Town of Golden year in review: highlights of 2021

The Town of Golden takes a look back on 2021, highlighting some of the departmental accomplishments of the year. Keep reading to learn more about what happened at Town Hall in 2021.
 
2022 Town Council Meeting Schedule
The schedule of all anticipated regular meetings of Golden’s Town Council in 2022 is now available to the public. The full schedule is posted at Town Hall and is available on our website. Print it and put it on your fridge to make sure you never miss a Council meeting!
 
Executive Administration and Corporate Services:

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A view overlooking Golden's riverfront space The River Walk and pedestrian bridge
  • Kicking Horse River Dike Project: this fall saw the completion of a long-awaited infrastructure project with the fully grant-funded ($5.7M), Kicking Horse River Dike improvement project. Primarily a flood protection initiative, a concrete floodwall now spans 300m along the Kicking Horse River, meeting provincial guidelines along what was the lowest section of our dike system. The funds also saw the bolstering of several other sections of dike through town, adding rip rap and gravel to meet new height requirements. Finally, to take advantage of an unprecedented beautification and economic development opportunity for the downtown, over $1M in Resort Municipality Initiative funds brought The River Walk to life with decorative concrete, park-style amenities, and architectural enhancements.
  • Golden Municipal Airport: in 2020 we saw the unprecedented public engagement, economic viability report, and tactical plan for our airport. 2021 saw us achieve yet another grant valued at over $140,000 to kick start a number of the initiatives identified in these reports including new runway signs, tree removals, taxiway decommissioning, tie-down designs, servicing design and costing, and land and geotechnical surveying. The work satisfies some current needs while also informing future grant applications concerning runway repaving and future utilities.
  • Golden Food Bank: after an era as a student housing building known as COTR House, we successfully facilitated the relocation of the Golden Food Bank to this municipally-owned facility with the space inside and out meeting the future dreams of the Food Bank. Our food bank is no longer the only of its kind in the Columbia Basin paying market rent in its community.
  • Assent for Borrowing: in 2021 we asked our approximately 3,700 citizens for permission to borrow $5M for the replacement of deep utilities, road structure, surface, and streetscape overhaul for two downtown streets. Just one individual submitted opposition to our proposal. Work on 9th Street North between IGA and Ford begins in the spring.
  • South Entrance Sign: this summer we updated our southern community entrance sign on Highway 95 near Reflection Lake. Funded entirely through the Resort Municipality Initiative, it is a smaller and complementary version of our large entrance sign at the intersection of Highways 1 and 95 maintaining our community design motif.

 
Communications:

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  • Social media: our social media audiences, as well as our newsletter subscription list continues to see steady growth. Social media audiences are engaging more with the Town on social media and the majority of engagement and interactions were positive. Our audience has grown with over 700 new followers on Facebook and Instagram. Like or follow us at facebook.com/townofgolden or on Instagram @townofgolden to stay up-to-date on everything happening at the Town of Golden.
  • Public information: we sent out over 65 news releases and public notices, and posted over 410 times on Facebook and Instagram, about everything from job postings and volunteer opportunities to public education and special events.
  • Website: in August we kicked off our website redesign project for golden.ca, with a new website set to launch in 2022.

 
Development Services: 

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Development Services OSO
  • Transportation Planning: in 2021 we received $31,563 from the Provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s Active Transportation Network Planning Grant. Work has started to develop a community-wide Transportation Plan to help shape the future of transportation in Golden over the next 20 years.
  • Servicing Agreement with Skybridge: the Town entered a servicing agreement to allow access for water and sewer for Skybridge located in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area A.
  • Housing: we partnered with the Golden Community Coop to hire CitySpaces to complete and present a Housing Needs Assessment and Affordable Housing Strategy to Council and the public in 2021. The Housing Strategy identifies 16 strategies that the Town and Coop can consider towards addressing local housing gaps to pursue meeting the community’s housing needs. To learn more about these reports, visit golden.ca/housing
  • The Kaur: we signed off on a housing agreement to secure two dwelling units (8 bedrooms in total) to be used as affordable staff housing as part of the Kaur 16 unit condo development. 
  • Development/building files: permits were issued for 78 dwelling units in 2021 valued at over $22 million. This included projects such as the second OSO building, the Kaur, the Granite Height 8 plex and many single detached homes with suites.

