Rossland Mayor Kathy Moore lays out her vision of the city over the next 10 years, looking back from 2030.
Rossland is thriving but still subject to some of the same pressures and challenges as the rest of the world.
Due to increasing issues created by climate change and conflicts, more and more people are immigrating to Canada because it continues to be a more stable, safe, secure and welcoming place to live than just about anywhere else. Due to the unrelenting property value escalation in the Lower Mainland, the Interior continues to be an attractive destination. While still relatively affordable, we have seen our property values increase too.
In Rossland the housing challenges have continued unabated. Some of the larger employers in the area have created their own solution by building employee housing. Infill has continued to be an answer to the need for more housing, thus the building trades have flourished.
While we have plenty of short-term rentals available, a number of residents have found offering long-term rental accommodation to be less of a hassle and appreciate the steady, dependable income it provides. A number of short-term rentals have reverted to long-term rentals, and that helps alleviate the housing crunch a bit.
Many new and innovative technology and metals companies have been attracted to the Lower Columbia area by the Metal Tech Alley cluster concept. Most are located in Trail, but some smaller ones have set up shop in the light industrial zone in Rossland on Cascade highway. Many of the new entrepreneurs and their employees have settled in Rossland as well as the surrounding communities. It’s exciting to see these new companies develop and flourish.
Issues surrounding e-bikes and trails have been solved. Multi-use trails continue to be a hallmark of Rossland’s recreational trail network and people are “playing nice.” Many people commute to work in Trail via the commuter bike trail that was established on the old Wagon Road.
Rossland has reduced single-use plastics almost completely. It started with the single-use plastic bag reduction bylaw adopted in 2019 but became second nature to local business people who then voluntarily switched to other more environmentally sensitive products. The need for further legislation was negated. The community cheered these improvements and remains very supportive of shopping local.
The city is well on its way to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all of our facilities and fleet. We are taking our commitment to rely on 100-per-cent renewable fuels by 2050 seriously, though it continues to be a huge challenge. Over the last 10 years we have gotten significant grant money to improve the energy efficiency of all our facilities.
The new City Hall and workforce housing project on the Emcon lot was built to a high efficiency standard and is a model for other projects. Improvements to the arena have resulted in a huge reduction in energy used for its operations, as well as an increase in energy captured. The city’s fleet has seen a huge reduction in GHG emissions as we have gradually replaced old gas and diesel vehicles with newer and better technology. That new EV snow plow and grader is amazing!
Rossland has been a leader in asset management planning since 2017 and the results continue to pay off by making our community more resilient to the challenges we face. The upgrades done to our water treatment plant have enabled us to absorb the increase in population without having to make further enhancements to the system. With our regional partners, Trail and Warfield, the much-needed improvements to the wastewater treatment plant were completed on time and on budget in 2025.
Perhaps the fact that we have been a leader in Firesmarting our community has helped us to avoid the devastating fires that have hit so many other B.C. towns. The local efforts of neighbours voluntarily working together to reduce the risks in all of our forest-urban interface areas around town was really effective. The fires that threatened in our backcountry areas in the past decade never posed a huge threat to our town.
The innovative Hugelkultur pilot project in 2020, with a significant grant from CBT, has started a movement throughout the province. The creation of hugels (big piles of cleared brush, buried with dirt and left to decompose into mulch) has really helped reduce fire risk through the forested areas surrounding Rossland.
In 2030 the silly bickering between communities in the Lower Columbia has completely died out. Old rivalries were relegated to the dustbin long ago. As the whole region has prospered, more co-operation and collaboration naturally developed. All communities share their facilities without any extra surcharge. The recreation departments of Rossland and Trail work hand-in-hand to offer the best, most diverse opportunities for all residents.
Trail benefits from the increase usage of its facilities and all residents and visitors to the region benefit by having excellent programs nearby whether they be in Trail, Rossland or the Beaver Valley. Return on investment for the municipalities has improved with the increase in population, increased operational efficiency and improved management and inter-municipal cooperation. The creation of Rossland’s recreation master plan in 2022 really helped get everyone on the same page. The reward for everyone is better health and well-being.
Volunteerism in Rossland has never been higher. Various societies continue to do great things for the community. With lots of new residents, these groups have all benefited from new ideas and new energy. Through the efforts of Rossland Council for Arts and Culture we have more activities and concerts than ever before at the Miners’ Hall. The Arts Society has created an art centre and given new life to the old, disused Drill Hall. The Arena Society has worked hard and with the help of the city’s recreation department has brought more activities to the facility year-round, thus greatly improving its value to the entire community.
Tourism continues to thrive too. The goal of becoming a four-season tourism destination has become a reality. The Josie is a renowned destination-wedding venue. The Prestige attracts the business and convention trade. All the local businesses benefit. Visitors continue to be attracted to our incredible outdoor activities and natural beauty. They also love that we have preserved our heritage and history.
The traveling public spends time at the museum which has completed four phases of its renovation and renewal master plan. The museum continues to be the go-to learning location for all of the local schools. Active visitors continue to find lots to do in the great outdoors.
Unfortunately, the ski season is a bit shorter and more unpredictable, but Red continues to adapt and visitors continue to ski and come in record numbers. The ski hill produces more artificial snow and that has been great for business. They have taken steps to reduce their own emissions by transitioning their groomers, chairlifts and snow making equipment away from fossil fuels. Carbon engineering technology or a similar enterprise has been instrumental in the ongoing transition.
Rossland is thriving and while some people still grouse about high taxes, most people understand the value they get from the services the city provides and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.