Opinion

Bridge referendum too important to reject

Rarely do citizens get a chance at direct input into a decision in their municipality. We elect officials to sort through the bylaws, look after day-to-day operations and in general take care of our city.

But in August, at advance polls on Aug. 13 and Aug. 20 as well as in the general voting day on Aug, 23, the citizens of Trail will have their say on the future look of the city.

Their votes will determine whether the City of Trail will take the next step forward in building a walking bridge over the Columbia River.

The Trail Times has been in the Silver City in one form or another for over a century and chronicled major moments, from the building of the Trail Memorial Centre in the ‘40s to the Trail and District Aquatic Center in the ‘90s just to name a couple.

And from reporting on those accomplishments and the impact on the community, it’s important that the paper of record in the Home of Champions speaks out on another major project – the construction of the walking bridge.

As a Trail business, which has spawned a livelihood for countless employees, taking this step forward in the future of our city is vital.

Anyone who has called Trail their home knows the benefits a new crossing would provide.

There’s, of course, the tangible assets.

It would provide another access to downtown businesses from East Trail and allow walking access to facilities like Butler Park and the aquatic centre.

It wouldn’t impact taxpayers if the city taps in to the Gas Tax Fund to help with the cost.

It would be cost efficient, when combined with the RDKB’s commitment to the new sewer line.

It would add another tourist caveat with a long suspension bridge allowing visitors to walk across the largest river in the Pacific Northwest.

It would provide an alternate crossing for emergencies.

It would add a perfect path for citizens and visitors to peruse the great accomplishments created by the Trail Outdoor Market and the Esplanade’s horticultural highlights.

It would replace the Old Bridge, which has served the city very well for over a century but engineers have deemed in precarious shape.

Those are the tangible benefits but again as a Trail business filled with employees who care for this city, a new river crossing will mean much more.

For our employees who have raised families in this city, it will be another opportunity for growth and advancement.

It will be a structure we can be proud of and share with our children and grandchildren.

It will bring another sense of pride to our city, when so many prefer to point to empty buildings.

It will be part of a revitalization of the downtown core that has been on going for the last couple of years.

It will be yet another reason for citizens to get out and enjoy all the beauty the city and surrounding geography has to offer.

It will encourage a healthy, active lifestyle to many of the most valuable citizens – our seniors

It will create something for the next generation to call its own.

There are always plenty of excuses not to vote – too busy, don’t care, no impact.

But not this time.

This time each and every voter in Trail has a vested interest in this referendum.

The people who signed the petition calling for the referendum asked for it and it’s up to the entire community to now step up and have their voices heard.

Over the last 119 years the Trail Times has tried to present community issues to the citizens of Trail in an unbiased and open manner.

However, this issue is too important to sit on the fence or remain unbiased.

This issue will impact each and every one of us in one way or the other.

So each citizen must realize it’s his or her duty to vote.

The Trail Times is not just a building or a newspaper. It’s a workplace filled with people who care about this city.

And as a group we believe the right step into the future of the Home of Champions is by supporting the referendum.

With that we say, “Yes” to the proposed pedestrian bridge.

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