 
Operations: 

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  • 7th Street South repaving:  the existing asphalt roadway along 7th St. S from 5th to 7th Aves S was pulverised, regraded for improved drainage, and repaved according to recommendations contained within the 2018 Road Condition Assessment and Upgrade Plan.
  • 12th Street South cul-de-sac sidewalk replacement: approximately 110 lineal meters of new reinforced curbing and sidewalk replaced heavily degraded monolithic curbing and sidewalk within the 1300 block cul-de-sac of 12th St. S. This work was part of the annual capital sidewalk renewal program.
  • RecPlex Energy Efficiency outfitting (HVAC and lighting replacement):  based on a completed energy assessment study, six air handling units and one boiler were replaced with improved energy-efficient units. At the same time, building fresh air ventilation in the gymnasium was restored. All interior and exterior lighting infrastructure was also replaced with energy-efficient LED lighting. The project was partially funded through the CBT Energy Sustainability Program grant.
  • RecPlex Facility Condition Assessment renewals: based on findings within a 2019 Facility Condition Assessment Report, recommended shower renewals, change room ventilation renewals, lobby washroom re-flooring, and fire system renewals are all taking place in Q4 2021.
  • Administer Facility Condition Assessments: as part of the Town’s ongoing asset management program work, 23 individual municipal buildings (structures) were condition assessed. Individual reports were created for each facility outlining possible/recommended building component renewals over a twenty-year time period. 

 
Finance

  • Tax Notices: in 2021, residents saw a re-designed property tax notice in the mail. The new notice is meant to help property owners better understand where their tax dollars go.
  • New Phone System: a new VOIP phone system was introduced throughout the corporation. The new system helps improve communications between the various operations of the Town and makes it easier to transfer calls between departments.
  • Bulk Water Station: staff implemented the Bulk Water Station Software making it easier for users to access the filling station 24-hours with the use of a key fob and automated billing system.
  • Amilia Software: Finance worked with the Recreation department to implement new software that supports recreation booking for Town of Golden programs.

 
Recreation Services: 

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  • Online booking software: we successfully launched a new online point-of-sale system and booking software for all drop-in programs, lessons and facility rentals. This software has helped streamline how the public accesses our community recreation facilities and has provided the department with numerous reporting options that will help guide future programming decisions.
  • Golden Swimming Pool: the pool re-opened in the spring of 2021 after not opening in 2020 due to COVID-19. The re-opening of the pool had great community support and exceptional compliance with the pandemic protocols. An estimated 11,323 visits were recorded at public programs this summer.
  • Updated outdoor rink and basketball courts: working the Golden Interact and Rotary Clubs, granting has been secured to upgrade the basketball court and outdoor ice rink beside the tennis courts at the Rec-Plex grounds. Before the end of the year, an outdoor board kit will be installed to improve the park's seasonal outdoor ice.
  • Pool Feasibility Study: our Recreation team played a significant support role with the CSRD Indoor Pool Feasibility study. Staff input on the study influenced the proposed location, operational budgets and programming ideas. The feasibility study was completed in the spring of 2021. Staff continue to support the process as the CSRD makes the next steps on moving toward a project referendum. To learn more, visit goldenondeck.ca
  • Fall/Winter Programming Returns: staff spent countless hours working on the various pandemic protocols and restrictions over the past year and a half. The team has been very informed on current regulations through association with the BC Parks and Recreation Association. Our community drop-in programs are back, and the use of the Arena and Rec-Plex are back to pre-pandemic times.

Fire Department: 

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Two parked fire trucks
  • New Fire Truck: a new truck was ordered to replace the 22-year-old Fire Engine 6. The new truck, Fire Engine 7, is set to arrive in February 2022.
  • Wildland Deployment: Golden Fire Rescue was deployed to help communities throughout the province during wildfire season. Crews were deployed for 58 working days.
  • New Staff: Mike Pecora was appointed Fire Chief this year after 19 years of fire service with Golden Fire Rescue. A Deputy Fire Chief was hired, taking on fire prevention, commercial fire inspections and acting as school liaison in the community. A Quartermaster was also hired to support administrative duties and tool maintenance.
  • Junior Fire Fighters: in 2021 we did a Junior Fire Fighter intake, accepting and training two junior members.
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