The second quarter of our term remains very busy and productive as we, the mayor, council and staff, continue to work for our citizens.
After numerous and lengthy committee meetings, Council has now reviewed and conditionally approved the City’s Operating and Capital budgets for 2015. The 2015 Municipal Property Tax Levy is estimated to be $11.976 million, up from $11.561 million in 2014, representing an increase of $415,000 or 3.59 per cent. It is noted that almost 50 per cent of this increase will be directed towards the capital budget.
For 2015, Council increased total capital funding from general revenues to $1.926 million from $1.735 million with the additional recognition that the City’s capital funding allocation needed to be enhanced as a part of addressing the City’s immediate and long term needs.
In addition to Budget deliberations, all members of Council and senior staff participated in strategic planning session with an external facilitator on March 19 and 20. Key strategic priorities were established and work plans and timelines were developed to allocate the City’s scarce resources in response to the priorities identified.
Some of these priorities include: finalization of regional recreation agreements; working towards the completion of the boundary extension project; setting out a process to deal with the design and construction of the Library/Museum project; developing a strategy associated with the Esplanade properties and the ongoing implementation of the Downtown Plan; setting out a process to deal with making a final funding determination with respect to the All Wheel Park; and, setting a process for reviewing future capital spending at the Trail Regional Airport.
Council’s discussions over the two days were very positive and the group established the strategic vision that Council will continue to review and modify over their term.
As indicated above, Council identified the Trail Regional Airport as a strategic priority and good progress is being made towards development of a plan that deals with future airport improvements. We are seeking to create a functional and modern design for a new terminal building that considers both current and future uses as well as balancing a cost formula that respects our taxpayers and the needs of the travelling public.
In the meantime our focus remains on the support of the new run to Kelowna and the utilization of this much-needed service. Business and community groups have met in both Trail and Kelowna to identify potential barriers to use of the route.
In order for this valuable and convenient service to remain in place, we, as a region, need to use the service to ensure continued commitment from Pacific Coastal Airlines to improve transportation in the Kootenay Boundary and beyond.
The Victoria Street Bridge Lighting Project, which forms part of the Downtown Revitalization Plan, is progressing well with the engineering design and permit application processes well advanced. In support of the project, the Buy-a-Light Fundraising Campaign, headed by the Downtown Opportunities and Action Committee (DOAC), has achieved some strong community support with 56 of the 96 available lights sold to date.
The DOAC has raised $163,700 of their $190,000 goal. The programmable coloured LED architectural lights will provide the opportunity to highlight community special events as well as providing a welcoming gateway to the city, which will complement the lighting on the Pipeline/Pedestrian Bridge.
Markets will be held Fridays from 10am-2pm on June 5 and 19, July 3 and 31, August 14 and 28, September 11 and 25, and October 9.
Due to popular demand, two special edition evening markets will be held this year on Wednesday July 15 and August 19 from 4pm-8pm. Spooktacular will occur Saturday, October 31 from 10 a.m. -3 p.m., which end the outdoor market season.
Silver City Days will occur the weekend of May 8 and the Trail Festival Society is working hard to bring about another great event. Please mark your calendar and more information will be coming your way soon.
IncrEDIBLE Trail hosted a successful Seedy Saturday event. We look forward to their sustainable community garden planters in the Gulch, which will not only provide a food source for the Salvation Army and Kate’s Kitchen, but will also further beautify our City.
Mayor and council remain committed to work for you, our citizens and business owners, as we move forward with a full agenda. We welcome your comments.
Community Comment is an opportunity for elected officials from our local municipalities to update citizens in the region on the events, plans and progress in their respective communities. Every Friday, the Trail Times will present, on a rotating basis, a submission from councils, school trustees or regional district directors.