At the final council meeting for 2019, Trail Mayor Lisa Pasin decided she would re-visit a past custom of Silver City leaders by looking back at municipal happenings over the past 12 months.
Last year at this time, Pasin had only been in the head seat on Trail council since early November. She had won the Oct. 2018 civic election, making history as the city’s first woman mayor.
“As we are circling the end of the fiscal year for the City of Trail and the end of the first year, just passed, of us being named to elected officials, I thought I would bring forward the old tradition of providing a year-end mayoral address,” she began Dec. 9. “So everyone put on your seat belts, here we go.”
(On Jan. 2, the Trail Times will publish Part 2 of Pasin’s address, which looks at the year ahead).
2019 Year End Mayoral Address
As the 2019 fiscal year comes to a close, it provides the opportunity to reflect on the work that has been completed over this past year and to highlight the priority projects for 2020. I would like to thank council and staff for their dedication and hard work throughout 2019, as we collectively strive to make the City of Trail the best community to live, work and raise a family. At this time, I would like to take a few minutes to recap the successes of 2019 … For ease of reference, I have divided the organization’s work into three sections: Administration and Finance; Public Safety and Community Support; and Infrastructure and Amenities.
Administration and Finance:
– Council engaged in a Strategic Planning Workshop in January 2019, which allowed council and senior staff to identify priorities and develop a set of strategic objectives which would guide the work plan over the next four years. Having this strategic planning session so early in the term was a valuable experience for all and provided all with a strong sense of direction under which to operate going forward through our four year term together.
– The city’s Annual Report, which provides comprehensive reporting to the public across all aspects of operations, was completed by city staff. The city has received the “Canadian Award for Financial Reporting” for the third year in a row now as a result of the Annual Report submission, which speaks to the quality of publication that is put forward. I congratulate staff on their work on the Annual Reports and encourage members of the public to access the reports on the city’s website.
– A framework to support the legalization of cannabis was also completed, which was in response to the federal regulatory change to legalize cannabis, which was followed by a regulatory framework developed by the province.
– A Revitalization Tax Exemption Program was implemented in order to encourage private sector investment in commercial building projects and support economic development in the City of Trail. This initiative speaks to the city’s commitment to economic development in our region as well as economic diversification.
Public Safety and Community Support:
The City has taken a proactive approach to public safety and community support through implementation of the following measures.
– A Community Safety Task Force was created with the support of council and a public open house was completed to open dialogue on the changing face of crime that is affecting our community. The opioid crisis, poverty, mental health and substance abuse issues, to name a few, are contributing factors to the societal changes that most municipalities are currently experiencing. Crime is a complex problem and with that, innovative strategies and collaboration are required to find a path through the web of issues that are affecting not only our municipality, but many others across our province and our country.
– Enhancing communication and support of the RCMP was prioritized, and with that Citizens on Patrol and funding for a RCMP Bike Patrol program were secured. Community engagement is seen as paramount as we fight crime and Citizens on Patrol (COP) is one avenue whereby community members can engage and become the eyes and ears on the street as we collectively work to identify potential sources of crime in our community. We thank all those that have joined the COP program so far and encourage interested community members to come forward and volunteer for the program.
– As our population is living longer, enhanced support for our senior citizens was identified as a priority. As such, the Senior Citizens Advisory Committee was created as a venue to discuss and identify priority projects and initiatives that would enhance the livability of our community for senior citizens. This committee, along with the City of Trail’s Age Friendly Action Plan, will be important aspects to keep the momentum going forward as we strive to improve upon the age-friendliness of our community.
Infrastructure and Amenities:
Several capital improvement projects were completed this year and the highlights include:
– The $1.38 million Iris Crescent rebuild which included water, sewer, and roadway restoration as well as an additional $300,000 on paving projects across our city which were designated to repair the highest priority areas.
– Demolition of the Union Hotel property and readying the property for investment through site remediation.
– The construction and completion of the Trail Sk8 Park itself and the landscaping surrounding the park.
– Multiple improvement projects across the Trail Memorial Centre and the Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre occurred, which ensures these facilities remain not only fully operational, but also meet the ever advancing government requirements for operational safety. Investment in our recreational facilities, which provide fundamental benefit to all our surrounding communities, remains a priority for our city. Investments ensure the sustainability of our facilities to support child, youth and adult recreation programming as well as provision of the Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey Club game schedule, which adds vibrancy to the memorial center and to our city. Some examples of improvements include $1.3 million on the memorial center roofing project, a new ice re-surfacer, a $550,000 refrigeration system, and the new chlorine system for the Aquatic Center.