Photo: Sheri Regnier

Trail Mayor Lisa Pasin reflects on the past 12 months

PHOTOS: Year end images scroll to bottom of story

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.

Lisa Pasin

Mayor, City of Trail

2021 Year in ReviewBC municipal electionCity of Trailinfrastructure

 

A major wind storm swept through Trail the evening of Jan. 12, and into the following morning, bringing down several trees and causing extensive damage. Environment Canada issued a special weather statement that first night warning about gusts of 50 to 70 kilometres as a low pressure system moved through B.C. and Alberta. The City of Trail issued a notice to the public to stay away from Gyro Park as emergency crews were on scene to respond to the situation. More than 2,400 West Kootenay residences were without power the morning of Jan. 13. The windstorm brought down 14 trees on city-owned land, with three of them causing damage. One tree knocked down a cement light pole and crushed the equipment shed at Butler Park. The storm wreaked havoc in many Trail neighbourhoods, such as in Glenmerry where a tree in Queen Elizabeth Park fell into the backyard of a Dahlia Crescent home damaging a hot tub and a pergola. Also in East Trail, a tree in Gyro Park was downed, resulting in a power outage at a residence on Columbia Avenue. Fences were also damaged in both these instances.

A major wind storm swept through Trail the evening of Jan. 12, and into the following morning, bringing down several trees and causing extensive damage. Environment Canada issued a special weather statement that first night warning about gusts of 50 to 70 kilometres as a low pressure system moved through B.C. and Alberta. The City of Trail issued a notice to the public to stay away from Gyro Park as emergency crews were on scene to respond to the situation. More than 2,400 West Kootenay residences were without power the morning of Jan. 13. The windstorm brought down 14 trees on city-owned land, with three of them causing damage. One tree knocked down a cement light pole and crushed the equipment shed at Butler Park. The storm wreaked havoc in many Trail neighbourhoods, such as in Glenmerry where a tree in Queen Elizabeth Park fell into the backyard of a Dahlia Crescent home damaging a hot tub and a pergola. Also in East Trail, a tree in Gyro Park was downed, resulting in a power outage at a residence on Columbia Avenue. Fences were also damaged in both these instances.

On the 60th anniversary of the ‘61 Trail Smoke Eaters world championship victory (Mar. 12, 1961), the City of Trail announced that March would be Trail Smoke Eaters Month.

On the 60th anniversary of the ‘61 Trail Smoke Eaters world championship victory (Mar. 12, 1961), the City of Trail announced that March would be Trail Smoke Eaters Month.

On April 14, the Trail Cenotaph was a solemn yet appropriate location to commemorate the more than 7,000 people who have died in B.C. since the overdose crisis began five years ago. April 14, 2021, marked B.C.’s fifth anniversary of declaring the overdose crisis a public health emergency as women from Moms Stop the Harm network and members of the Rural Empowered Drug Users Network (REDUN) met at the Cenotaph in Trail, and later, outside of the Rossland city council chambers, to raise awareness and support the effort to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency.

On April 14, the Trail Cenotaph was a solemn yet appropriate location to commemorate the more than 7,000 people who have died in B.C. since the overdose crisis began five years ago. April 14, 2021, marked B.C.’s fifth anniversary of declaring the overdose crisis a public health emergency as women from Moms Stop the Harm network and members of the Rural Empowered Drug Users Network (REDUN) met at the Cenotaph in Trail, and later, outside of the Rossland city council chambers, to raise awareness and support the effort to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency.

After COVID cancelled the 2020 Trail Ambassador Programme, the 2021 pageant livestreamed from the Bailey Theatre the evening of Friday, May 7. The newly crowned Miss Trail Jasmine Smith (right) and Miss Trail Princess Gracie Bobbitt helped out at the first incrEDIBLE farmers market of the season on the Trail riverfront the following day, Saturday, May 8, as did the 2021 ambassador candidates. Smith represents Knights of Pythias, and Bobbitt, represents the Trail Legion.

After COVID cancelled the 2020 Trail Ambassador Programme, the 2021 pageant livestreamed from the Bailey Theatre the evening of Friday, May 7. The newly crowned Miss Trail Jasmine Smith (right) and Miss Trail Princess Gracie Bobbitt helped out at the first incrEDIBLE farmers market of the season on the Trail riverfront the following day, Saturday, May 8, as did the 2021 ambassador candidates. Smith represents Knights of Pythias, and Bobbitt, represents the Trail Legion.

