High school students recently donated their artwork to brighten the walls of the Trail shelter. Photo: Submitted

High school students recently donated their artwork to brighten the walls of the Trail shelter. Photo: Submitted

Council grants one-year extension to downtown Trail shelter

Several members of the public addressed council prior to the Sept. 26 vote

The temporary shelter in downtown Trail will continue housing up to 18 individuals nightly for one more year after Trail council approved a one-year renewal of the site’s temporary use permit.

Prior to the vote taken during the Sept. 26 regular council meeting, Tyler Baker, representing BC Housing, addressed the table.

Baker indicated that BC Housing was now requesting a one-year extension to the permit as opposed to a three-year extension because they are currently working with the city on finding a suitable alternate location outside of downtown for shelter services. BC Housing, he said, is also scouting for another permanent location.

While there is much work to be done, such as municipal approvals and construction, Baker said they expect the relocated temporary shelter to be operational within one year.

Another BC Housing representative, Nanette Drobot, also spoke to council though she focused on community implications of not extending the shelter permit. She noted that without the shelter, there will be nowhere for vulnerable individuals to go for a bed, shower, meal and outreach services.

Lannon De Best, representing Interior Health within the Kootenay Boundary, was present to review with council what services the health authority currently provides through its mental health and substance use teams as well as the connection between homelessness and mental health and substance use. He indicated that the Trail shelter provides a consistent touch point for team members to connect with individuals that can be hard to reach. The shelter, he said, provides a place of respite and access for the health team.

Nancy Gurr, executive director of Trail Association for Community Living (shelter overseer) and Sheila Adcock, contract manager for Career Development Services (shelter manager), were present at the meeting to answer questions.

Several members of the public also addressed council prior to the vote.

The vote to grant the extension was 5-1. Carol Dobie, incumbent councillor candidate, was the sole vote of opposition. Coun. Eleanor Gattafoni Robinson declared a conflict of interest as a board member of Trail Association for Community Living, therefore she did not vote.

Of note, the city received 276 letters addressing the issue of extending the shelter’s temporary permit. Of those, 240 were in favour of the extension and 36 opposed.

Governance decisions

Air unit

The governance committee awarded a $93,000+ contract for a make-up air unit (MUA unit) serving the refrigeration plant at the Trail Memorial Centre to Venture Mechanical Systems.

Trail council set aside $100,000 in 2022 capital funding for the replacement unit. This budget was established based on cost estimates at the time of project submission, however the market has since experienced significant cost escalations and manufacturing delays. To mitigate fabrication hold-ups, the city ordered the MUA unit direct from the manufacturer in June 2022, with delivery anticipated in November 2022. Purchase of the MUA unit will be transferred to the installation contractor, Venture Mechanical (best of four bids received), who will hold the equipment manufacturer’s warranty.

Hybrid truck

Council members authorized the purchase of one new Ford 1500 series double cab Hybrid 4×4 pickup truck from AM Ford in the amount of $68,000+. The new truck will replace an existing crew service vehicle. City staff previously investigated options of fully electric or hybrid vehicles as part of the municipal capital replacement plan. Before this year, these vehicle opportunities were minimal.

Ecosystem restoration

The committee considered a staff report regarding the contract award for a heavy equipment contractor to finish up work on Cambridge Creek and Violin Lake ecosystem remediation. The job went to Silverton Transport Limited for upwards of $77,500. The city has been approved for up to $1.84M in federal and provincial funding to dedicate toward completion of the Cambridge Creek and Violin Lake dam decommissioning and land reclamation. Remaining grant money will cover all project costs, including an anticipated $15,000 shortfall. The Cambridge reservoir and Violin Lake dam system was used as a drinking water source for Trail until 1994. It had gone unused for 25 years before the city developed a decommissioning plan.

Retaining wall

The committee considered a staff report outlining the quotation to fix a retaining wall at the south end of town. Being cost-prohibitive at this time, council directed staff to not proceed. As background; the city owns and maintains a parking lot located across from Selkirk College, in the 1500 block of Cedar Avenue. Adjacent to the lot, an existing retaining wall helps hold the steep slopes from encroaching the parking area. Over time, portions of this wall have collapsed, with interim measures put in place to slow the encroachment and improve safety. Respective work would involve a complete review of the existing wall and determination of which sections, if any, may remain; while also providing a detailed design and “shovel ready” project to put forward in future deliberations. Other items would be reviewed, such as; drainage, parking layout and lighting.

Silver City Days

Council awarded the Silver City Days midway contract to Shooting Star Amusements Ltd. for the years 2023, 2024 and 2025.The planning committee has worked with the Mission, B.C., company since 2015. The city notes that past issues were dealt with in a professional manner with a common interest in seeing the festival succeed. The city’s most recent contract with Shooting Star Amusements was for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021. The five-day event did not occur in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic and therefore, the contract terms for those years became null and void.

addictionsBC HousingCity of TrailHomelessnessinfrastructuremental health