Tuesday, December 29, 2009  
   Volume 79 - Issue 52 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Year
“I’m proud to be from Crowsnest Pass, and I want everyone else to be proud.”
- Joey Ambrosi  
- on receiving the Order of   
Crowsnest Pass   
October 22, 2009


The calendar year of 2009 has come and now nearly gone. As the community moves into 2010, the first year of a new decade, let's take a look back at some of the issues that defined the Crowsnest Pass in 2009.
Economic Troubles
The year was, in some ways, defined by economic troubles in the Crowsnest Pass. If there is a number one local story for 2009, this is it.
The year saw business closures in the community, most notably Westcastle Motors and Kate's Ladies Wear. Other businesses moved away from more expensive main street locations to more affordable locations elsewhere. Other businesses reduced their office hours to cope with the hard times.
Community groups who receive money from council saw their budgets cut by ten percent as the year began. The Boys and Girls Club had to close their doors after encountering unexpected financial trouble. The school division reduced their bussing services because of budget constraints. House prices dropped, though they seem to be stabilized. Taxes went up, and the cost of utilities is going up. Some parts of main streets in the Pass are peppered with vacant commercial spaces. The River Run development continued to struggle and fail to get off the ground.
It is said that the economic downturn in Canada is beginning to turn the corner. Hopefully the Crowsnest Pass can take advantage of an upswing when one occurs. There are some signs of hope in the community as well –– some businesses have used this time to renovate or even rebuild their buildings, presenting a better look that will surely improve the community's economic chances.
The Crowsnest Centre
Love it or hate it, it was all over the news in 2009.
Debate over the merits of the facility, the costs involved, and whether or not renters in the building could go somewhere else carried over from 2008 and didn't let up. Council officially closed the old wing of the Centre on August 15, but the Chinook Educational Consortium, pointing to their five-year lease, refused to vacate the premises.
Council has initiated legal action against the Consortium to attempt to force it to leave the facility. The Consortium has stated that the cost of relocating their operation would be too large to bear. As the year comes to a close, that matter is still unsettled, and the Consortium continues to operate their classes out of the Centre.
The society that ran the Centre is being moved out of its operating position, and the municipality is poised to assume full responsibility for that operation. What will 2010 bring for the beleaguered facility? Only time will tell.
Always an issue in any community, vandalism took centre stage in 2009. Flumerfelt Park was targeted numerous times through the year, as unknown individuals damaged the roofed eating area, the bathrooms, the picnic tables, and more, again and again and again. Several buildings and street signs were spray-painted. School bus windows were broken, vandals struck the swimming pool, and random, run-of-the-mill vandalism occurred to private residences on and off through the year.
While vandalism is nothing new, the community took special note of it in 2009. A community meeting was held by the Police Advisory Committee to discuss the issue, and RCMP Constable Ryan Di-Loreto researched possible actions a community can take to combat vandalism. Council has discussed the possibility of implementing a curfew bylaw to keep youth indoors between certain hours.
... for the full story, see the December 29 issue of the Pass Herald.
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   Volume 79 - Issue 52 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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