By Sheri Regnier, Trail Times
The City of Trail is soldiering on in its quest to purchase and expand the Trail Regional Airport.
Up for negotiation is Trail’s proposal to extend the city’s limits into Area A, to include land surrounding the airport.
“There is land that is immediately attached to the airport and how that is going to be dealt with, whether we purchase it or not, is still in the discussion stage,” said Mayor Dieter Bogs.
“We do feel that if we are going to develop the airport, we are going to be needing additional land that surrounds it.”
On Wednesday, the City of Trail met with representatives from Teck, Montrose, Fruitvale and Area A to discuss the proposed extension of the city’s limits into Area A. The purchase of the airport itself remains in limbo for two reasons, said Bogs.
He said that the discovery of old gas tanks buried in the ground at the site is an environmental concern that needs to be addressed as a condition of sale.
“At this moment in time, a letter has been sent to the regional district pointing out this environmental issue on the property that needs to be corrected,” explained Bogs.
“We are waiting for an answer to our letter and how we are going to deal with the clean up of these two tanks.”
The city has not received a property value of the land from its hired appraiser.
“We have hired someone to evaluate the property, but what its value is, we haven’t gotten that information yet,” Bogs said.
In June last year, Trail council voted to move forward with the Boundary Expansion Study, a report that explored the merit and method of the City of Trail extending its corporate boundary into the unincorporated rural area south of the city, known as Columbia Gardens.
Trail previously looked at expanding its boundaries in a 2004 study that pointed to a municipal revenue surplus forecasted at about $280,000.
But at that time, it was Teck that put the expansion process on the back burner when it sought additional conditions that were contrary to city council’s legislative authority. Teck is a significant landowner in the area with some of its facilities including the Waneta Dam, owned two-thirds by Teck, and the Waneta Reload Facilities situated in the rural area.