Salmon Arm council will be a council with a mission, come Sept. 23.
The mission will revolve around highways, wildfires, police officers and more.
Mayor Alan Harrison and a full council will be attending the Union of BC Municipalities convention in Vancouver next week in order to keep Salmon Arm in the provincial government’s spotlight. They plan to meet with three ministers as well as staff from two other ministries.
On the list is Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, and the chance to talk to her again about the Highway West project.
“How it’s coming along, thank her for making it move forward and emphasizing the importance of continuing with Phase 2 once Phase 1 is complete,” Harrison said.
City politicians will also bring up safety concerns regarding the intersection of Highway 97B and 10th Avenue SE, in close proximity to the Outdoor School in South Canoe. Harrison says the ministry has been doing a lot of data collection, so they would like an update on what the plan is.
The other topic will be safety upgrades to the Trans-Canada Highway through the city which will take place this fall, including the moving of the traffic light at Ross Street.
Meeting with Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is also on council’s agenda.
Topics will include the city’s planned extension of natural gas to the Rapattack base so it can be utilized more widely, as well as a request for more wildfire mitigation funds in 2020. Goals include continued reduction of potential fuels in parks such as Little Mountain and Park Hill in Canoe, which interface with residential areas.
The third minister mayor and council will be meeting with is Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture.
Harrison said they will update her on the food hub study for which the city received funding.
“We’ll let her know things are going well and we will have the report done on time and on budget, and that we want to move forward with the processing of local agriculture.”
City staff and politicians will also be meeting with staff from the Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General.
Harrison says their focus will be lobbying for increasing the number of provincial police the city is allocated, a number which hasn’t changed since 2007. The province pays for policing in regional areas, whereas the city must pay 90 per cent of policing in the city.
“It (the low number of provincial police) is putting a strain on our city policing…” he remarked.
Meeting with staff from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing will also be on the Salmon Arm list.
Appreciation for the housing being built by BC Housing on 5th Avenue SE will be expressed, Harrison says, as well as emphasizing the need for a homeless outreach worker so the city can reach out more to people in need.