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Stage is set for 2012
Last year, to a certain extent, was a year of accomplishment for West Shore municipalities.
Delayed by a few months but finished to great fanfare, Langford’s $14.1 million Sportsplex opened to skaters and bowlers in the fall.
The new sheet offered sweet relief to dozens of hockey teams and figure skaters. Similarly, the bowling centre is so jam packed with leagues, its popularity has caught everyone off guard.
With City Centre Park effectively completed, Langford is refocusing its attention this year on it’s other expensive project, the Spencer Road Interchange. The bridge and at least one ramp should be open to traffic well into 2012, easing the crush on the Millstream Road overpass.
In 2011, Colwood, finally, made great strides in solving how it manages and distributes its sewer debt, lowering sewer tax for most property owners, and hopefully ending expensive sewer-linked lawsuits.
With a new mayor and a mix of veteran and rookie councillors, Colwood council could see a more harmonious term, rather than the venomous and personal bickering of the last three years.
This year could also see a development boom for Colwood if the long-idle Royal Bay lands finally land a buyer, as has been rumoured. But with growing economic uncertainty on a national scale, the city shouldn’t hold its breath.
In 2011, View Royal completed its picturesque Island Highway Improvement Project after sweating through a year of angry commuters and wounded merchants.
Infrastructure work on major commuter routes takes nerves of steel by municipal officials. Unfortunately commuters will be thrown into chaos again when Saanich and View Royal replace the Craigflower bridge.
On a broader scope, 2011 didn’t prove to be the year E&N rail line found refurbishment money. Idle and rotting, 2012 could be the make-it or break-it year for the corridor, and for any hope of commuter rail between the West Shore and Victoria.