The Town of Golden takes a look back on 2023, highlighting some of the departmental accomplishments of the year. Keep reading to learn more about what happened at Town Hall in 2023.
2024 Town Council Meeting Schedule
The schedule of all anticipated regular meetings of Golden’s Town Council in 2024 is now available to the public. The full schedule is posted at Town Hall and is available on our website at golden.ca/councilcalendar. Print it and put it on your fridge to make sure you never miss a Council meeting!
Downtown Plaza Revitalization: this summer, work was largely completed on this transforming this historically underused public space in Golden’s downtown core. The result is a vibrant plaza with improved functionality that will encourage community interaction and enhance pedestrian amenities, featuring bench and table seating, ambient lighting, electrical connections, plantings, and artistic features. In spring 2024, a sun-sheltering gazebo and an ambient lighting feature will be installed. The project was funded through the Tourism Dependent Communities Initiative and a portion of our recurring Resort Municipality Initiative funds totalling over $600,000.
- Airport Runway Renewal: in November, the Golden Municipal Airport received a fresh runway, as part of the Airport Airfield Rehabilitation Project to improve aviation safety and regulatory compliance, and support business development for the airport. This work was completed as one of the recommendations from the Golden Municipal Airport Strategic & Tactical Plan completed in 2021 as part of an economic viability study. This project was funded through a $2 million grant from the BC Air Access Program, just over $650,000 from the Economic Opportunity Fund, and $250,000 from the Town of Golden. Learn more at golden.ca/airportstudy.
- Court Services: as a result of the Court House loss in March of 2023, Council ensured Town of Golden staff supported the Province toward efforts to keep our court services within the community. We worked with the Province to find a temporary home for Court Services and other displaced provincial services. In June of 2023, the Provincial Court System started using the Civic Centre as its interim place of business.
- Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI): this year saw the completion of the third phase of the Highway 1 boulevard beautification project, contribution funding to mountain bike trails maintenance, snowmobile trail grooming, major events, online tourism training led by Tourism Golden, the winter shuttle service, and the funding of our beautiful new mural along the Riverwalk paying homage to the Swiss Guides history in the area.
- Strategic Priorities: after nearly a full year in office, Town Council established its strategic priorities for the remainder of their term, to be published early in the new year.
Corporate Services & Communications:
Public information: we published over 140 news releases, public notices, ads and newsletters, and posted almost 400 times on Facebook and Instagram, about everything from job postings and public art to public education and special events.
- Bylaw: Bylaw continues to focus on public education and enforcement, our education-first approach has proved successful in ensuring compliance with watering restrictions and snow removal requirements. Bylaw partnered with Public Works to address traffic signage and safety concerns downtown and along the Trans Canada service roads. Staff continue to work on identifying and prioritizing bylaws for updating and/or consolidation.
- ReDi Grants Video Project: the Town received a grant from the Columbia Basin Trust to create a series of videos highlighting the ReDi Grants Program in Golden. The video series was filmed and completed this summer and fall and will highlight several community projects funded through thesegrants. Stay tuned in January 2024 to see the videos!
- Public engagement: we launched the Responsible Pet and Animal Control Bylaw survey in November to collect feedback to inform an updated bylaw in 2024. We received over 840 individual responses, the highest response rate of any Town of Golden survey. Stay tuned in 2024 to learn more about what we heard and the bylaw process.
- Social media: the Town’s social media audience and newsletter subscription list continue to see steady growth. Our audience has grown with over 450 new followers on Facebook and Instagram. Like or follow us at facebook.com/townofgolden or on Instagram @townofgolden or subscribe to the newsletter at golden.ca/newsletter to stay up-to-date on everything happening at the Town of Golden.
Planning and Development:
Transportation planning: Council endorsed the Transportation Plan which includes an Active Transportation Network Plan. Moving forward this plan will guide road, sidewalk, multi-use path improvements in the years to come and inform a new development cost charges bylaw in 2024.
- Affordable housing: the Town submitted a grant application to the CMHC Housing Accelerator Fund which proposed actions around gentle density, increasing market rental and affordable housing opportunities, and using municipal lands to boost housing supply. Staff have been working on two mixed-use affordable housing development submissions, including the Golden Community Economic Development housing project in the downtown core next to DJs Paper Place.
