What’s up around Cranbrook

Mayor gives an update on the state of affairs during the long hot days of summer.

Mayor Wayne Stetski

We’re heading into the middle of summer and I thought that you might be interested in getting an update on what’s happening …

Engineering/Roads

It is always challenging for staff and Council to decide on where our annual budget of $3,000,000 will be invested, as there are so many streets needing improvement. The focus this year is on:

• Continuing the work on 14th Ave., from 13th Street to 17th Street

• Completing the frontage road from Kootenay Granite to the new Denham Ford building along Hwy 3. These new buildings are great additions to our city!

• Building a retaining wall and improving the intersection at the corner of 11th Street South and Hurry Ave. in Slaterville

• Rebuilding the road surface on Kootenay Street from 18A Ave. North to Victoria Ave. (from Realm to Fas Gas)

We are also working on resolving some drainage issues at 11th Street South and Innes Ave., 7th St. NW and Cranbrook Street, and in the alley behind Baker Street and the Green Clinic.

Unfortunately that will use up the available dollars for this year.

Staff are working on a very exciting plan for 2nd Street South from Hwy 3 to 7th Ave. and then on to 14th Ave. commencing in 2014. This is the “Welcome to Cranbrook” entrance for people coming from the west. The conceptual design includes trees, sidewalks with pedestrian benches, an attractive median and round-a-bouts. Stay tuned as you will be asked for your input, particularly if your property abuts 2nd Street South.

Wastewater System

The reclaimed wastewater being used to irrigate the city’s spray irrigation lands is now being disinfected using ultra-violet rays.

Cattle grazing on spray irrigation lands are now being provided with fresh drinking water. While not required under any Federal or Provincial regulations the City initiated this as a good thing to do.

Building Bylaw

At the July 15 Council meeting, a new bylaw, two years in the making, received first and second reading. A final round of discussions is being held with developers and the Chamber to see if additional improvements can be identified prior to finalization. The current bylaw is 26 years old. Under the Local Government Act there is no requirement for the city to seek input from stakeholders – we do it because we believe it is the right way to do business.

Corporate Communications

We are working on revamping both the City and Western Financial Place websites and hope to target a public launch in September.

Six more citizens were recognized with Commemorative Banners which are now hanging along Hwy 3, bringing to 29 the number of individuals or groups from Cranbrook who have received national recognition and are celebrated along the Highway. We are blessed with an amazing number of talented citizens!

Human Resources

On May 27 Council approved a new five year labour agreement between the City and our amazing CUPE workers. This agreement covers from 2012 to 2017 and ensures that the daily services so highly valued by Cranbrook’s citizens will be provided uninterrupted.

In order to ensure effective and timely delivery of services the City has recruited 11 full-time positions including:

Deputy Director of Fire and Emergency Services, Construction Compliance Technologist, Municipal Engineer, Director of Finance, Financial Services Manager, Event and Marketing Manager, and a Corporate Energy Manager (shared 50:50 with BC Hydro).

Fire Services

In addition to providing fire and first response services to keep our citizens safe our Fire and Emergency Services Department:

• Completed the fountain/landscaping project at the Fire Hall with Public Works assistance. The community is invited to celebrate the project with a barbeque and tours of the Fire Hall on 2nd Street South on Friday, July 19, from 3 – 5 p.m.

• Held the annual Sam Steele Fishing Derby with 150 kids participating.

• Participated in the Relay for Life and held a Mother’s Day Car Wash raising $1370 for cancer research.

Leisure Services

• Dwight Yoakam has been booked for a September 19 concert and tickets are now on sale.

• Organized the Canada Day events, which concluded with a spectacular fireworks display thanks to Gord Felske’s fundraising and the generous donations from many businesses and individuals.

• The new tennis and pickle ball courts were completed at Mt. Baker School and are open for use. Try them out — they are exceptional!

• Planning is underway to complete the trail that will link Rotary Way to the North Star Rails to Trails. Once completed later this fall you will be able to cycle from downtown Cranbrook to downtown Kimberley, all on designated hard surface trails!

• The new Bike Skills park located next to the Skateboard Park is in use thanks largely to the efforts of dedicated volunteers. This is a great addition that encourages a healthy community.

Public Works

These are the staff that keep our city looking great on a day-to-day basis, and includes 15 summer students. In addition to mowing grass, hanging baskets, planting trees (e.g. Kinsmen Park) and dealing with infrastructure the crew have:

• Completed constructing a ramp to provide access to the RCMP building for those in wheelchairs (long overdue)

• Installed the Overhead Crosswalk Lights at Victoria and 4th Street North (near Save On Foods) which is a real improvement for pedestrian safety.

• Completed the information kiosk as part of the improvements to the Elizabeth Lake entrance to Cranbrook. Watch for an official opening to this greatly improved site in September.

These are just a few of the initiatives that have been completed or are underway so far this year and it’s only mid-July!

Feel free to drop by city hall for a chat, come to Coffee with the Mayor at A & W or drop by the city booth at the Farmer’s Market on August 10, attend the next Council meeting on August 12 or drop by Council Chambers on August 14 for the Brown Bag Lunch. Stay safe and enjoy the rest of summer 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.