Given all the work on his plate, Mayor of Revelstoke David Raven says his acclamation to a second term was a good thing.
He listed several council highlights and accomplishments over the past three years. He enjoyed the homecoming event and especially Lord Revelstoke’s attendance. He cited five major infrastructure projects as some of the city’s biggest accomplishments. They include the Clearview Heights sewer extension, the replacement of the Trans-Canada water reservoir, the heat-exchanger system at the Aquatic Centre, the Downie Lift Station and the completion of the downtown revitalization plan as “significant” achievements.
Raven said his first three years as mayor have been focused on completing work started by previous councils, including significant planning processes like the official community plan (OCP) and other spin-off planning processes.
Of course, the new resort and the change it brought has provided lots of work for city hall and city council.
“It’s had its ups and downs, but it’s still operating, it’s still thriving,” Raven said, adding Revelstoke had managed to balance the resort development with other pillars of the local economy such as transportation and forestry.
Prior to the last civic election, affordable housing was the main election topic. What happened?
Raven said the city and partners built 16 units at Mount Begbie Villas, 8 new ones at Moberly Manor and a new affordable housing duplex at Bridge Creek.
Three years ago, the new resort, combined with ongoing work at Revelstoke Dam Unit 5, had led to a confluence of newcomers in town, he said. Many of them have settled in and some have moved on, and the private market had also adapted to deal with the perennial influx of winter sports enthusiasts.
“Is the [housing] pressure still there? It will always be there. It’s just something we’re going to have to keep working on.”
What does he hope council, city hall and Revelstoke will be able to achieve in the next three years? That’s up to council, but he’d like to see the following:
– The completion or significant development of a bike and trail system in the city.
– Improvements to the sidewalk system in Arrow Heights to increase safety and reduce traffic conflicts.
– To get the golf course at Revelstoke Mountain Resort underway.
– Raven also said he hopes that work will start on “three to five” new hotels and motels in that time.
His other main goal is to get started with new safety and infrastructure improvements to the Trans-Canada Highway. He’s travelling to Ontario later this month to lobby alongside MP David Wilks at budget committee meetings.
Raven also wants to make significant improvements to the fire and social safety nets.
The change over his first term has been for the better. He notes his daughter is amongst the wave of young newcomers and returning Revelstokians choosing the city for its clean, healthy, safe and attractive lifestyle, not to mention new school facilities and a school system that is superior.
“We’re a great place to be and I think we’re going to grow based on that series of attributes,” he said. “This new demographic is moving into town and it is invigorating, and we see ourselves 30 years ago in that new demographic, but that’s the new Revelstoke, and it’s [about] understanding the demands and desires of that demographic.”