Community Comment: City has plenty in store for 2016

"We’d like to take this opportunity to update you on some of the exciting projects and events that are happening throughout the year."

Welcome to Trail City Council’s first Community Comment of 2016. We’d like to take this opportunity to update you on some of the exciting projects and events that are happening throughout the year.

We are happy to report the Pipeline/Pedestrian project is on track for the scheduled completion date and budget. Members of City Council and staff meet regularly with our Project Manager from TRUE Consulting and our contractors to ensure the project is progressing smoothly. All piling work is now complete and soil anchoring has begun on the east side of the river.

We’d like to thank all residents, especially those who live near the construction zone, for their continued patience; we understand this phase of construction can be noisy at times and can even cause ground vibration. We’re also one step closer to naming the bridge as a committee has been selected to choose the top 10 name submissions. Council will soon decide how to choose the winning name.

We are pleased to announce that Power Tech Electrical Ltd. has been awarded the Victoria Street Bridge Lighting Project contract. Not only was Power Tech the lowest bidder, we are thrilled their bid fit within the project’s budget. Through meetings with the Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure and EMCON, we have secured a work plan and remain hopeful that we will be lighting up the bridge at the 2016 Silver City Days celebration.

We received 21 proposals for the Library/Museum (Riverfront Centre) architect contract (exterior and interior design). The Project Manager from MMM Group and the building committee are reviewing these proposals and will bring their preferred option to Council for approval. We are committed to providing a modern library and museum that can serve the needs of our community for years to come.

Trail Silver City Days, a Homecoming Celebration, is scheduled for May 4 to 8 and we are very excited to announce that the committee is bringing back the Saturday Sidewalk Café. From Noon – 5pm, enjoy an entrée while watching local entertainers and the famous Grape Stomp competition.

During the festival, you can enjoy your favourite activities such as the parade, the Spaghetatta, street food and Family Day while also taking part in some of our new events. Shooting Star Amusements (midway), the Kids Zone, the Westcoast Lumberjack Show, the Esplanade Market and the 3×3 hockey tournament will all be making their debut. The Trail Pipe Band’s Spring Fling, the Citizen of the Year Award, the Home of Champions induction ceremony and the crowning of our new Ambassadors will also take place during the multi-day event. Please visit www.silvercitydays.com or join our Facebook page at “Trail Silver City Days” for all the information. We welcome everyone from near and far to join our Homecoming Celebration.

Council has started the budget reviews for 2016. The provisional operating budget was prepared using a guideline to limit the overall property tax levy increase to less than 2.5 per cent. Council has now completed the reviews of most spending areas and will soon be reviewing revenues and capital or reserve funding requirements. Council will review the capital budget in February as part of finalizing the approved projects for 2016, which will be based on available funding.

The City’s current commitments to major projects will restrict capital funding available for other projects, so some tough choices will be made. Once these elements are complete, Council will then consider City property tax rates and how to allocate revenue requirements across the various rate classes.

There has been an overall decline in residential assessments; however, business assessments have stayed constant or increased slightly. This will be considered when the final tax rates are established so there is no imbalance created between residential and business municipal taxation.

Council remains committed to ensuring that the City’s business property tax rates are competitive and are viewed positively by investors or businesses looking to make improvements.

We recently introduced a new online billing payment system that allows users to sign up for online billing and pay utility bills and property taxes online. If anyone would like help with this process, we have created How-to-Videos and have set up free How-to Classes with the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL). The next class is Feb. 15 at City Hall. Call CBAL at 250-368-6770 for more information.

If you you’d like to ask Council a question, provide a comment or get more information on a project or initiative, please visit our website at www.trail.ca or call us at City Hall at 250-364-1262.

Submitted by Mayor Mike Martin and Trail City Council

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.

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