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West Kootenay honoured for transit leadership

The City of Trail cleaned up at the recent Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Victoria, winning two major awards out of eight.

The City of Trail cleaned up at the recent Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Victoria, winning two major awards out of eight.

For the second year in a row Trail won the tough Community Excellence Award in best practices, general, beating out 15 other communities much larger than the Silver City.

The city was recognized for its work setting up the Downtown Opportunities and Action Committee in 2011, and coming up with a workable Trail Downtown Plan released last spring.

It was the first time in the history of the UBCM awards that a municipality has been honoured two years in a row with the award. And Trail was victorious in a very difficult category to win, said Joslyn Young, executive coordinator of the UBCM awards.

“Local government always hear what they do wrong, so it’s nice to hear sometimes what they did right,” she observed.

Last year Trail won the same award for the public process they used for shutting down and the continued shut down of the Old Trail Bridge and how they handled that from a public perspective.

“It was a real pleasure to go up and receive this award on behalf of the DOAC,” said Mayor Dieter Bogs, noting that now councillor Kevin Jolly was the instrumental chair of the DOAC at the time.

He also lauded the efforts of city staff members Michelle MacIsaac and Dave Perehudoff for their part in the DOAC.

The city also shared in the wealth on the UBCM Community Excellence Award in the partnerships category, with their work on regional transit with Castlegar, Nelson and the regional districts of Kootenay Boundary and Central Kootenay.

“Nelson did the majority of the work in setting up the transportation corridor to get students to Selkirk College and to the hospital (in Trail),” Bogs noted.

The Partnerships category recognizes two or more partners who have collaborated on a joint venture or initiative with outstanding results. The ability to break down barriers and identify and promote common goals is the measurement used in the category.

“When an initiative meets the needs and aspirations of the partners as well as the broader public, the benefits from cooperation set a benchmark for all communities,” read a UBCM release on the award.

BC Transit had approached community leaders with nine separate operating agreements and encouraged them to strike their own regional transit committee.

On June 6 the West Kootenay Transit Committee held its first meeting. The committee, consisting of three area directors from each of the two regional districts along with a council representative from the City of Nelson are now tasked with working together to best manage resources and funding.

“The high level of communication and cooperation demonstrated by the West Kootenay Transit Committee is exactly what the BC Transit Independent Review Panel recommended last August,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Mary Polak in the release.