As 2021 comes to an end, there is renewed hope as we continue to move through the COVID-19 pandemic and return to our new normal.
This is a time of year to acknowledge our successes and those who have worked tirelessly to ensure the City of Trail continues to move forward, as well as highlight the areas of focus for 2022.
Once again, City of Trail employees continue to provide exceptional support and service to our entire community.
Your dedication to the safety of our city through the pandemic has been outstanding. On behalf of myself and all of council, I wish to extend my sincerest gratitude to all employees of the City of Trail for their commitment to the city during 2021.
Despite the many challenges that COVID-19 presented, city employees adapted and persevered, and continued to deliver the extensive portfolio of services that our citizens are accustomed to and rely on.
The pandemic accentuated social issues that are increasingly prevalent across the province and nation, including gaps in support for our most vulnerable citizens.
When this council was elected three years ago, I do not think any of us could have anticipated the strain that the opioid, mental health and housing crises as well as the onset of a pandemic would have placed on our community.
I wish to thank all our community members and partners who approach those who are most disadvantaged with a lens of compassion, patience, tolerance and understanding. Your collective efforts to help and manage these ongoing issues is appreciated.
For those who wrote letters to lobby higher levels of government agencies for enhanced support for our community, we thank you and encourage those efforts into 2022.
Progressive improvements to the city’s infrastructure remain a commitment of the city through the public works department.
Infrastructure is a core component of providing a safe, livable city for our residents to enjoy.
Major projects completed include:
*The Violin Lake and Cambridge Dam decommissioning project which restored these areas to their natural state and proactively mitigated risk of flooding. This project was completed in partnership with the Provincial Dam Safety Program, BC Fish and Wildlife, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, Local First Nations and two local forestry groups.
*The $1 million Green Avenue Infrastructure Project replaced not only the road but the buried infrastructure. This project became necessary after a major failure of a watermain. We thank the residents of West Trail for their patience as this project was completed. We are very happy that full access to West Trail via Green Avenue is once again restored.
*To support families in our community and improve use of our green spaces, multiple park and playground improvements occurred including the Haley Park ball diamond infield improvements and swing set replacements at the B Street, Upper Sunningdale, Pople and Austad Lane parks.
*Areas of focus moving into 2022 for the Public Works Department include the $1.59 million Butler Park Stadium Lighting and Safety Netting Project and ongoing improvements to the city’s water and sewer systems which will focus on improving water system reliability by replacing critical water system components and performing trenchless sewer main repairs through many areas of the city.
*The Parks & Recreation department continues to be an area of great importance for our city. The administration team at Parks & Recreation led the complex process for COVID-19 response and recovery for the city. Ongoing evaluation and adjustments to services to align with public health order requirements has been an “all hands on deck” effort in managing the everchanging landscape of COVID-19.
Major projects and initiatives completed for this department include:
*A $600,000 roof replacement at the Trail Aquatic & Leisure Centre. Continued investment in the city’s recreational facilities with projects such as this is critical for asset preservation.
*The Butler Park Tennis/Pickleball Court Rebuild. Providing safe, outdoor recreation is a priority for the city and we are thrilled that this project has been completed for the enjoyment of the many, many pickleball and tennis players in our region.
*The Trail Memorial Centre Old Library Retrofit occurred with the assistance of $672,000 in grant funding received from the Federal/Provincial Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream. This multi-purpose space will allow the City and third parties to host indoor recreational activities, meetings, or other community gatherings and events.
*Looking forward, the Parks & Recreation department will continue to manage impacts of COVID-19 on recreation and the ultimate recovery of services, including support of all facility users, including individuals, organization, minor sport and adult sport. The City of Trail and Beaver Valley Parks, Recreation & Trails Service successfully negotiated a five-year agreement for recreation services, which provides residents of the Beaver Valley and the City of Trail unfettered access to recreation services across our communities. This city is proud to provide a comprehensive suite of recreation services for citizens across the Kootenay Boundary and we encourage you to come and recreate with us.
The Administration and the Airport departments cannot be overlooked when considering the full scope of services offered by the city.
*We are grateful for our partnership with Pacific Coastal Airlines and are happy to see passenger counts steadily increasing at the Trail Regional Airport. Having reliable air access is vital for economic recovery for our region as we work together to overcome the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Providing access and fuel for aircraft during forest fire season is of critical importance, as is MedEvac service for KBRH, our regional hospital.
*The recruitment of a new Chief Administrative Officer is underway and we look forward to welcoming a new member to our team. Until then, I wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to our staff who continue to step forward to fill the vacated roles. Your commitment to the city and its operations is a true testament to your character and singular devotion to ensuring the City remains successful and strong.
*The city-owned property at 898 Victoria Street was sold with plans for a Dairy Queen Grill and Chill restaurant to be built. We look forward to the positive benefits that this will provide for our community, including creation of employment opportunities.
As we transition into 2022, the focus of the Trail Regional Airport will be to foster the recovery of local air transportation and perform a full-scale emergency training exercise. Administration will continue to support the recruitment of new staff and update the Official Community Plan, which was temporarily put on hold due to the impacts of COVID-19 associated with the public consultation process.
We have much to look forward to in the future. Silver City Days is expected to return in May 2022, pending any change in public health order restrictions, and Trail and Rossland have been awarded the 2026 BC Winter Games.
As we return to a new normal with local health order restrictions being lifted, we all look forward to a higher level of community engagement with our fellow citizens.
Reconnection with our friends, family, colleagues and loved ones is long overdue and welcome.
We are a strong and resilient community.
Thank you for your part in making Trail the best it can be.
My New Year’s resolutions and wishes that I share with you are to:
*Shop local to support our local businesses. Their recovery is dependent on our collective commitment to rebuild our local economy;
*Say thank you to each other and to all frontline and healthcare workers;
*Stay safe by respecting and adhering to all the public health orders and recommendations; and
*Support each other through this challenging time. We are all in this together!
Best of the holiday season to everyone and in 2022.
Mayor, City of Trail