As 2019 draws to a close, Mayor Lee Prat reflected on significant events and changes in the community from the past year as well as looking to the years ahead.
Cranbrook welcomed in a new hockey team in 2019, after the Kootenay Ice left the town for Winnipeg.
“We successfully entered into an agreement to bring the Cranbrook Bucks, the B.C. Junior A hockey franchise to Cranbrook. That’s a great undertaking for the city, it’s going to give us good quality hockey and add to the long-term sustainability of Western Financial Place,” explained Pratt.
More: Nathan Lieuwen Leading Family-Focused Cranbrook Bucks Franchise (October 16, 2019)
On the topic of Western Financial Place: Pratt spoke about some headaches that roof repairs have caused.
“A big expense that we had to do, we’re not happy with, but we had to do is repair the Aquatic Centre roof,” Pratt said to MyEastKootenayNow.com. “Fixing some original contractor flaws and construction flaws. It was quite a bit more costly than we anticipated but hopefully, we have that fixed now.”
More: Aquatic Centre Opens in Cranbrook Following Roof Repairs (November 1, 2019)
Pratt said that public events the City hosted were well attended this year, and plans are in the works to expand future events.
“I would like to mention the Winter Blitzville that we hosted, and what a success that was, with thousands of people attending. We’re doing that again this year,” said Pratt. “Many concerts were hosted at Western Finacial Place, with very good attendance at all of them, that was good news for Western Financial Place. I know going forward, this year we’ve got some big names coming.”
Pratt also went on to commend the attendance at Summer Sounds events, Sam Steele days, and Cranbrook’s first Oktoberfest.
Pratt added that improvements to Idlewild Park like a paved path, new zip lines, and new docks have added to the appeal to the area.
More: Cranbrook Celebrates New Idlewild Park Zipline (September 27, 2019)
In terms of economic development, Pratt said that Cranbrook has seen its third record-breaking year in a row.
“We broke the record in 2017, and again in 2018, and for 2018 we just broke the record for that. There are good numbers coming out there which are very positive for the city, so we’re getting a lot of interest now from outside developers.”
More: Cranbrook Construction Values Climb to $37.3 MIllion in 2019 (October 30, 2019)
Cranbrook City Council also made some progress over the year to add affordable housing and make secondary suites easier to add for residents.
Looking ahead to 2020, Pratt spoke about addressing policies and bylaws to better reflect the needs of the community.
“Times have changed, so we have to update a lot of our policies. There’s some that are definitely outdated, and there are some areas where we don’t have policies where we should have,” Explained Pratt. “Some of the bylaws that we have should be erased, they’re no longer really needed.”
Pratt added that he hopes to see continuing success for Cranbrook into the new year and for years to come.
More: Large housing Development Unveiled for Cranbrook (December 12, 2019)
More: Cranbrook Outlines 2020 Plan for Former Tembec Lands (December 10, 2019)