Plan to revitalize downtown Trail sizzles along

Group of community leaders brainstorm 80 possible projects

A group of locals committed to revitalizing downtown Trail is in the midst of developing a plan that will push ideas into action.

“The committee saw the value in the overall concept plan as being the first step we would take in order to ensure we are all working towards common, predetermined goals,” explained Lisa McGrail, co-chair of the downtown opportunities and action committee.

“That way, the designated sub-committees would have a structured plan to draw from during their engagement of revitalizing the downtown core.”

At a planning exercise held last week, facilitated by CTQ Consulting, the 18 community leaders that make up the committee came up with around 80 potential projects.

“Some of the improvement projects the committee identified were utilizing the river, coordinating         merchants working together, a need for residential housing and an overall refresh of the physical streetscape of Trail,” said McGrail.

Co-chair Kevin Jolly, who is also chair of the Lower Columbia Community Development Team executive, feels a “solid direction has been set.”

“We have defined priorities and established a committee structure to support building momentum and excitement around town,” he said.

Sub-committees have been created to tackle various goals including the creation of the plan, which is projected to be complete at the end of June, and engaging and organizing downtown merchants and addressing social issues. A report on the planning exercise should be complete by mid-March.

As a business owner herself — she and her fiancé own the Royal Theatre — McGrail is excited for what lies ahead.

“Together we can create a downtown core that is engaging, exciting and one that places Trail on the tourist map,” she said.

“We have seen examples of other similar cities that have gone through a revitalization process and while there is no doubt a lot of hard work and commitment that lie ahead of us, the reward will be a truly thriving downtown Trail.”

The city invited CTQ Consultants to meet with community representatives from the Columbia Basin Initiative, Community Futures, Columbia Basin Trust and local businesses this summer.

Creating a task force was one of the recommendations made by the Kelowna company when issues like a lack of transit, rising homelessness, vacant buildings and parking issues were touched on.

Along with organizing a committee to lead future work, the consultants suggested a comprehensive downtown plan, which the city attempted to do about 10 years ago, but creating a business impact analysis and development model never got past the planning stage.

Individuals interested in sharing ideas and suggestions on downtown revitalization are asked to send their comments via email to dwntown@trail.ca

Information on the committee can be found at www.trail.ca