- Development/building files: the Town continues to see unprecedented development interest of complex applications including hotels and multi-family residential. In 2023, we saw the completion of OSO, the start of Riverstone (mixed-use commercial and 51 dwelling units), Timber Ridge Townhouses (17 units), Ace Courier warehouse with caretake suite, and the Prestige Hotel temporary staff housing. To date, building permit construction value is over $34 million.
- 6th Street North reconstruction: work continued in 2023 to renew streets in the downtown core with the completion of upgrades on 6th St. N. between Ford and the Downtown Auto Wash. This work included upgrades and improvements for roads and deep utilities, with new surfaces and landscaping.
- Station Avenue Sanitary main replacement: we replaced a main section servicing the north bench that was over capacity.
- Flood protection: additional earthen dike upgrades on the Kicking Horse River were completed, including planning for the concrete flood wall extension as part of the Province’s upcoming Kicking Horse Bridges Project and additional earthen dike works.
- New well exploration: the Town completed a comprehensive study to determine a suitable location for an additional drinking water well. Test drilling was completed in Dogwood Park to confirm a suitable water source. Once the location is confirmed through successful drilling tests, we will need to build a pump house. This work is expected to take a couple of years to complete before it is completed and capable of pumping water to our distribution system.
- Community sewer system renewals and enhancements: at sewage treatment plant we completed aeration piping replacement, a biosolids storage facility, and a duplex pump installation for operational redundancy.
Finance and Information Technology
- Restructuring: we successfully restructured the department according to recommendations from a consultant who carried out a financial services review in 2022.
- Hiring and HR: we redesigned job descriptions for all Finance Services staff, successfully hiring and retaining a Manager of Finance (DCFO), IT Support Coordinator, Accounting Technician and two new Administrative Clerks.
- Cyber Security: we completed the implementation of new cyber security training for all staff on and installed a new server and storage array.
- Budget process: we maintained focus on continuous improvement regarding the budget process with a focus on internal training and development for senior management.
- New kids programming at the Rec-Plex: the Kids Multi Sports Program includes afterschool pickup and facilitation from staff, while on the other side of the gym, the Youth Open Gym Program provides gym space for the youth to use the gym for unstructured sports. These new programs attracted over 2,000 visits in 2023! We also piloted day camps, seeing over 180 participants for weeklong camps and 21 kids for this fall’s Pro D Single Day Camp!
- New fitness programs: staff put their various fitness certifications and experience to use in offering affordable group fitness classes to the community. A wide range of programs are now provided for all ages, including muscular endurance, The Town offered more classes than ever before, averaging four classes a week. This new programming attracted over 2,300 visitors.
- Skate Park expansion project: in the spring crews returned to the Golden Skate Park to complete the expansion project championed by the Golden Skateboard Association. A bowl feature and larger beginner zone opened in July. Work continued through summer and fall with preparations for pavement connections between the sidewalks, skate park and pump track. In the spring of 2024, the skatepark will see its final additions.
- Keith King Park enhancements: the Golden Cycling Club led the charge in completing the bike skills park in the unfinished ball diamond. This final project includes a series of progression jumps and various features that are perfect for building mountain bike skills. The Rotary Club was successful with a grant application to enhance the play park by the soccer building. Four new pieces of park equipment, including an accessible swing, have been purchased and are scheduled for installation in the spring of 2024.
- CSRD Indoor Pool Project: the Recreation Department continued to provide input to the CSRD with the ongoing detailed planning and fundraising efforts on its indoor pool project, including attending steering committee meetings on the detailed planning of a new indoor facility.
- Call volume: in 2023 Golden Fire Rescue had 323 call outs as of early December.
- Training: Golden Fire Rescue continues to focus on training in an effort to get all members their NFPA 1001 Fire Fighting professional qualifications with 8 members getting certified in 2023.
- Members: Did you know that less than 5 per cent of firefighters in Canada are women? Golden Fire Rescue is proud to have female firefighters make up approximately 30 per cent of the team with a total of 10 female firefighters on their team of 34. The team also includes two Junior firefighters, two high school careers students, and Chief the Dalmation! Three members received long time achievement awards from the Governor General for 20+ years of service.