Letter to the Editor: 2nd Street and more

Teh 2nd Street South and Moir Park projects can be confusing, as is often the case with creative initiatives

Thank you to Mr. Pratt for attending the public open house and for providing me with the opportunity to clarify what is being proposed for 2nd Street South and Moir Park.  These two projects can be confusing, as is often the case with creative initiatives.  I am also pleased that our Engineering staff have spoken with Mr. Pratt and have provided him with a copy of the Survey provided for public input.

Here are the facts.  Let’s start with 2nd St. South:

• This street is a focus for improvement as it is the main access into Cranbrook for people coming from the west, directing visitors to the campground, golf course and hospital.  It is currently in rough shape, both the road surface and the water and sewer mains located underneath the street —  a poor introduction to Cranbrook.

• The city currently has a total of $3,000,000 set aside in our 2014 budget for road improvements, the same as we had in 2012 and 2013.

• The Federal Government has set up grant opportunities.  We plan on applying for $7,000,000 from them, turning our $3,000,000 into a $10,000,000 road budget AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO CRANBROOK’S TAXPAYERS!

• The average cost per block of replacing pavement and infrastructure in Cranbrook is $650,000. The enhancements proposed for 2nd Street South include bike lanes, sidewalks, improvements for pedestrian safety, trees and other vegetation, storm water management improvements and round-a-bouts would increase average costs to $890,000 per block for Concept 1 and $860,000 for Concept 2.  Adding these elements increases the likelihood of getting the $7,000,000 grant from the Federal Government, and we get a street from Hwy 3 potentially to 14th Ave. that would be welcoming for both residents and visitors.

• The City uses consultants to do the detailed planning for all of our road improvements every year.  The additional costs for this project were the 3D video animation and holding the Open House to get public input.  We chose to go this route because we want the public’s views on these potential improvements to Cranbrook.

Moir Park

Moir Park has the potential to be a major attraction and improve the quality of life for all of our residents but particularly for those living on the north side of the railway tracks, thanks to the generosity of the Moir family who donated gravel rich land to the City of Cranbrook.

The money from the sale of the gravel goes into a fund that is dedicated to park improvements.  That means that the total estimated cost of $11,000,000 for the new park will be funded AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO CRANBROOK’S TAXPAYERS!

Phase 1 of the park development, proposed for 2014, is the Off Leash Dog Park with a cost estimate of $813,050.  The balance of the park development will take place over the next 9 years as revenue continues to accumulate from the sale of gravel. We owe a great deal of thanks to the Moir family!

Elizabeth Lake Welcome

to Cranbrook Sign

I guess the old saying that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” really is true.  We have received a number of compliments on the sign and the improvements to the Visitor Centre area.  Most recently the October/November issue of Pacific Coastal’s In-flight Magazine SOAR includes an article titled BEAUTIFUL CRANBROOK.  The article’s first sentence is “Those entering the City of Cranbrook via Hwy 3 now enjoy a beautifully upgraded place to stop, get information and enjoy the natural setting, thanks to the Elizabeth Lake beautification project … The most visually prominent component is the new “Welcome to Cranbrook” sculpture and sign :

The purpose of the Open House the City held on November 6, 2013 was to get public feedback on 2nd Street South and Moir Park.  We received 18 written Surveys. The consultant is compiling the results to provide direction to City staff and Council I want to join with Mr. Pratt in “urging every taxpayer to go to the City of Cranbrook website, Engineering Department and look at the 3D animations”, or to contact me at City Hall. I’d love to chat with you about these creative projects which build a better future for our City at no additional costs to our taxpayers.

Mayor Wayne Stetski/Cranbrook