By Chris Hendrickson, Contributing Writer
Gold Bar Mayor Linda Loen announced that she will host a town meet-and-greet to give Gold Bar citizens the opportunity to meet their new mayor.
The meeting will be held at Gold Bar City Hall at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 25, and there is no specific topic. Mayor Loen said that she is simply seeking a way to connect with the citizens of Gold Bar, and is interested in answering questions and sharing her vision for the city. Refreshments will be provided.
“The topic of this meeting is to provide a means for citizens to meet and talk with the mayor in an informal environment,” wrote Loen. “I am interested in what you would like to see in your city. This is a chance for all of you to ask questions, provide suggestions, and get an idea of exactly what is going on in Gold Bar.”
Loen presented an abbreviated “state of the city” address at a recent Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce luncheon, giving attendees a glimpse of a few of the city’s recent accomplishments, along with what her goals are for the future.
“Although it seems like nothing has happened, Mayor Beavers had succeeded in implementing a lot of good things for the city,” said Loen.
Loen credited Beavers and Public Works Director John Light with the installation of the city’s new water reservoir, a project which began in 2010 and was not completed until 2013. The new state-of-the art reservoir is made from stressed concrete and features a central monitoring system which connects it to the city’s other reservoirs. It was designed to accommodate expanded fire flow operations, and is known for its longevity and ease of maintenance.
“This water reservoir is one of the first of its kind to be built in the state,” said Loen.
The concrete reservoir replaced the city’s old wooden one.
Loen outlined several safety improvements which have been implemented along U.S. 2 including the pedestrian safety sidewalk and the two-way turn lane which helps with traffic turning into the Gold Bar Family Grocer. She shared her ideas for further improvements along the dangerous highway; one of her goals is to study the feasibility of getting a lighted pedestrian crosswalk across U.S. 2 somewhere within the Gold Bar city limits.
She also shared that the city has been given a grant to begin the update of the city’s comprehensive plan, and will also actively seek to obtain additional grant funding in an effort to help improve some of the city’s infrastructure such as aging water mains.
To address concerns outlined during the city’s recent troubled financial audit, Loen has begun to establish a new system going forward
“I have made progress on keeping our money safe,” said Loen. “We have put in a number of oversight steps as well as reconciliation and a robust banking and accounting procedure standard.”
She is also working on updating city ordinances and implementing a structured purchase order system.
Other future goals include the establishment of city parks; Loen has two ideas she is pursuing including developing a park area near the Wallace River. She also is exploring the option of creating a new park which would feature areas for walkers, joggers, roller skaters, skateboarders and bicyclists. It would also have a family picnic area and a small playground.
“My predecessors have done a lot to improve our city,” said Loen. “Going forward I intend to do more to help improve safety, attract new income and improve Gold Bar for our future.”
Gold Bar will continue to work with the Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce on different community events.
Chamber Director Debbie Copple said that they will be working closely with Gold Bar to make some improvements that will help with the city’s summer festival, Gold Dust Days. Gold Dust Days is held every year during the last weekend of July.
“We’ll be making some financial investments in the infrastructure up there,” said Copple. “Just like we had to do for Shindig.”
To find out more about the Gold Bar town hall meeting, contact Gold Bar City Hall at 360-793-1101.