Bears, bridge and other briefs

Trail council tackled a number of city matter this week, including bear sightings and the new walking bridge.

Local WildsafeBC coordinator Desiree Profili reported to Trail council on Monday night. She noted a large number of bear sightings, 200 to date, as well as seven cougar spottings, two moose and one raptor sighting. After a busy start to the season which resulted in one young bear being destroyed in West Trail, the summer has been quiet. Profili credits this to residents getting the message about securing garbage and using the bear proof bins in Glenmerry and Sunningdale. 

Wildsafe’s focus going into fall is to encourage people to harvest their fruit and nut trees. “Fruit seems to be ripening a month or so early this year, and I have been busy helping connect people to the local picking organization,” Profili added. Homeowners needing help with picking fruit can call community harvesting representative Sita Lawson at 250.231.1406.

Approaches to new bridge

Trail council said, “No way” to crushed gravel as a cost-saving option for approaches to the new pedestrian bridge. Council initially approved $140,000 in the 2016 budget for basic landscape work (grass) for both bridge approaches.That number grew by $75,000 when plans were developed into a more ambitious design, one that mirrors the downtown theme for both the north and south bridge connections.

With a complete long term plan and cost update that now stands at $1.1 million, the price far exceeds the immediate capacity of the city. Staff was asked to bring back a short term plan consistent with the long term vision, but meeting the immediate needs of providing suitable and safe access within a more reasonable budget amount. Council will consider future work in phases during annual budget deliberations. Pedestrian safety requires adequate sidewalks and any decision has been deferred pending additional information about an alternative $290,000 landscape proposal.

Bridge lights

As part of his second quarter summary, Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff, reported the Victoria Bridge decorative lighting project reflects a total expenditure of $547,000, which is $37,000 above budget to date. “There was a change order associated with excess wiring and there are also concerns with respect to the design of the clamps that hold the LED lights to the bridge,” he explained. “This matter remains unresolved and there have been ongoing costs incurred to deal with re-affixing the lights over the last few months,” Perehudoff clarified. “A resolution is currently being explored and the final cost to rectify and associated responsibility has not been determined.”

Bye bye to Sagamihara

The City of Trail has officially withdrawn from what is now a youth sports exchange program with its sister city of Sagamihara, Japan.

What began as a cultural exchange and grew to a 20-year kinship between Trail and its twin town of Tsukui Japan, is simply a case of communities outgrowing each other. The bond between the two municipalities was established in 1991, at a time when the cities were closer in population and had similar governance. The relationship changed somewhat after Tsukui, along with the town of Sagamiko, merged into the metropolis of Sagamihara in 2006, which currently has a populace nearing 725,000 people. The status of future relations was brought to the city’s table last year following a request from the Japanese city that Trail consider developing a sports exchange program where visitors would be accommodated in a hostel or hotel, and not placed with host families. Specifically, Sagamihara asked the city to think about sending swim club youth for a one-week visit to experience international swimming competitions alongside athletes from Toronto and Wuxi, China. Additionally, Trail was requested to host a delegation of staff (no elected officials) from Sagamihara for delivery of a congratulatory message to city council in support of the youth sports exchange program. “It became apparent to us that the friendship relationship as it once had been, has changed.” Mayor Mike Martin wrote to Sagamihara city council. “The success of the original exchange program was founded on a basis of citizen engagement, involvement and friendships. This aspect of the relationship appears to have been lost and there is now limited support for exchange opportunities not fostering the friendships previously experienced. As such, after careful consideration, the City of Trail council is advising Sagamihara city council of its intention to cease participation in future sister-city exchanges.”

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