This report is my opportunity to highlight to the community the direction set by council.
Our priorities included: Sustainability Plan; a Downtown and Waterfront Plan; Climate Action plan; an Active Transportation Plan; a Housing Strategy and a Water and Sewer Master Plan. Council continued to work on building partnerships at the local, regional, provincial, and federal government levels to achieve specific goals.
By focusing our efforts on key strategic areas we are already beginning to see the results of good planning. We are well aware that implementing plans and achieving goals require partnerships with many stakeholders. Most projects today simply cannot be delivered solely by our municipal government; we need to build partnerships within the community, the region and beyond to move forward.
We made significant progress on a number of our strategic directions, moved forward with several major capital projects and reinvested in our community by maintaining and replacing critical infrastructure. We invested more than $5 million in infrastructure such as water, sewer, roads, sidewalks and hydro, to name a few, some of those upgrades are the first phase of Nelson Hydro’s downtown conversion.
We will continue to allocate resources to ensure planned maintenance and replacement of the city’s infrastructure. Taking good care of these assets is one of the most important things we can do to address the sustainability of our community in the long term.
I would like to highlight some of the most exciting work started in the Nelson. The $15 million expansion of the ER at Kootenay Lake Hospital was one such example. The creative local solution to the need for a CT scanner, and the renovations that are now underway in the Selkirk College dorms on 10th Street, are two more examples of partnerships in action. These projects involved an extensive cooperation between the Interior Health Authority, the West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District, the Kootenay Lake Hospital Foundation, Selkirk College, Columbia Basin Trust, and the City of Nelson, RDCK, provincial and federal governments. It was the cooperation and leadership of the whole region that allowed these projects to move forward.
The current year promises to be an equally successful one for the City of Nelson. Council is focused on six strategic directions and we are moving forward with planning a sustainable future that is in line with our community’s values of arts, culture, heritage and recreation. In 2011 we continue to move forward encouraging more active transportation through pathway improvements and new sidewalk construction, and creating a sustainable plan to link downtown and the waterfront.
We are working with our regional district partners on a new waste management Recourse Recovery Plan that will streamline the waste system, balance costs, and divert additional waste from the landfill.
I would like to express my gratitude to the many volunteers and employees of the City of Nelson who work so hard to move us forward with the priorities set by council. There is a lot to be proud of in this city of ours, and I look forward to another year of working with our employees, community partners and residents to help make Nelson the best place it can be.
John Dooley is the mayor of Nelson. He shares this Wednesday space with his collegues at the council table.