Looking back at 2017 and ahead to 2018, this is the second of a three-part series with Trail Mayor Mike Martin as council enters the final 10 months in its four-year term. (Sheri Regnier photo)

Looking back at 2017 and ahead to 2018, this is the second of a three-part series with Trail Mayor Mike Martin as council enters the final 10 months in its four-year term. (Sheri Regnier photo)

What’s the buzz around Trail?

The Times talked with Trail Mayor Mike Martin about what’s coming up in 2018

Looking back at 2017 and ahead to 2018, this is the second of a three-part series with Trail Mayor Mike Martin as council enters the final 10 months in its four-year term.

(Part One of Mayor Martin’s interview here: Big changes)

What’s the buzz going to be around Trail this year?

First up, will be the start of a new chapter in Silver City culture.

That being the launch of the “TRC” or Trail Riverfront Centre – the much talked about $8.2-million integrated library/museum/visitor centre – in March.

“The opening of the Trail Riverfront Centre will be the culmination of many years of work,” Mayor Martin began. “It will be a one-of -a-kind facility that will be a significant anchor for the downtown, and is another major building block in the city’s revitalization efforts.”

The Helena Street structure is almost complete and will soon be turned over to the city.

About two months of work remain on interior finishes such as installation of furnishings, exhibit displays, IT and security equipment. Besides finishing touches, there’s still the library’s actual cross-town move into the new site and subsequent staff training.

“There will be an interruption of library services for a period of time during this transition,” said Martin. “As the city looks forward to providing a seamless and integrated approach for library, museum, archives, and visitor information services.”

Once the TRC begins operation, council will roll into another long awaited venture – groundbreaking for the Trail All Wheel Park.

Martin says construction is slated to begin within the first six months of 2018 and completion is scheduled for early fall.

“The city is looking forward to working with New Line Skateparks Inc., who bring with them considerable experience in both design and construction,” he explained.

“The park will utilize the considerable public input that was previously received, and once again Trail’s park will be second to none as far as utilizing the most current design features that will further compliment the other amenities at Gyro Park.” He added, “The public will be fully apprised as the project proceeds.”

Another project with great impact will be the first phase of upgrades at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH). While the job is governed regionally with the district board as overseer, respective work is very significant for the Trail community.

Former Health Minister Terry Lake made a stopover at KBRH in April 2017 to announce the province’s $9.4 million infusion toward a new emergency department. The balance of the $17-million project will be funded by West Kootenay-Boundary taxpayers and with a $1 million contribution from the hospital health foundation.

“IHA (Interior Health Authority) and the West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District (WKBRHD) board secured a commitment from the provincial government to undertake the first phase of the critical upgrades to the Emergency, Ambulatory Care and Pharmacy areas of Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital,” Martin clarified.

“With the necessary funding now in place, as well as a consideration by the hospital foundation to make a significant financial contribution, the planning for the Emergency Upgrade is well advanced and we are hopeful that there will be an announcement on the awarding of the construction contract early in 2018,” he said.

“We fully expect that through the 2018 budgeting process undertaken by IHA and the province, that the advancement of the upgrades to the Ambulatory Care and Pharmacy areas will be announced. The WKBRHD has provided its unanimous support and the Sustainability Project remains a priority for IHA.”

These 2018 projects bring to a conclusion a number of strategic initiatives Trail council identified and re-visited during the first half of its four-year term.

“The strategic objective setting approach has really helped council and staff focus their efforts over the last three years on achieving an articulated vision,” Martin said.

“With the completion of the above two projects, as well as the upgrades to KBRH, there have been many public and private advancements and development that have resulted in positive changes made to the city itself,” he concluded.

“And will result in a lasting impact for not only the City of Trail but also the region.”

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