As 2014 drew to a close, The Golden Star sat down with Chief Administrative Officer with the Town of Golden, Jon Wilsgard, to take a look back on a year’s worth of news for the municipality.
“This year looked like it was pretty quiet, although it felt like we were really busy,” said Wilsgard.
Town staff were working hard behind the scenes with projects like asset management and facility assessments (as well as taking on a new facility with the Mount 7 Rec Plex), preparing for granting applications (the New Canada Build Fund), and accommodating the exponential growth in development this year.
There was a lot of construction in town this year with 10 new homes, renovations at businesses like Ford, the Columbia Valley Credit Union, McDonalds, and moving businesses like Kicking Horse Interiors, Jita’s Cafe and Higher Ground.
You might have also noticed some of the other little projects that have popped up over town, including a new sign at the Golden and District Arena, the pathway extension from Highway 1 into town, the dike repairs made near Golden Transfer.
One of the biggest projects from 2014 will be arriving in Golden in the new year. Golden Fire Rescue will be accepting their new road rescue fire truck, which was custom designed for the department.
However, some of the larger projects from 2014 are not as visible. A one-year agreement was reached to take Economic Opportunities Fund dollars and put them towards the operations for the swimming pool in 2015. It was a big step towards stronger cost sharing on facilities between the Town and the regional district.
The 2014 election also proved to be a big story this year, with a larger turnout from the public than Golden has seen in recent elections.
And right after that, Town staff jumped into emergency mode as an ice jam in the Kicking Horse River came close to breaching the dikes.
Wilsgard also commented on what will likely be coming up for the municipality in 2015.
“There will be some projects coming up for RMI (Resort Municipality Initiative), and that will include the Highway Corridor Project that we had to push back this year,” he said.
Wilsgard also predicts that the grant cycle process will continue to be time consuming for the municipality, even though the fruits of those labours may not be visible until the following year.
Town Council will be working on their budget early in the new year, and will likely start the process of an Official Community Plan upgrade, which will be about a year-and-a-half process.
“There could also be some interesting discussions in council around the swimming pool,” said Wilsgard of the 40-year-old facility, which will require some substantial upgrades to keep it running at the same level in the future.