Council clips: Crime reduction takes centre stage
Trail residents can sleep easier knowing that at the end of 2015, Trail was the second-safest city in the region, having experienced significant crime reduction rates. Last year, the city saw a 17-per-cent reduction in overall criminal code offenses, along with an eight-per-cent reduction in property crimes during the same time frame. Trail was only one of seven communities in the region that saw an overall reduction in crime, which Councillor Kevin Jolly said he attributed to a shift in the approach to crime in the Greater Trail Area.
“I believe these reductions can be attributed to proactive policing measures,” said Jolly.
The policing does not come cheaply, however. The city is on the hook for 70 per cent of policing costs for each member in the Greater Trail Area, a number that works out to over $2.2 million dollars for 2016. This amount is an additional three per cent over what was budgeted for 2015, but Jolly believes the service is worth the cost.
“I do believe we are receiving good value for the policing services we’re getting,” Jolly says. “When we see those types of drops in crime numbers, that to me is a testament of the effectiveness of the crime reduction unit and the overall cooperation of our unit as a whole.”
The price of policing isn’t the only cost increase expected for 2016. Trail City mayor and council approved a 1.6-per-cent increase in their stipends after a review based on the current Consumer Price Index (CPI), a tool used to determine the inflation rate. Mayor Mike Martin requested the minor increase based on this year’s inflation rate.
“Last year we asked for an independent review of stipends and expenses and that review indicated that for a city of our size, we were where we should be so it was agreed that going forward, all that would be considered would be an adjustment consistent with the CPI change,” said Martin.
Along with the Pipeline-Pedestrian Bridge construction, Trail residents can also expect more shut-downs on the Victoria Street Bridge starting as early as February. Pending weather, EMCON is scheduled to work on the bridge for approximately a month and is expected to close down both lanes on the North – or upstream – side of the bridge. The South side will also see construction, however only one lane will be closed for that section during repairs. Martin encouraged residents to be patient with the upcoming scheduled repairs.
“Residents went through a lot of pain and agony last year when we had an extensive period of the bridge being shut down for repairs,” Martin said. “I encourage residents to be patient, and if possible, stay away during congested times of early morning and late afternoon.”
While EMCON carries out its scheduled maintenance, Power Tech Electrical Ltd. will be able to begin installation of the Victoria Street Bridge Decorative Lighting Project. The tender closed on January 21 and the Trail company was awarded the nearly $450,000 job. The Ministry of Transportation has given permission for Power Tech to begin working on the downstream side of the bridge before and after the closure, ensuring enough time to complete the installation of all 96 colour-changing LED lights prior to Silver City Days in May. Councillor Sandy Santori said he is pleased to see a local company was chosen for the contract.
“The good news is the bridge will be lit and under budget,” Santori said. “I think it’s great that a local company and his local workers are going to have the opportunity to put their signature on that bridge for a number of years to come.”
Although a good portion of the lights have been sold, there are still some available for purchase at $200 each. Major sponsorship positions are also available for any who would like to make a larger donation. Tax deductions can be claimed for larger sponsorships. Further information can be found at City Hall, or via the city’s website www.trail.ca.