A new year could bring a new look to the heart of Enderby.
Leading all of the items on city council’s agenda in 2016 is the beautification of Cliff Avenue.
“It’s a rebuild of our downtown,” said Mayor Greg McCune.
“Is downtown thriving right now, not really. It needs some life breathed into it.”
As part of the project, which could possibly start in February, water lines and pavement will be replaced and trees lifting sidewalks and buildings will be addressed.
The theme would be Life on the River and the concept proposed a raised intersection to promote traffic safety, a large tree outside of the library and lounge seating. Pier-inspired structures would be used in a plaza area.
With the city possibly spending $1.8 million, McCune hopes the project would encourage property owners on Cliff Avenue to do the same.
“We need to say, ‘We’re investing major dollars and the plan doesn’t include boarded-up buildings,’” he said.
Beyond Cliff Avenue, other infrastructure throughout the community is the focus of ongoing improvement.
“We’re feeling pretty good about the water system,” said McCune.
“We can pretty much double our current usage.”
Storm sewer is also being investigated to reduce potential flooding from summer rain storms.
Another focus is the health and well-being of residents and that means city council will try and find physicians who want to live there long-term.
“We have to continue to be on the same ship with the Interior Health Authority,” said McCune.
“Their stand-pat model for physician attraction needs to be tweaked a bit.”
Economic diversity is also a priority and a major factor could be the recent opening of the Splatsin Community Centre.
The First Nation’s $15 million facility is just south of Enderby and it can accommodate 2,000 people. The goal is for it to host tournaments, conferences and special events that could draw visitors to the community.
McCune says he recently spoke to a developer about the potential benefits that could come from the community centre.
“He seemed to think there are great opportunities. It’s hard to hold conventions without hotel rooms,” he said, adding that there are no concrete plans for a hotel yet.