A secondary access road is part and parcel with a $40 million renovation plan for Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital, says the city mayor.
So news Trail was denied provincial gas tax money to build a $3 million road, is one more letdown following deferral of the regional hospital’s multi-million sustainability project.
“The IHA (Interior Health Authority) has made it clear that the second access road is critical should the capital improvements advance,” Trail Mayor Mike Martin explained.
“Not only will traffic be managed more efficiently and safely, it also will provide the opportunity to improve parking on the property.”
Martin says the city will continue to promote the need for a secondary road, and is ready to advance the project if and when the previously identified and well developed capital (sustainability) project moves forward.
“This is disappointing,” he said, referring to the Jan. 21 letter from the gas tax management committee. “(But) this gives the city more time to consider the project and how best to proceed.”
Council has two issues at hand, Martin emphasized.
“The first being that IHA remains committed to the Sustainability Plan and undertaking the estimated $40 million in capital improvements,” he said. “These upgrades are critical and clearly make the best sense from a service and economic perspective for the entire service area.”
Trail council hopes to develop necessary strategies associated with getting the commitments required to see the project approved by the IHA as well as the regional hospital board, added Martin.
Secondly, he pointed to the federal government’s stated objective to fund infrastructure.
“The city is well positioned to advance an application as part of any new program that is announced,” said Martin.
“Having a shovel ready project is critical and the project is well developed, so hopefully the city will be in a position to obtain external moneys in support of proceeding.”