Sparwood’s mayor took the time to speak about the progress he feels the community has made in 2019 and what he feels in store for 2020.
One of the biggest developments, according to Mayor David Wilks, is the agreement for a new $40 million mining facility to be built in the area.
“One of the highlights from the year is, of course, Komatsu committing to build their Western Canada Operations in Sparwood. They’re moving ahead quite quickly, as we speak they’re putting a floor into their foundation,” said Wilks.
More: Komatsu Breaks Ground on $40 Million Facility in Sparwood (August 1, 2019)
Among other changes was the addition of new infrastructure to help curb water pollution, which Wilks said is almost completed.
“We have a new water well paid for by Teck as a result of a selenium issue we had in well three,” said Wilks. “It should be online hopefully within the next couple of weeks, they’re just doing some final testing.”
Earlier in the year, the results of Sparwood’s Livability Study stated that many residents are content with the water quality, but had concerns over air pollution.
More: Sparwood Livability Study Unveils Mixed Results (December 4, 2019)
Wilks also mentioned the addition of a new recreational facility in Sparwood Heights, which is now set up to be used as a skating rink for the winter.
Moving into the new year, Wilks says a few projects will be making further progress towards completion.
“We’ll move forward with the Centennial Square Revitalization. We will look at the recreation master plan and will determine what the public has provided us through the master plan as to what they want to see done,” explained Wilks. “Those two projects themselves will keep staff very busy. We’re also awaiting the federal government on hopefully getting a grant from them for infrastructure on Douglas Fur Road.”
In early 2020, residents will have an opportunity to have their say on which proposed design for Centennial Square they prefer.
More: Concepts for Sparwood’s Centennial Square Redesign Unveiled (December 19, 2019)
Wilks added that he believes that infrastructure grant funding was pushed back due to the federal election.
Wilks feels city staff worked hard through 2019 to make significant changes in the community.
“We had a very productive year with a council that’s progressive and a staff that’s worked extremely hard, and all of the employees of the District of Sparwood who have moved Sparwood forward very quickly with a number of projects.”