As required every year for all municipalities, the City of Rossland will submit an annual report to the province. This document gives the public a terrific opportunity toreflect on the accomplishments and challenges of the previous year. The entire document will be posted on our website, www.rossland.ca, after it gets council approvalat a special meeting on Thursday, June 30 at 3 p.m. I wanted to comment on a few highlights. Our small bustling city had another very busy year. In addition to lookingafter the core functions of our municipality, such as customer service, roads, water and sewer, we continue to support economic development initiatives, improvedgovernance and foster regional cooperation.
In 2015, we were very pleased to prepare, and be the recipient of, several large infrastructure grants. The Washington St. upgrade is currently underway. It’s a majorproject that will vastly improve our underground infrastructure as well as improve the safety, functionality and appearance of this important city street. Our historic andiconic community centre, the Miners’ Hall, also received significant grant support and will finally get the new roof and siding that has been neglected for years. Inaddition, the community will benefit from some new community meeting and activity space on the fourth floor of this fine heritage building.
I am pleased to say that we have improved our capital project management and reporting procedures to increase the transparency and effectiveness of our operations.We also instituted some staff changes that have been both cost effective and increased our productivity and workplace efficiency. We focused on regular and engagingcommunications with the public with monthly newsletters, contributions to the local press and using the local public engagement company, Thoughtexchange, to gainmeaningful input from the public. Luckily we have a very engaged community, so getting participation is not an issue.
We continue to work collaboratively with our regional partners and are watching with anticipation as the Columbia River Skywalk suspension bridge is constructed acrossthe Columbia River. This bridge will carry the wastewater of the three partner municipalities — Rossland, Warfield and Trail — across the river to the treatment plant. Inaddition, it will be an attractive asset for our region. It is a huge capital expense for the small municipal partners but we had to do it. We actively worked to advance thecompletion of the Regional Liquid Waste Management Plan Stage 2 so we can move on to Stage 3 in 2016. With the essential financial support of the provincial andfederal governments on this process, we are confident that the upgrade our wastewater treatment plant will occur in the near future.
This year, we are also proud of our community’s efforts to promote environmental stewardship through the creation of both the Jubilee Wetland Restoration Project andthe Outdoor Classroom & Learning Forest. Students of all ages have benefited from the opportunity to explore nature on property right in town, adjacent to our school.These initiatives were spearheaded by dedicated citizens and supported by the city. We are also looking forward to the initial work being completed that will preserveand restore the Centennial Park Wetlands area. This rare “wet meadow” has been identified as a very unique and vanishing attribute. In addition to its natural beauty, italso contributes to the city’s natural infrastructure by absorbing and cleaning storm water runoff.
As Rossland council continues to move forward with fresh ideas and a collaborative approach, we are confidant that much more progress will be made in the years tocome. Being a member of city council is both an honour and a lot of hard work. It has been a real pleasure to serve with this council.