The city took advantage of the lack of services due to COVID and renovated parts of the Trail Memorial Centre (TMC). The old public library was gutted, creating a clean and expansive multi-purpose space. Windows were installed inside the Cominco Arena, and staff unveiled the covered up windows hidden behind the walls of the Red Floor and McIntyre Rooms, giving users a whole new perspective of the Kids Rink below. “Looking at those photos, ever since I got here in 2010, the Kids’ Rink, I knew it used to have windows,” the city’s Robert Baker said. “So with COVID, staff was quieter and I was like hey, ‘Why don’t we rip this plywood off and see what’s there?’ So we ripped it off and there was the glass.” The renovated space and unveiled windows reveals an extensive view of the ice below, with some nice touches like the Kids’ Rink dedication plaque and framed archived photos of the rink, in which the original windows and other doorways can be plainly seen. “At the end of COVID we’ll have a whole new space … for the community and one they’ve never had before,” Baker said. Restoration inspiration came from the 70th Anniversary of the TMC in 2019, when the front foyer received a makeover along with a new logo and historic photos from the Trail Museum.

The city took advantage of the lack of services due to COVID and renovated parts of the Trail Memorial Centre (TMC). The old public library was gutted, creating a clean and expansive multi-purpose space. Windows were installed inside the Cominco Arena, and staff unveiled the covered up windows hidden behind the walls of the Red Floor and McIntyre Rooms, giving users a whole new perspective of the Kids Rink below. “Looking at those photos, ever since I got here in 2010, the Kids’ Rink, I knew it used to have windows,” the city’s Robert Baker said. “So with COVID, staff was quieter and I was like hey, ‘Why don’t we rip this plywood off and see what’s there?’ So we ripped it off and there was the glass.” The renovated space and unveiled windows reveals an extensive view of the ice below, with some nice touches like the Kids’ Rink dedication plaque and framed archived photos of the rink, in which the original windows and other doorways can be plainly seen. “At the end of COVID we’ll have a whole new space … for the community and one they’ve never had before,” Baker said. Restoration inspiration came from the 70th Anniversary of the TMC in 2019, when the front foyer received a makeover along with a new logo and historic photos from the Trail Museum.

Student nurse Kendra Waterstreet vaccinated Trail residents over the summer.

Student nurse Kendra Waterstreet vaccinated Trail residents over the summer.

Smoke and a lack of rain characterized mid-to-late-summer in Trail and across the province. Smoke was so thick in the Silver City in early August that operations were affected at Teck Trail when the company temporarily shut down its oxygen plant. As well, due to extreme drought, the City of Trail cut its outdoor water usage at most parks by 50 per cent and asked property owners to voluntarily do the same.

Smoke and a lack of rain characterized mid-to-late-summer in Trail and across the province. Smoke was so thick in the Silver City in early August that operations were affected at Teck Trail when the company temporarily shut down its oxygen plant. As well, due to extreme drought, the City of Trail cut its outdoor water usage at most parks by 50 per cent and asked property owners to voluntarily do the same.

The Trail Masonic Temple went back to blue in September. The Masonic Temple has stood proud at that downtown locale for 84 years and counting. The last several decades, however, the structure has been wrapped in a quiet shade of beige so all its ornate details and visual appeal has obscurely faded into the background.Why the bold change of colour in 2021? Turns out, restoring the classical architecture to the symbolic Masonic colour — blue — recognizes the quasquicentennial year of Freemasonry in Trail-Rossland as it still goes strong in the city today.

The Trail Masonic Temple went back to blue in September. The Masonic Temple has stood proud at that downtown locale for 84 years and counting. The last several decades, however, the structure has been wrapped in a quiet shade of beige so all its ornate details and visual appeal has obscurely faded into the background.Why the bold change of colour in 2021? Turns out, restoring the classical architecture to the symbolic Masonic colour — blue — recognizes the quasquicentennial year of Freemasonry in Trail-Rossland as it still goes strong in the city today.

A golfer tees off under sun-drenched blue skies at the scenic third hole overlooking the Columbia River at Birchbank Golf Club, mid-October. Area golfers were fortunate to have one of the longest seasons in the Kootenays at Birchbank, with players teeing off until the end of October.

A golfer tees off under sun-drenched blue skies at the scenic third hole overlooking the Columbia River at Birchbank Golf Club, mid-October. Area golfers were fortunate to have one of the longest seasons in the Kootenays at Birchbank, with players teeing off until the end of October.

Director Robert Barrett released the documentary, Trophy Town, based on the World Champion ‘39 and ‘61 Trail Smoke Eaters in November. The film was very well received, and well attended when it premiered at the Royal Theatre in Trail the second week of November. Photo: Submitted

Director Robert Barrett released the documentary, Trophy Town, based on the World Champion ‘39 and ‘61 Trail Smoke Eaters in November. The film was very well received, and well attended when it premiered at the Royal Theatre in Trail the second week of November. Photo: Submitted

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