Town of Golden year in review: highlights of 2020 Print Article Font Size
The Town of Golden takes a look back on 2020, highlighting some of the department accomplishments of the year. Keep reading to learn more about what happened at Town Hall in 2020.

2021 Town Council Meeting Schedule
The schedule of all anticipated regular meetings of Golden’s Town Council in 2021 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 in on your fridge to make sure you never miss a Council meeting!

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  • New Collective Agreement: after mutually agreeing to delay bargaining for eight months due to the pandemic, the Town of Golden and CUPE Local 2309 once again collaboratively ratified a five year agreement that financially acknowledges the economic impacts of the pandemic, increases the competitive edge for recruiting in an increasingly aggressive local government labour market, and ensures equitable pay with other jurisdictions in the province.
  • Navigating the COVID-19 pandemic: recognizing that this effort applied universally to every individual, business, and institution in society, local governments were particularly impacted in ensuring complete compliance with ever changing orders and guidelines. Planning and implementing for decisions and services with public safety and the finances of the corporation as high priorities took a toll. Not opening recreation facilities, and educating and enforcing orders with the public were challenges we’ve never had, and we remain solid and committed to our community in every way.
  • Airport Economic Viability Study: in the face of many looming community-wide infrastructure needs and replacements, Council needed a qualified consultancy to determine if indeed our municipal airport was something we should keep for the long term. What resulted was arguably the most successful community engagement exercise in recent history with wide swaths of residents and interest groups near and far weighing in. The overwhelming answer gave comfortable assurance to us that the airport is here to stay with a strategic and tactical plan forthcoming. The initiative and unprecedented results are now serving as an example to many other small communities now beginning to do the same thing.
  • Community collaboration: restrictions presented a long list of challenges with hosting the annual summer kicks program funded by the Town of Golden and the CSRD. Working in partnership with Kicking Horse Culture, our team helped ensure that the show could go on, delivering a great summer concert series that highlighted local talent. Staff from almost every department at the Town pitched in, from preparing parks spaces with physical distancing circles and fire truck escorts, to brainstorming and communications support, and live streaming the show each week.
     
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  • Social media: our social media audiences, as well as our newsletter subscription list, continues to see steady growth on all of our channels. 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 1,270 new followers between Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 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 85 news releases and public notices, and posted over 510 times on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, about everything from job postings and volunteer opportunities to public education and special events.
  • COVID-19: over 250 pieces of COVID-19 communication went out to the community through social media channels, the web, news releases, public notices and signage in 2020. A dedicated webpage, golden.ca/covid19, was developed as a repository of municipal information and links to information from provincial and federal governments related to COVID-19. In addition to public announcements, Communications provided operational support through the design and development of signage to help facilitate safety measures at Town facilities and park spaces, and worked with two local videographers to release two separate COVID-19 videos to the community.

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  • Short Term Rentals (STR): after substantial staff research and public consultation, Council adopted new STR regulations which aim to create a fairly regulated environment that supports a viable short term rental sector, while also meaningfully preserving housing stock for residential purposes, both ownership and rental. To learn more, visit golden.ca/strs.   
  • Temporary Use Permits (TUP): a temporary use permit system was introduced to the M2 – light industrial zone and the I1 – Community Utilities and Services zones. In 2020, a TUP was issues to test out the BASE Fitness use in an industrial area and helps us prepare for any temporary uses associated with the Kicking Horse Canyon highway project.
  • Housing: a housing needs and affordable housing strategy is currently in a draft stage with a final report to be presented to Council in 2021.
  • Floodplain maps: new floodplain maps were created in 2020. These maps will be presented to Council in 2021 and released to the public to help residents and developers understand the risk for flooding in our community.
  • Development/building files: 79 building permits were issued in 2020 valued at $14.3 million. This includes a record number of dwelling units totalling 49, which included the 28 units at OSO. Projects of note include, Reposados, KFC, the school district bus barn, redesign of the bowling alley, Two Elements, phase four of Bears Paw Heights, two new electric car charging stations, and changes to the Dusevic building to take advantage of the riverfront improvements as part of the Kicking Horse River Dike Improvement project.

