With the Columbia Avenue reconstruction nearing its completion, the subject of a grand re-opening of Rossland came up in council last week.
Coun. Cary Fisher brought the topic up saying that it was important to get the businesses, many who have been struggling over the summer, involved in the plan.
“I assume that we’re having a ribbon cutting at some point for this thing and I’ve been talking to some of the businesses to create an opportunity for them, it’s not going to cost us a lot of money printing up some invitations and having some people invited to an opening of some sort,” he said.
Mayor Greg Granstrom said the communication task force is working closely with Renee Clark from the Rossland Chamber to put something together for a public event to bring to council.
Granstrom said ideas were being pursued, giving an example of a photo of everyone in town packed onto Columbia.
“We’ll bring something to council for input,” he said.
Fisher said that in talking with local businesses, he’s gotten the impression that “may not be as rosy as we may have painted it.”
“Our retail is down a lot in town, and to their credit, the businesses that I’ve spoken with understand that it had to be done,” he said. “They’re stoically putting up with it at the moment and I think that, while some of them may be more vocal than others, it’s pretty much across the board the numbers that I’m getting. I think they deserve a lot of credit.”
Fisher said that contractors are doing a good job on the project and city staff is trying to communicate as much as possible.
“I know everyone is trying,” he said. “It’s pretty tough, those are families struggling to get by every day. Just a little more empathy towards them I think is worthy, and this idea that we have something, this grand opening of the town.”
Fisher said he hopes people can come and see the new layout and maybe do a bit of shopping in the local stores and coffee shops as well.