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From fields to signage: Citizens request help from Salmon Arm’s 2023 budget

A public budget meeting drew about a dozen requests for assistance from the city
Phase 1 of Salmon Arm Economic Development’s sign project included new signs around local parks. Next comes replacement of the rock pillars in the downtown core. (File photo)

About a dozen people and organizations requested a share of city coffers at the public budget meeting, ranging from help demolishing the rock pillars in downtown Salmon Arm to support for transit options to the Industrial Park.

Among them, the SAFE Society, which holds the contract for Police Based Victim Services, made a plea that was supported by Staff Sgt. Scott West to increase the city’s contribution to the service. Professional paid staff go to everything from murders to sexual assaults to suicides to fires, and more, to support victims, while reducing the load on RCMP officers. There is just one full-time staff member, yet the needs continue to increase.

• The Salmon Arm Elks Recreation Society requested financial help with city sewer charges which it calls unfair because they’re based on amount of water consumed. It said it uses a lot of water keeping the ball diamonds at the Elks park on 30th Street NE irrigated as well as the park. Secondly, it would like the city’s help providing and delivering asphalt chips to keep the dust down.

• The Shuswap Food Action Society requested that the Food & Urban Agriculture Strategy be moved to a short-term priority in the city’s Strategic Plan instead of waiting until 2026. A number of reasons were cited including the cost of food in Canada rising 9.9 per cent from July 2021 to 2022, the B.C. food insecurity rate – the number of households struggling to get food - jumped by 15 per cent, while supplies and suppliers are facing difficult regional and global trends.

• Resident John Stobl asked the city to consider building a retaining wall at 1031 22 Ave. SW.

Salmon Arm Economic Development would like the city’s help with its signage project funded by the Municipal & Regional District Tax (hotel tax) program. The second phase involves four downtown pedestrian/bike traffic pillars to be installed within the downtown core. It would like the city to contribute to labour and demolition costs of the three existing pillars downtown.

• Resident Lil Whitehead of Shuswap Ridge Subdivision asked that the city build a road that would connect 15th Avenue NE to 11th Avenue NE near the Dairy Queen.

• The Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce requested the city review options for transit to the Industrial Park, beyond BC Transit, such as ride share, on-demand transit or community carpools. It also requested Open Data systems be used on the city’s website so its GIS data is available to the public to download and access.

• The Salmon Arm Curling Club requested that funds be allocated to ensure the city meets its lease obligations and improves landscaping along 28th Street NE, 24th Street NE (College Way) and 8th Avenue NE.

• The Active Transportation Task Force made several requests regarding the Active Transportation Network Plan, including hiring an additional person dedicated to its implementation as well as acquiring and allocating funds so it could be fully implemented in 2023.

• The Shuswap Youth Soccer Association provided a detailed economic and community benefits study regarding its request for city support for building two new artificial turf fields in Blackburn Park. It noted that building a lighted turf field was a medium term objective in the city’s 2012 Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

• The Salmon Arm and Shuswap Lake Agricultural Association, which operates and maintains all facilities on the fairgrounds under a lease agreement with the city, requested a grant to assist in the maintenance, improvements and increased security costs due to vandalism on the south fairground.

• Resident Norma Harris requested the city pave 45th Avenue NE.

Read more: Public invited to provide input into Salmon Arm budget

Read more: Council approves 5-year contract with Salmon Arm Silverbacks on heels of 1-year deal

Read more: Catering business’ use of Salmon Arm’s Little Mountain Field House kitchen OK’d
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Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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