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Castlegar contributes to coalition

At its regular meeting Tuesday night, Castlegar city council threw its support behind the Highway 3 improvement coalition by promising 30 cents per capita ($2,178) per year to help lobby for improvements along the Highway 3 corridor.

Funds received will be used to assist in lobby efforts, as well as to hire a part-time administrative assistant to “coordinate paperwork, arrange meetings and disseminate information”.

While the money wil be administered by the City of Castlegar, other communities have already committed to contributing: namely, Fruitvale, Rossland, Trail and Midway. The City of Kimberley is the only municipality that has so far refused the requested $.30 per capita.

A letter requesting participation in the 30-cent plan of financial support was sent out on Aug.4 to all municipalities and regional districts along the corridor, after a July 30 meeting in Rossland.

“It is recognized by all mayors and chairs along Highway 3 that the economic viability of our communities relies on the safe and efficient movement of traffic,” the letter read, adding the main focus of the group is to, “set out a list of priorities for Highway 3, but not limit the authority of local government to move forward with local projects.”

Castlegar mayor Lawrence Chernoff is co-chair of the coalition, and he said the effort is critical in forwarding the region's economic health and vitality, as the highway represents the primary route of access to and from local communities.