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  • Kicking Horse River Dike Improvement project: phase two of the project started in fall 2020 and we saw the completion of the flood protection wall and earthen dike work at various locations throughout town. Next spring, crews will return to the site to finish backfilling the alley, replacing riprap along the river and to complete the landscaping and beautification elements of the project. The project is set to be completed by July 2021. For more information, visit golden.ca/dikeproject
  • Grader procurement: a replacement grader was purchased in 2020 as part of our specialized compliment of heavy equipment used for road maintenance operations.
  • Bulk Water Station: in partnership with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, a new bulk water station was established in Golden to provide residents outside the town’s water distribution system with a safe, alternative supply of potable water.
  • Alexander Drive sidewalk removal: the inner loop sidewalk and curbing was removed along Alexander Drive, creating a wider road surface for parking and vehicle movements.  
  • Cemetery expansion: land clearing and rough grading has been completed in an expansion area adjacent to the 30’s oval (named Mount Seven) as well as an area adjacent to Section A (named Columbia).  Finish landscaping remains to be completed in 2021.

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  • Collections: the Finance team focused on collections in 2020, achieving the lowest balance of arrears and delinquent taxes receivable in the last five years. This helped ensure our financial viability despite COVID-19 impacts.
  • COVID-19 relief measures: Council voted to extend the utility and tax deadlines to support residents and businesses of Golden which we successfully implemented.
  • Windrow clearing: we introduced a new, streamlined, application process for the Windrow Clearing Assistance program to make applying easier for residents that require it.
  • Cemetery expansion: applications and supporting documents for the proposed expansion to two new areas (Columbia and Mount Seven) of the existing Cemetery were completed in 2020. This expansion created two additional 16 Niche Columbarium’s, 94 Cremation only lots, and 245 Full burial lots.

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  • COVID-19 response: in March the Provincial Health Officer directed all Bylaw Enforcement Officers in the province to assist in the response to COVID-19. In addition to regular duties, our Bylaw Officer continues to handle all complaints related to COVID-19 in addition to surveying businesses, places of worship, event locations and public spaces to educate and make sure people are abiding by current public health orders and recommendations.
  • Access to information: we continued to streamline internal information access processes to make more information available to staff and the public.
  • Bylaw function: we continued to focus on communication, public education, enforcement and community engagement. Successful bylaw initiatives included ensuring proper parking of trailers and RVs, removal of metal storage containers, parking and waste management.
  • Partnerships: we worked with various community service agencies, government bodies and the RCMP to build partnerships in the community and achieve bylaw compliance. This included working with Operations to improve traffic signage in the downtown core.
  • General: we continue to update our policies and procedures to reflect the needs of the Town and its residents, and to provide the best possible bylaw enforcement services to the community.

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  • Paved Pump Track: in partnership with the Gentlemen’s Leisure Club of Golden and Starr Trail Solutions, a new track was constructed that caters to a variety of self-propelled wheeled sports. The project was funded by the CBT Community Initiatives Program, CSRD Grant-in-Aid, donations in kind from local contractors and additional support from the Town of Golden.
  • CSRD Pool Feasibility Study: we continue to play a key support role with the ongoing CSRD Pool Feasibility Study. The majority of the study was completed in 2020, with a final report and recommendations coming in 2021.
  • COVID-19 challenges: Recreation has been working hard to re-open and re-engage recreation services in the community throughout the pandemic. The recreation team has been pushed to work creatively on getting our own programs up and running and helping over a dozen local sports groups develop COVID-19 safety plans to ensure both residents have access to recreation opportunities while keeping our community safe.
  • Mount 7 Rec Plex: staff prepared a grant application to replace the existing hardwood floor at the Mount 7 Rec Plex.
  • Community support projects: Recreation provided support to numerous community projects in 2020, including Wildsight Golden’s plant awareness project, the Golden Cycling Clubs adaptive trail project and helping the Golden Skateboard Association develop a plan for an expansion of the existing skatepark.

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  • Membership: Golden Fire Rescue’s (GFR) membership reached an all-time high with 23 members, including eight officers, four women, eight full service Level Fire Fighters and three recruits.
  • New training grounds: the new training ground opened in 2020 with an all member boot camp and a street dedication to the late Chief McClure.
  • Digital tracking: GFR introduced a new digital tracking tool to help manage and track training records, fire prevention and pre-plans as well as incident reporting.
  • Training: over 600 courses were completed through GFR’s online training platform. We now have 12 members that have completed Confined Space Rescue Training Technician level paid for by LP, 18 members with HazMat Operation level certification, 13 members that attended Live Fire training in Salmon Arm and 15 Officer courses completed.
  • Fire truck: the Engine 6 Fire Truck is up for replacement, staff completed a replacement design and ordered the new truck.