As 2012 has come to a close Town of Golden Mayor, Christina Benty, shared her thoughts with the Golden Star on the past year and 2013.
Looking back on 2012 Benty said one of the highlights was the opening of the Youth Centre.
“I think we can be very proud of that because it was youth driven. They were heavily involved in the entire process and got their funding from a number of places. It has been something that has been asked for before by young people in the community and now it is a dream that has been realized,” she said.
“The other thing which I think has been huge for us is the Columbia Valley Transition Line, which will be a great help for Golden moving forward.
“We have been talking about reliable power for years. We have lobbied the government for years. The project is being done, it is on time and it is coming in under budget,” she said.
She also looked back at the start of 2012 and the opening of the renovated Golden Civic Centre.
“We saw the first year of the new civic centre. It has been well received by the community. We have seen a number of sold-out concerts. The facility has been used for conferences, workshops, local events, weddings, and I think it has been quite successful,” she said.
“I think that seeing that done and the finished project is something we can all be proud of.”
Benty went on to say that the the success that Kicking Horse Culture has had, both in the fall and summer, has been a great boost to the community.
She also spoke of the loss of two councillors, as John Jackson and Mags Magnusson both resigned from council in 2012.
“We had the byelection and bridge to bridge issue, which made life very interesting for local government. This created a lot of controversy in the community,” she said.
Benty also wanted to recognize that Magnusson had received the Queens Diamond Jubilee Award in 2012 after years of community service.
“It was a great way to acknowledge his years of service to the community and on council,” she said. “I miss him. He is a great person.”
The mayor has heard that an announcement will be made in the near future about a four-laning highway project from Donald to Golden.
“That is good news for us. We are hoping for an announcement sometime in January in terms of timing and funding,” she said.
This project is part of a larger one, which Benty and other mayors have been pushing for over the last number of years.
Even though the highway west of Golden appears to be ready to have an upgrade, things are still up in the air on the project through Kicking Horse Canyon.
“The fact is that we haven’t got any commitment about the Kicking Horse Canyon Project, and we don’t know when the funding will come to complete that portion of the project,” she said.
Going into 2013 one of the biggest things for the town of Golden, according to Benty, is this process surrounding the Official Community Plan (OCP) process.
“It has been five years and we plan on having a fairly rigorous public planning process. Things have changed economically in our community, so we’re re-looking at some of the issues that have been identified in the OCP. We will monitor where we are at and identify how we can move forward in the next five years,” she said.
Another area that will be looked at by the town in 2013 will deal with the Town’s asset management.
“That is going to inform our future budget process and our future lobbying of the federal and provincial governments,” said Benty.