Mayor’s Column: KATHY MOORE

Rossland Council is having a quiet summer after our very busy spring.

  • Aug. 20, 2015 5:00 a.m.

Rossland Council is having a quiet summer after our very busy spring. We are pleased with the number of things we accomplished so far in this term but it’s nice to have a bit of a break too. Rossland and Trail have met several times to discuss the recreation situation but have not yet come to any conclusions. It’s difficult to find a solution that Rossland can afford when our residential tax base already supports so many recreational facilities and programs within our own municipality. Both councils are working together to reach an agreement but there are no guarantees.

Our workload will start to ramp up again soon because we will be starting our financial planning work in October instead of the traditional pattern of beginning in January. First, council will be asking for some input from the public as we go into our next strategic planning session. Watch for details soon. Our goal is to provide the best value for the taxpayers’ dollar. Rossland relies almost entirely on residential taxpayers. Without any large utilities or industrial taxpayers to help defray our expenses, its critical that we do the best we can with our very limited resources. This means we must focus on the core municipal responsibilities of roads, sewer and water before we can consider other important expenditures.

We are excited to be moving forward with our Washington Street project. This essential reconstruction of all the water and sewer utilities under Washington Street, as well as improvements on the surface, has been planned for years. Unfortunately, in 2010, when our grant applications for this work and the Columbia Avenue project were unsuccessful, this part of the project was put on hold.

Now, since we got a significant grant of over $2 million dollars from the New Build Canada, Small Communities Fund, this fall we will be busy getting the tender documents finalized for that project. Council decided to hold an Alternative Approved Process (AAP) to get elector approval for the borrowing that will be required to meet our portion of the project. Rather than holding a costly referendum on the project, the AAP is an economical way to move the project forward.  If 10 per cent of the electorate do not want the city to borrow the money, then the borrowing decision will go to a referendum. Council felt confident that our community has a deep understanding of the importance of this project and thus the AAP was an appropriate and cost effective means to elicit approval as required by Provincial legislation.  Some of the underground pipes are over 100 years old. If the water main breaks, it could leave up to 80 per cent of Rossland without water. City crews have been patching the line for years — it’s well past its expected life expectancy and it is hard to imagine a more urgent infrastructure project in our town at this time.

We are waiting to hear the results of other grant applications for this project and intend to apply for some additional pedestrian and cycling infrastructure grants for the bike lanes and sidewalks. If none of our applications are successful, we may need to borrow up to $4 million dollars for the project. We are still hopeful that other levels of government will recognize the critical nature of this project and provide additional support.

Other City of Rossland owned facilities are slated to undergo significant upgrades too. Coming up in 2016 will be the museum’s Phase 1 renovation, the library’s renewal project and the renovation of the historic Miners’ Hall. All of these projects have received some grant funding but need more money to really see the work through to completion. 2016 will be a busy year!

Summer is flying by! Its been hot and with smoky skies but we are lucky there have been no forest fires within our city boundaries. Rossland has taken advantage of every grant offered to work on controlling potential forest fire fuel — mostly dead wood and dry underbrush that surrounds our city lands. The Provincial grants provide the majority of funding to control these potential hazards to our security. That said, our efforts would not be enough if a fire were to get out of control. Please be very careful.

On a lighter note, if you haven’t seen the Gold Fever Follies show this year, its not too late but the last show will be Aug. 22. Don’t miss it. Each year the show is very different and the young cast members come from all over the country to hone their skills and entertain us. This year’s show is a fun romp that pokes fun at the rivalry between Trail and Rossland. Earlier this summer I enjoyed attending the show with Mayor Mike Martin of Trail. We were able to assure the audience that we work together very well. Just last week I saw the show again with Mayor Patricia Cecchini and over 40 Beaver Valley seniors. Everyone had a great time. The show runs daily, Tuesday through Saturday 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

 

Just Posted

First responders attend rollover near China Creek

Six firefighters from Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue attended the scene

Remembering legendary ski builder Fred Bosinger

On Dec. 12 Western Canada lost a man who made a mark in its skiing community.

UPDATED: Body found in burnt-out car

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

Kootenay Boundary remains in unusually dangerous avalanche period

Avalanche Canada says it expects snowpack conditions to get better soon

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

Most Read