Looking back at 2017 and ahead to 2018, this is the final story in a three-part series with Trail Mayor Mike Martin as council enters the final 10 months in its four-year term.
A learning curve is expected with any first time experience as in this case, taking the reins on a new or expanded municipal service.
Silver City Days, upping the Trail airport profile, taking on the “VIC,” or Visitor Information Centre, and Trail museum in addition to overseeing the city’s first new facility in 20 years, keeping tabs on the $625,000 skate park build, and finally, potentially running the RV Park – all new duties Trail council has embraced.
And, all within four years.
With such a full plate and the countdown on for October’s civic election, the Trail Times asked Mayor Mike Martin how the city is handling and will continue managing so many newfound responsibilities.
In a nutshell, what’s the plan?
“The introduction of new or expanded services and facilities always carries with it the aspect of providing the necessary personnel and financial resources that are required to undertake the ongoing operation,” the mayor began.
“Council and staff have carefully considered the implications of the new Airport Terminal Building as well as the Riverfront Centre as part of looking at the need for a revised operating model and associated budget.”
The airport operational plan is already well in place, he said.
“With the addition of one permanent employee which has, in part, been offset by other operational efficiencies and increased non-property tax revenue.”
Operationally, the Trail Riverfront Centre (TRC) will come under the jurisdiction of the Parks and Recreation Department. “Who will have overall responsibility for providing maintenance and operating management in support of the services that will be provided out of the facility,” Martin clarified.
“Council continues to seek input from the library board as they finalize their planning. The library will have the majority of staff on site and, as such, will be key to providing a seamless experience for visitors to not only the library but also to work cooperatively in the provision of the other services that will be provided.”
He says council will be taking a cautious approach to any expanded offerings within the TRC, meaning, any new programs must be well developed and viable within a manageable budget.
Martin added, “As well as recognizing that there will be a period of learning for all parties as we advance services through the new facility.”
The integrated museum and visitor centre requirements will come under the direction of the Museum and Archives Manager. The city announced the creation of this new position last summer, which will include support of a part time position.
“All plans will be finalized as part of the budgeting process moving forward in early 2018,” Martin said. “We are comfortable with the steps taken to date to manage the new requirements but remain very cognizant of the potential impact on other service areas in terms of responsiveness. Council will continue to monitor service levels as we advance these operational plans.”
With regard to other initiatives, Martin says the Silver City Days organizing committee has plans well in hand for the third year.
Some major adjustments, associated with midway and food vendor layout, have already been confirmed for the five-day annual event.
“Due to the sale of part of the Esplanade lands to Boaz Enterprises for the purpose of redeveloping the old Crown Point Hotel and creating another exciting development in the downtown area,” Martin advised.
“The city has now closed the portion of Spokane Street to facilitate the development and the revised plan for the midway and vendors take this into consideration as part of utilizing the remaining Esplanade area and extending into Helena Street crossing both Bay and Cedar avenues.”
Regarding the municipal RV Park, Martin says council has not arrived at a decision just yet.
“The city had contemplated assuming control of the RV Park,” he said. “But council, during the consideration of a report in December, has asked for a proposal from the Chamber of Commerce related to the management of the city’s RV Park in 2018 and will consider this at their first council meeting of 2018,” he concluded.
“Council believes there may be an opportunity to provide the services directly but would like to weigh this against a proposal from the chamber before making a final decision on how best to proceed.”