It has been a few months since the civic elections and our council is settling in to the new term. I value the accumulation of talent, energy and wisdom represented around the table. We are committed to good decision making that will improve the quality of life in our community now and into the future.
Since my last report, we have had numerous community events including the Civic Centre Grand Reopening, the Masque Parade and the Canadian Masters Championship as well as a number of other activities around Golden. One of the privileges I have as mayor is to be invited to participate in many community functions and I get a firsthand look at all the effort that goes into making “stuff” happen. I cannot help but be amazed at the numerous people in our community that work tirelessly.
Regarding the Civic Centre, it has been a long time community dream to have our own performing arts and cultural center. After several years of planning and construction effort we now have a beautiful venue that marries the old and the new in a public space that symbolizes our history, our culture, and our community pride. A project of this magnitude requires money and could not be funded by local taxpayers alone. An astounding number of grants and donations have brought this community dream to fruition keeping the local taxpayer contribution to about seven per cent.
Last fall, MP David Wilks arranged for Mayor Raven of Revelstoke and me to travel to Toronto to appear before the Federal Standing Finance Committee where we requested a commitment from the government for significant upgrades to the Trans Canada Highway from Three Valley Gap to Golden. This section of the TransCanada Highway from the Alberta border to the west of Revelstoke was completed in 1962 with few upgrades over the last 50 years. Traffic has increased exponentially, with particular increases in the commercial heavy trade traffic. At present there are up to 6,000 vehicles/hr. With 55 per cent being commercial truck s travelling through this corridor on an old narrow two-lane highway. We know that road construction in this mountainous terrain will not be cheap or easy. However we also feel strongly that all Canadians deserve a safe and accessible four lane highway through western Canada.
If you ever wonder what council is up to there are a number of ways to find out. Council meetings and committee meetings are open to the public for observation. You can check out the town website to view meeting schedules, agenda items and the minutes of the meetings. A summary of council meeting decisions are reported on the back page of the newspaper as well as in regular radio reports on our local station. Coffee Klatches give anyone the opportunity to share their ideas or concerns in an informal setting. The next Coffee Klatch is scheduled for April 14 so watch for details on the time and location.