Mayor responds to reader’s concerns

Trail Mayor Mike Martin replies to a recent letter to the editor from a concerned citizen.

This letter is in response to “Council short-sighted on community garden” that appeared in the Trail Times on February 25th, 2015.  Council is concerned that the letter does not comprehensively represent the issue and the decision of Trail City Council. It was felt important that the community better understands Council’s decision associated with the proposed community garden and the City’s current position.

Council is most supportive of working with incrEDIBLE Trail and Communities in Bloom in the development of a community garden. In this regard, Council did consider the request to see a community garden developed on a City owned lot in the Gulch located on Rossland Avenue across from the Colombo Lodge.

It is estimated there would be some $15,000 in site preparation costs over and above the utilization of the property for this purpose. While there was some concern regarding the costs of development as Council works to finalize the 2015 Budget and minimize overall cost increases, this was not the overriding factor. Council felt the proposed location is less than ideal and asked the group to consider other locations before proceeding.

Besides the site preparation, its location on a busy highway with associated noise and other safety concerns may not make it the preferred location for the social benefits being promoted. Council felt it was important for the committee to consider developing the necessary specific criteria that could be used to assist in selecting and comprehensively evaluating all potential locations before making a final recommendation. A community garden can have significant positive impact on the community and it is important to ensure that all the investment and hard work of the volunteers is directed towards a location which will provide the expected benefit to the entire community.

Council looks forward to working with incrEDIBLE Trail and Communities in Bloom to find an appropriate location or locations for this initiative and fully appreciates the benefits this will provide.  It is therefore important that individuals approach the matter based on a cooperative approach where the needs of the volunteers, residents and City are considered now and as part of developing a long-term and sustainable solution.

As an author once said, it can be amazing how you can get so far from where you planned and yet find it is exactly where you wanted to be.  In this respect it is hoped that discussions will result in the positive outcome that everyone wants to see achieved.

Mike Martin

Mayor City of Trail