The BC Housing/Canadian Mental Health Association project at 540 3rd St. SW in Salmon Arm, with 67 affordable housing units and 38 units with on-site supports for people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, is progressing on schedule. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Column: Developments in 2019 that will help shape Salmon Arm’s future

Council Report by Tim Lavery

Here’s a look at five happenings from 2019 that will shape Salmon Arm for the future. Some are community inspired; some are initiatives of council looking forward; and some are outside lenses looking in at our community.

The first is the curbside organics program that started in July. The phrase “win-win” is often overused but it is definitely applicable to this city initiative. Organics are not only diverted from the landfill, thereby notably increasing its lifespan, but there’s also a significant reduction in GHG emissions – by a factor of 20 – through the organic composting process rather than the methane generated through landfilling.

Residents want to do their best with organics and recycling in addition to reducing single plastic bag use. We’ve responded enthusiastically to a more sustainable waste-management strategy.

Work has started on highway improvements to the west, the Ross Street underpass and the reconfiguration of the Trans-Canada Highway flow downtown. All are important infrastructure enhancements for traffic and pedestrian safety. All got tangible starts in 2019 with more to come in 2020.

The opening of the Downtown Farmers Market and the raising of the Treble Clef are all about place-making as Salmon Arm designs and repurposes our downtown spaces. These 2019 initiatives create a vibrancy of public place where folks and producers of local goods and food can gather.

Read more: Expansion sought for campground at Salmon Arm music festival

Read more: From curb to compost: Tracking Salmon Arm’s food waste collection program

Significant progress in increasing affordable housing, gaining more childcare services and advocating to increase the social safety net for our vulnerable residents was notable this year. While there’s certainly more work to be done, community organizations and the city have been actively collaborating on these matters – and it shows.

Finally, the outside world has taken notice of Salmon Arm in 2019. Our Maclean’s ranking as the #1 best community in B.C. to live in (#6 best in Canada), plus the recent BC Business Magazine #7 ranking as the best place to work in B.C. reflect what our city has to offer. The combination of quality of life and economic opportunity is a compelling narrative to be sure. Rankings are just one aspect though. It’ll be incumbent on all of us to ensure that these attributes are maintained as pressures of growth bring further challenges. That’ll be an ongoing conversation for 2020 and beyond.

On behalf of Salmon Arm council: Happy New Year everyone. We’re looking forward to working together to accomplish even more Big Ideas for 2020.

Tim Lavery is a councillor with the City of Salmon Arm.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Just Posted

Sicamous man given six months jail time for possession of child pornography

Forty-six-year-old will be on National Sex Offender Registry for 20 years

Two-month-old Kelowna boy diagnosed with rare heart disorder returns home from treatment

Arel spent two weeks at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver after suffering multiple cardiac arrests

Salmon Arm’s Laura Hall to represent Canada in speedskating championships

16-year old to be the only athlete from B.C. on eight-person team

Share love of music with Salmon Arm Valentine’s Day concert

Roots and Blues welcomes festival favourites Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne and Sherman Doucette

Habitat for Humanity seniors housing project in Salmon Arm moving forward

Twenty two units to be provided on 10th Avenue NE

WATCH: Cougar caught on doorbell cam in Vernon

Glenn Gorham shares footage of late-night visit from wild cat

Missing Vernon man possibly sighted in Lower Mainland

Information leads family, friends to believe Jay Rosenberger near Lower Mainland Saturday

House fire quickly knocked down in South Kelowna

According to Kelowna Fire Department, the house sustained interior damage during the blaze

Prolific South Okanagan criminal will be freed for time served

Afshin Ighani pleads guilty to assault charges but will be set free for time served

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

Chase hockey players fundraise for spring league

Players selected for Jr. Blazers and Cowboys

Shuswap history in pictures: Cold in Canoe

Back of photo says, “Hebden’s farmhouse to the north right.”

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Museum digs up history for ’60s Vernon Winter Carnival

Get Groovin’ with the Grandkids or flashback to the ’60s with tunes, trivia and costumes

Most Read