MEDIA RELEASE : City of Grand Forks Chief Administrative Officer Announces Retirement



City of Grand Forks’ Chief Administrative Officer Announces Retirement


Grand Forks, BC – September 10, 2019 – The City’s Chief Administrative Officer has announced her retirement from the City effective later this week.  Diane Heinrich advised Council earlier this month of her intentions and Council has determined next steps in succession planning.

Ms. Heinrich joined the City 12 years ago and advanced through a series of positions including Administrative Assistant and Corporate Officer before being appointed Chief Administrative Officer three years ago.

During her tenure, Ms. Heinrich spearheaded the Sustainable Infrastructure Investment Program (SIIP), designed to get the best use of available City resources through the post-flood recovery period.  She also implemented training programs to enable staff to advance in their careers in local government.  Mayor Brian Taylor, on behalf of City Council, specifically acknowledged her “great job with staff regarding succession training” when discussing Diane’s retirement.

After the challenges presented in managing a City recovering from natural disaster, Ms. Heinrich plans to focus her attention on more artistic pursuits, including her home-based glass art studio and her love of music.

Council recognizes that finding the right next CAO may take several months and will bring in an interim Administrator later this month until the search is completed.  The search for a new CAO will begin immediately.  Corporate Officer Daniel Drexler has been appointed as acting CAO until the interim replacement has been selected.



Flood Mitigation Buyout Meetings

The City of Grand Forks will be hosting small group consultation meetings with residents on the flood mitigation project buyout list to discuss and gather feedback on the in-kind support options. These are exploratory sessions only and do not indicate an ‘offer’ or commitment to provide the option until Council makes that decision.

  • July 23 10 am and 2 pm – Affordable Rental Options. If you will not have enough resources to buy a new home, or if you are looking for a ‘landing pad’ while you assess your longer term options, the City would like to explore how existing or new rental resources and sites could support your needs.
  • July 25 2 pm – Moving houses or placing manufactured / mobile homes. Are you interested in moving your house to another lot, either leased from the City or through another means? Or maybe buying a manufactured or modular home to place? In this session we’ll explore some ideas and logistics with your input.
  • July 25 6 pm – Buying or trading City land. If you are obtaining a new property from the City, what might be involved? What are options to spread the cost of servicing over time so it is more attainable up front?
  • July 30 10 am – Moving or placing houses / manufactured homes (as for July 25th 2 pm)
  • Aug 2 10 am – Co-op housing / condominium / townhouse development. Are you interested in being involved in a housing cooperative or living in a townhouse or condominium? What kind of amenities and locations are of interest?


Further meetings will be available on request and more sessions may be scheduled as needed to accommodate those interested in participating.

Call 250-442-8266 or email to sign up for a meeting. Attendance is restricted to property owners who received a buyout notice in the mail.

Council to Deliberate Buy Out Policy Direction Affecting Over 100 Properties

City Council will discuss the mitigation project buy outs and policy direction at the 9am July 15th Committee of the Whole to give more information to residents about the process and in-kind support under consideration. The property transfer process needs to be set to give property owners a better idea of when they can expect to formally hear from the City as well as to clarify the post flood value. The general mitigation project timeline has a time range for the buy outs from late 2019 through to 2020. No specific dates have been set yet. Despite only receiving funding for the post flood value, the City is considering what in-kind support it can give to the residents struggling to relocate.

“I should set the story straight on a couple of things, but I want to get to this first” says Mayor Brian Taylor. “Post flood value means current fair market value. We got some budget numbers from the appraisals last year, but obviously things have changed since then. We aren’t aiming to necessarily use the numbers in those appraisals because you may have improved the value of your property since then and that wouldn’t be in the spirit of current fair market value.”

The first step in the buy out process was to secure the funding commitment from the federal and provincial governments. This happened with the announcement June 26, 2019. Now that the funding is committed, the City is working to confirm the process that residents can expect for the buy out process. By discussing the policy issues in open meeting, Council is hoping to hear from concerned residents during the decision making process.

The decision to buy out the North Ruckle neighbourhood comes from the September 4, 2018 decision of Council to endorse the recommendations from the Dobson Engineering report. The report notes: “Constructing a standard dike does not eliminate the need for the dwellings protected by the dike from being constructed/reconstructed at the required FCL [flood construction level]. A dike does provide a significant level of protection but dikes can fail or be overtopped under extreme events such as was experienced in 2018. Further, there is the matter of the local water table that is naturally close to the surface and often rises during high river flows and can result in local flooding.”

“Council considers public safety first and foremost in its actions and policy decisions” said Mayor Taylor. “Even if we built the best dike in the world, we just don’t know what the weather will be doing in the future. What we saw with our updated flood model is that climate change is real and makes it riskier to rely on engineered solutions in the floodplain. We’re building back better and that means making the hard decisions in the best interest of our community and its safety.”

Questions can be directed to Cavan Gates, Communications Officer at (250) 442-8266 or

Council Releases Letter-of-Intent with BC Housing

Grand Forks City Council Authorizes Release of Letter-of-Intent with BC Housing

Grand Forks, BC – May 30, 2019 – Grand Forks City Council has authorized the release of the Letter-of-Intent signed with BC Housing regarding the Supportive Housing project.
BC Housing purchased the lot at 7382 2nd Street last summer with the intention of constructing a building to offer Supportive Housing.
Following public feedback regarding the 2nd Street location, the previous Council endeavoured to determine alternate locations for BC Housing to consider for the Supportive Housing project. Several properties were proposed, but for a variety of reasons none were deemed suitable for the development.
In mid-March 2019, the current Council made a strategic purchase of four lots (“lots A-D”) on the south side of Dick Bartlett Park. At the time, the intent was to provide options for long-term planning to include possible public green space and road access to the 52-unit Affordable Housing development on 19th Street.
In further discussions with BC Housing, Council resolved to offer lots A-D on 70th Avenue as another possible location for the Supportive Housing project. BC Housing was receptive to considering this location, subject to suitable rezoning of the properties. A Letter-of-Intent was signed by Grand Forks City Council and BC Housing on May 10.
Key points in the letter include:
• the relocation of the project from 2nd Street to 70th Avenue is contingent on rezoning passing final reading and adoption by the end of June,
• the City purchasing from BC Housing the lot at 2nd Street for their purchase price, plus costs incurred in preparing that development, should the zoning change on 70th Avenue pass,
• provision of a long-term lease to BC Housing for the properties on 70th Avenue, and
• BC Housing paying Development Cost Charges for servicing lots A-D, with the City partnering 50/50 on servicing costs.
A public hearing on the proposed zoning amendment will be held at City Hall on Wednesday, June 5 beginning at 3:00pm.
The proposed zoning amendment (Bylaw 2039-A6) passed the first two readings at the Council meeting on May 21, 2019, triggering a public hearing process scheduled for June 5. Council’s consideration for 3rd Reading is on the agenda for the next Regular Meeting of Council on June 10.
The Letter-of-Intent dated May 1 (but executed May 10) is attached to this release.



Official Declaration of Election Results

The Chief Electoral Officer has released the official declaration of results for the 2018 municipal election.

Her declarations are filed with Elections BC and CivicInfoBC, and are copied here:

Congratulations to mayor-elect Brian Taylor, and councillors-elect Rod Zielinski, Neil Krog, Chris Moslin, Zak Eburne-Stoodley, Cathy Korolek, and Christine Thompson.  The inaugural meeting of the incoming council will take place on November 5, 2018.