This past year has been a successful one for Downtown Salmon Arm, although one in which the downtown experienced some growing pains.
Ron Langridge, president of the organization, spoke at its AGM on April 18 held at Meikle Studios Social Art House, pointing to the many events held during the year as well as improvements to the look of the area – such as the wrapped BC Hydro utility boxes.
“It looks so much better than three years ago.”
He said the organization has trimmed some of the things it was doing, so “now it’s a leaner more focused group.”
A couple of items in focus have been the feasibility of partial closures of Alexander Street at certain times to accommodate events, as well as the possibility of changing the length of parking time allowed downtown.
“We sent information to the Downtown Parking Commission and that’s still in progress, they’re still working on in it,” said Lindsay Wong, DSA manager.
She said the DSA hopes to work with the parking commission regarding the possibility of longer parking times.
Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s director of engineering and public works, said the strategy will be reviewed as part of the city’s strategic plan and recommendations will come to council for approval in 2019.
Kevin Flynn, the city’s rep on the board, thanked Niewenhuizen, his team and Wong for working so well together to beautify the downtown.
Langridge also noted that the DSA office has moved to Shuswap Street, next to Music Man.
Regarding growing pains, he said the DSA spoke to Staff Sgt. Scott West of the Salmon Arm RCMP about issues such as panhandling and marijuana, who said some of the things the downtown is seeing are due to growth.
Langridge, a realtor, said people living in other areas of the province want to come to Salmon Arm.
“Dammit, Salmon Arm, we’re growing up. We’re a place people want to be.”
The new Downtown Salmon Arm board, which was acclaimed Wednesday night, includes Langridge, vice-president Jacquie Gaudreau, treasurer Jeff Johnson, Sheri Greeno, Brent Moffat, Kailee Ramsell, Claire Askew, Nicole Duxbury, Althea Mongerson, Bill Laird and Sebastian Hofstetter, as well as newly acclaimed Jenna Meikle and Tim Giandomenico. The Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce rep is Corryn Grayston and, for the city, Kevin Flynn.