Crews work to clear the scene of an accident involving three vehicles, one of which flipped onto its side, at the intersection of Highway 97B and 10 Avenue SE in Salmon Arm on Aug. 31, 2018. (File photo)

Salmon Arm council to lobby for highway improvements, police officers and more

Mayor and councillors to have the ear of provincial politicians at UBCM convention

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.

Read more: Preloading for Salmon Arm West project to begin early 2019

Read more: Video update – Plans for highway four-laning meet mostly with approval

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.

Read more: Year-round training envisioned for Salmon Arm’s Rapattack base

Read more: Action wanted on dangerous Shuswap intersection

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.

The mayor also wants to discuss red light cameras, which the province has denied the city for the past decade or so.

Now that the traffic lights downtown are to be moved, Harrison would like to see a red light camera installed. He says one of the province’s objections was that the lights are too close together, but that will change with the moving of the Ross Street light to 4th Street NE by Tim Hortons.

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.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

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This accident at the corner of Highway 97B and 10th Avenue SE is one of many Fred and Shelley Lockwood have heard and seen over the years. This one on May 26, 2018 included a vehicle fire, which Fred, whose home is located on the intersection, was attempting to extinguish when first responders arrived on scene. (Fred Lockwood photo)

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