Hearne in the running for re-election

Councillor Russ Hearne will run in November for the 2011-2014 term, if successful it will be his third tern on council.

Council incumbent Russ Hearne

Council incumbent Russ Hearne

Councillor Russ Hearne will run in November for the 2011-2014 term, if successful it will be his third tern on council.

Hearne is pleased with a number of accomplishments Council has put through in the last three years, particularly the Official Community Plan (OCP) and Chances Gaming Centre.

“The fact we got the OCP updated and finished is good. I’m happy to see us hanging water and sewer on the bridge, I think that’s a great accomplishment,” said Hearne. “We’ve done some good things with the water meter program and secured some grants and got the airport renamed and are marketing it a little better.”

For the next term, if elected, Hearne would like to see Council continue to work at making Castlegar the economic centre of the West Kootenays.

“I want us to keep our tax base low,”he said. “I’m proud that we have some of the lowest property taxes in the West Kootenays.  That’s a big key for us.”

Some of the upcoming issues Hearne sees the next Council dealing with include Pioneer Arena.

“It’s life ending is an issue were going to have to deal with,” said Hearne. “I’d like to see us find more ways to attract businesses by adding services across the bridge. I think we’re going to have some opportunities with businesses coming over there. “Obviously, health care continues to be a drive. I’d like to see a new hospital come into the area and my preference would be Castlegar. I think in the next five to ten years the provincial government will see that it (Kootenay Boundary Hospital in Trail) needs replacing.”

Hearne sees Castlegar as a logical place for a new hospital.

“We are central here and we have a secured airport here. It would definitely be a benefit to our region,” he said.