Rossland Yards Grand Opening
An unusual part of the Rossland Yards grand opening, commented on by one or two locals, was that Mayor Andy Morel wore a suit and tie. Columbia Basin Trust CEO Johnny Strilaeff said he hadn’t expected our mayor to be wearing a tie, so had not donned one himself.
Morel and Strilaeff addressed the crowd of attendees, as did our region’s MLA, Katrine Conroy, and Jan Morton, President of the Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society. The word “tenacity” was heard, and “perseverance.” Morel expressed gratitude to “our funding partners, and the team at the Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society for bringing this project to life.” He described Morton as “a force!”
Morton joked that some people use other terms to describe her, and went on to honour the volunteer effort that went into the project: “ten thousand hours of volunteer work, that don’t show up on any financial statements!”
The official ground-breaking photo-op for this project happened in 2018:
Construction since then was complicated by COVID and the related shortages of supplies and workers, but today Rossland’s City Hall occupies the ground floor, and people are moving into the 37 workforce housing units on the three floors above that.
Original opinions about the project by Rossland residents were mixed, from enthusiastic support to hostile and vocal opposition. Some felt it would be an enormous eyesore; but several local residents were heard today commenting on how attractive the building is.
People toured the new City Hall offices, and were able to view an unoccupied one-bedroom suite, and a two-bedroom suite, as well as the common room. Heat pumps are the primary heat source, and in hot weather, will act to cool the units.
One oddity: there is a set of mailboxes in the foyer of the residential section, with a notice posted on it telling new residents not to be misled – “There is no mail delivery. Take your lease to the Post Office and get a mailbox.”