It was another successful year for Elkford and it’s varied to-do list of projects.
So says Mayor Dean McKerracher who is looking back at 2017.
McKerracher acknowledges the completion of several initiatives such as upgrades at the aquatic centre and District office, their Wildfire Protection Plan, and the loop trail along Highway 43.
However, the biggest according to him was the construction of their new helipad after the old one was deemed unsafe by Navigation Canada.
McKerracher suggests they were told the former location had too many power lines and cables surrounding it for STARS Air Ambulance to fly in and they were expecting to enhance its fleet with bigger aircraft so if Elkford still wanted service they needed a new surface in a location.
The new one was unveiled last month by the District’s new fire hall after hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised by local groups.
Following this summer’s historic wildfire season McKerracher says Council approved their new Wildfire Management Plan in December.
Elkford was put on Evacuation Alert in September due to a pair of growing wildfires nearby.
The Mayor explains the plan identifies new areas crews need to remove trees from to make them accessible for firefighters if they need to battle any future blazes.
The report is shelf-ready should any funding become available to apply for.
Renovations at the aquatic centre, a two year effort, were worth nearly $950,000 and saw a new roof, siding, windows, furnaces, and hot water heaters.
$200,000 was thrown at the loop trail, which McKerracher says increases public safety as residents don’t have to walk on the Highway 43.
Stay tuned for more Year in Reviews from East Kootenay newsmakers throughout the holiday season.
– Elkford Mayor Don McCormick