2017 was the year Sparwood finally landed funding for millions of dollars in safety upgrades along the highway running along the District.
The District was able to cover more than $5 million of the $7 million price tag of their Middletown Crossing Project.
Construction on the initiative started this year and will see improvements to the intersection of Highway 3 and Highway 43.
Mayor Cal McDougall says it’s be a long time coming and they’re excited to see headway being made on the improvements.
In March, Sparwood found out is was successful in its application under the New Building Canada Fund – Small Communities Fund and construction started soon after that.
The first phase was complete all the way back in 2015 and prior to the successful grant application, the project had stalled due the economic downturn and escalating construction costs.
It’s now expected to be complete by the end of 2018.
McDougall also points to other highlights this year such as the unveiling of a life-size bronze miner to commemorate the Balmer North mine explosion in 1967.
The memorial in Titan park honours the 15 people killed in the accident.
An accompanying Memorial Wall recognizes a total 181 people who lost their lives in mining accidents in the Elk Valley.
The Sparwood Mayor also points to initiatives to reduce coal dust being brought into the community from the mines.
McDougall says they’ve seen improvement and continue to work Teck to mitigate the issue.
He also points to solar panels being installed on the District office as a major achievement in 2017, a project he says will pay for itself in savings within eight years.
Stay tuned for more Year-In-Reviews from East Kootenay newsmakers as we make our way through the holiday season.
– Sparwood Mayor Cal McDougall