Mayor offers view of Rossland project

The Columbia/Washington Project has been a challenge for all of us.

Next Saturday, Nov. 3, we will celebrate the Columbia Washington Project with a huge community event. Beginning at noon and going till 4 p.m. there will be music, food Kidzone activities as well as shopping specials all over town. The entire community is asked to meet between St Paul and the Courthouse along Columbia at 2 p.m. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 2:20 p.m. followed by a community procession along Columbia to Harry Lefevre Square for a Historic Photo of everyone on Columbia Ave.

The entire project will not be completely finished by Saturday as some street furnishings etc. will not be placed until spring. We will however have a very good sense of the renewed streetscape and a chance to enjoy downtown once again.

The Columbia/Washington Project has been a challenge for all of us. Our business community certainly felt the effects of parking disruptions and sidewalk closures. A simple trip to the Post Office at times became a major journey requiring a pre-trip plan. Construction tape and wet concrete put a damper on our jaywalking and j-turning albeit perhaps only temporarily. The project also had many young fans and may result in a few more dump trucks under the tree and perhaps an increase of Excavator Operators into the workforce in years to come. There are not many Communities that could weather such a storm as the 5 months of construction to our main streets. We are a very proud, resilient community and our “new” downtown will reflect our community spirit. Please come out on Saturday and help celebrate and reconnect with our businesses, we all deserve it.

This is the first installment of Rossland Council’s Community Comment. I would like to thank  the Rossland News and Publisher Barb Blatchford for providing the opportunity to Councillors to provide information on a monthly basis.

There is a great deal of activity at City Hall these days and one of the challenges is to communicate on the business of the City and balance that with the constraints of budgets and available staff time. Newsletters are a great source of information and are also a task that at times must be left off the list. Hopefully this forum will provide an opportunity for Councillors to report on items that are of interest.

Mr Victor Kumar has retired as Rossland’s CAO and leaves us on a very positive note offering to assist in some ongoing negotiations. Prior to his retirement Mr. Kumar presented a proposal to Council to combine the CAO and Chief Financial Officer, a position required by law, and include the additional responsibility of Deputy CAO to the existing Corporate Officer. The goal was to further increase efficiencies at City Hall. Council was in favour of the proposal and has hired Ms. Cecile Arnott as the new CAO/CFO.Ms. Arnott brings a wealth of experience to this challenging role both from the private and public sector. This re organization will result in one less senior management position.

The budget cycle is once again about to begin. Please stay tuned for public input sessions. It is important that we all participate in the process.

Thanks again to the Rossland News, I hope to see everyone on Columbia Ave. Saturday snow or shine!

Greg Granstrom

Mayor of Rossland