farms, Chris Scurr, of Ladner Travel, David Turbitt, of Revolution Engine Corporation and Les Voros, Freedom 55 Financial. For more information please click here: http://www.deltachamber.ca/about/current-leaders
Appleby recognized and thanked outgoing directors for the years of service on the Board: Immediate Past Chair, Greg Muirhead, Treasurer, Lorraine Bissett and Director, Sujay Nazareth.
The newly elected chair for 2011-12, Tudor Williams, spoke about highlights of plans for the coming business year, such as next steps in economic development for Delta, the value and strength added to the Delta Chamber of Commerce and its members through a new organizational structure of “community caucus” in each of North Delta, Annacis Island, Tilbury, farming sector, Ladner and Tsawwassen and the significant increase in value to members through improved communications, especially in social media.
The Delta Chamber of Commerce is a 400-member non-profit corporation of member companies and organizations in Delta acting as the voice of business locally, provincially and nationally, and providing business networking, discounted services, learning opportunities to its members.