2015 was a busy year for Rossland, with the City planning a lot of new infrastructure projects to be undertaken in 2016, but also making some more immediate changes, like reducing the speed limit or changing the name of Esling Park. Rossland News caught up with Mayor Kathy Moore to get her thoughts on 2015 and her hopes for the new year.
Rossland News: Of everything that happened in Rossland last year, what were you the most excited about?
Mayor Kathy Moore:Very happy about getting some our past issues sorted out. I feel that council has set the city on a more sustainable path in regards to employment contracts. We need to really pay attention to how we spend taxpayers’ money and make sure we are paying a fair salary, comparable to what is paid in other communities our size.I believe we are moving in the right direction.
RN: What 2016 projects or initiatives are you most excited about?
- To continue on the labour theme, a key priority for 2016 is to hire key senior managers: a CFO/CO and a manager of finance.Looking forward to finding some qualified candidates that can work with council for the benefit of the community, and as mentioned, at a cost we can afford. I’m looking forward to establishing a stable management team, hopefully one that will be in place for years to come but will bring new ideas and broad experience.
- We have some big infrastructure projects coming up; Washington St. is the most important. I am really excited about getting the water and sewer lines replaced. They are well beyond their useful life. It will be great to make the Washington St. corridor more attractive and pedestrian friendly with sidewalks, bike lanes and landscaping. We hear so many comments about the benefits of the improvements made to Columbia, it’s time to upgrade Washington too.
- Making the improvements to our fabulous Miners’ Hall is very exciting too. Looking forward to having more community space once the upper floor is renovated. We still need to line up more funds to make this project a reality.
- Museum, Phase 1 is also a big deal this year. Lots of work has been done on this project.
RN: The new year always means new resolutions, but as many have said recently, they can often get broken. Were there any big hopes you had for the City of Rossland in 2015that didn’t pan out?
KM: Only real disappointment was that we were unable to get an agreement on recreation withTrail. Both councils worked really hard but in the end,Rossland just could not afford what Trail was requesting. Recreation is important but we have to focus on the core municipal responsibilities: roads,sewer, water. Rossland already spends a lot of money providing recreational opportunities for our residents but it just isn’t possible to provide everything that everyone wants. It’s just not affordable.
RN: What are your hopes for Rossland in 2016? As mayor, do you have any new year’s resolutions?
1. Live up to the vision statement council developed: “To be a more sustainable, smart, fun and livable small city.”
2. My resolutions are tied to council priorities:
a. We want to make sure our financial house is in order; ensure that we are making smart spending decisions for the benefit of the community. E.g. improve the reporting and tracking of all infrastructure projects so council and the public have confidence;
b. Make sure we have a stable competent management team in place; ensure that we continue to provide excellent customer service;
c. We want to further develop and implement a robust asset management plan so that we are spending taxpayer money wisely;
d. Continue to reduce inflow and infiltration so we can reduce wastewater treatment costs — it’s all based on volumetric flow data now;
e. Get our water and sewer rates set properly to more accurately reflect true costs;
f. Continue to communicate regularly and be responsive to the public;
g. Move the Midtown transition lands, Emcon lot, forward. This council needs to focus on it. That will be a multi-year process.
3. I started with the vision, so I’ll end with the mission statement as my last new year’s resolution. I want us to continually work towards implementing our mission statement: “To provide cost efficient and effective municipal services to residents,visitors and businesses in a collaborative and cooperative fashion to ensure a well managed, well governed,viable community.”