When Oliver Mayor Ron Hovanes was first elected in 1999, he remembers someone saying that as a local politician, sometimes you are elected to maintain and sometimes you are given an opportunity to grow.
For him, the highlight of 2017 was that it was a year of growth in so many ways.
“Oliver has seen growth in new housing, new residents and new economic opportunities,” he said. “We are now home to two brand name grocers and we ended the year with the foundation of our new hotel firmly planted.”
Hovanes said the first full operational year of the Okanagan Correctional Centre has brought a new workforce and new families to the community.
“Area 27 has also brought economic activity throughout the year including those that are now investing in real estate and business opportunities.”
The mayor also noted that Oliver has become a destination for event tourism, with home-grown events such as the Sunshine Festival, Festival of the Grape, and Half Corked Marathon – Canada’s number one tourism event.
“We also need to thank the staff of Oliver Parks and Recreation and the countless volunteers in our community.”
Hovanes also praised the tireless volunteers in Oliver who improve the lives of many.
“Whether it is the food bank, service clubs or faith-based organizations, your hard work does not go unnoticed.”
The mayor said he truly believes there is a new sense of optimism in Oliver, noting that long-time residents and new arrivals agree there is a genuine warmth and welcoming in this farming community.
Hovanes said the Town said goodbye to long-time councillor Jack Bennest in 2017 and welcomed Dave Mattes back to council.
“There is no excuse in 2018 to not hit the ground running. We have a strong council, a great staff and management team and also a community that is engaged and forward thinking.”