A look at Cranbrook’s year ahead

This month's Cranbrook City Council column is from Mayor Wayne Stetski

In December I wrote about my first year as your Mayor.  It was a privilege and a pleasure to serve you due to the great people of Cranbrook who are passionate about, and committed to, this place we call Home.  I’d now like to take a brief look at some priorities for the year ahead.

We are currently in the middle of the process to finalize our 2013 budget and set the tax rates.  It’s been great to see the increased interest by the public in attending Council’s discussions and debates – the next two meetings are scheduled for Feb. 14 and Feb. 25 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.

There are a number of proposed capital expenditures being considered for 2013 including a new Fire Hall Training Ground across the tracks in Slaterville ($165,000), new washrooms in the public library ($175,000), sidewalk repairs and improvements ($100,000), storm sewer replacement ($350,000), road repairs ($1,943,929), sewer pipe repairs and replacements ($390,000), airport runway electrical and repaving ($255,000), deep water well rehabilitation ($125,000), purchase of an electrical or hybrid vehicle ($50,000), Zamboni replacement ($110,000), replacement of a road sweeper ($275,000) and a Hwy 3 Overpass/Feasibility study ($100,000).  These are just some of the items we are looking at but they do provide a good sampling of the many services that city staff provide to all of us.

It is expected there will be a surplus from our 2012 budget and Council are being asked to consider funding a number of important projects using the 2012 surplus.  A sample of these include:  providing high speed fibre optic to two downtown blocks ($100,000), providing wheelchair access to the RCMP building ($80,000), fixing up clock tower square (150,000), completing the Elizabeth Lake Welcome to Cranbrook project ($59,948), stabilizing the banks of Joseph Creek behind the Save On Foods mall ($50,000), CPR tracks road crossing replacement for 3rd St. NW ($91,000), purchase of an emergency portable electrical generator ($140,000), new roof for the Studio Stage Door ($15,000), and new garbage containers along Rotary Trail (waiting on a cost estimate).  Again, this is not a complete list but, as you can see, funding or not funding these new items does have an impact on the quality of life in our community

While the budget is currently taking a lot of Council’s time there are many other priorities including:

• completing the new sign bylaw

• implementing recommendations from the Chamber’s 2012 Barriers to Business report

• downtown revitalization encouraging mixed commercial and residential development in the downtown core

• updating Cranbrook’s Official Community Plan

• producing a report with recommendations through the new Hwy 3 Committee of Council that will include short and long term improvements to the Strip

• working with youth to ensure a Youth Friendly Cranbrook

• working with Habitat for Humanity to build a home in Cranbrook

• bringing service clubs and social agencies together around common projects and objectives

• working with the disabled community to hold an Awareness workshop to better understand their challenges and look for ways to build a better city

•  drafting a new Building Code bylaw

• working as the Kootenay Region representative on the BC Mayors Caucus Steering Committee to achieve long term funding for infrastructure with the Federal and Provincial governments.

As you can see the list is long and ambitious, and it will take all of us working together to be successful.  If there is anything here that excites your interests, or if there is anything major missing that you think Council and/or City Staff should be working on, please let me know.

All the best for 2013!

Mayor Wayne Stetski

Cranbrook

The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the City of Cranbrook.