Council Miscellany—Trash, Time Capsules, Cook-with-an-e, and Norwegian Sisters

Andrew Bennett
By Andrew Bennett
February 20th, 2013

Rossland council’s regular meeting on Feb. 13 covered a lot of ground, from planning for the inevitable spring dog doo thaw, to the federal government’s decision to change our electoral riding apparently, opponents say, to dye our orange with some blue.

The lid’s wide open for Pitch-In 2013

For several years, Coun. Jill Spearn and Coun. Kathy Moore have jointly coordinated the annual “pitch in” campaign to engage citizens in a city-wide trash and dog doo pick-up as soon as the snow melts.

Last year, Spearn and Moore recommended for several reasons, cost chief among them, that Rossland need not join (and pay for) with the national “Pitch In Canada” day that comes complete with educational materials and trash bags with the Pitch In logo. Furthermore, Rossland still has a lot of snow on the ground during the national day.

Ultimately, Moore was out of town during the spring melt, and although Spearn took her elementary students on a mission, a community-wide event did not come to pass. This year, however, Spearn and Moore are raring to go.

Spearn said, “We can still hold our community Pitch In without the bags and accessories. I’m in favour of the same kind of campaign.”

Moore noted that she was sent the Pitch In bags last year anyway, despite the fact that Rossland had opted out. “But Pitch In didn’t want them back,” Moore said, so the bags are available for this year.

Coun. Cary Fisher suggested that a date be set, but Deputy CAO Tracey Butler suggested—and Moore and Spearn concurred—that it was better to wait until closer to the time, to know when the snow would melt and expose the goods.

Regarding dog doo in general, council had a committee-of-the-whole (COW) meeting on Feb. 18 to discuss new animal control and smoking bylaws. The Telegraph was unable to attend, but the results of these COW discussions will now be brought to the next council meeting.

Time capsule project to go ahead

Council has agreed to supply up to 30 hours of public work’s time to Ryan McGill’s idea for a century-long time capsule to be buried in the front lawn of the public library.

Coun. Kathy Wallace asked about the 30 hours, “Where did that number come from?”

Butler responded that it was a “generous” estimate made “in consultation with public works and in talking with Ryan McGill.”

Spearn was not entirely sold on the idea. “It’s interesting, no doubt,” she said, “but I felt like it fell out of nowhere.” She was concerned that “it feels a bit rushed.” She also wondered what would happen in the event that the city chose to sell the public library’s property.

Mayor Greg Granstrom replied that if the building were sold, the capsule would be moved to a new location without opening it. He added, “This didn’t come out of the blue.” He explained that McGill had raised the idea prior to the Columbia renovations, but with all the other changes going on—including the redesign of the Cenotaph—the city was unable to do it then.

Moore favoured the project, but wondered who McGill would work with. Butler responded, “If approved, he’ll come in to talk with us, and also the library and the museum.” She added that she will direct McGill to the Columbia Basin Trust for possible grant funding.

Rossland-wide branding project

Council carried a motion to “move forward with the city’s individual branding project using the grant money provided by Tourism Rossland.”

The grant from the Kootenay Rockies Tourism Community Opportunities Fund will go towards the cost of branding work for both the Chamber of Commerce and the library to maintain “consistency of look, feel, and colours” in signs, letterheads, email signatures, business cards, and so forth. This reduces the city’s cost from $500 to $250.

Moore said, “Tourism Rossland is doing a fantastic job,” citing recent Canada AM coverage of the 116th Winter Carnival and other publicity coups. “Deanne [Steven] is really an asset,” she said.

Cook(e) Avenue an affront to history?

While noting Heritage Week (Feb. 18 to 24) and the display on Rossland’s heritage homes on now at the Rouge Gallery, Mayor Granstrom raised an interesting historical anomaly, especially for residents on Cooke Ave. in lower Rossland.

Granstrom said that an original 1896 map by city founder Ross Thompson unequivocally calls it Cook Ave, without an ‘e,’ contrary to the modern name. The long-closed Cook Ave. School did not have an ‘e’ either, he added, and “the school was named after the street.”

“It changed in 1954,” Granstrom said. “I don’t know why.”

“It’s important that we’re historically correct,” he said, noting that the Heritage Commission and the museum were looking into it. “But it’s not as simple as changing a sign. I thought we should put it out there to the community.”

He called changing back to the historically-correct name “opening a can of worms” because, beyond sign changes, people would have to change their addresses.

“Does it hurt anything [having an ‘e’]?” he asked. “Probably not. But is it correct?”

Mayor heads to Norway “on his own nickel”

Granstrom will be going to Norway in March with representatives from the Spirit of Red to the town of Olaus Jeldness’s birth. He asked council for ideas for gifts to bring, recalling the books and flags brought by the Norwegian delegation Rossland hosted for the 116th Winter Carnival, the first with a bronze Olaus statue commissioned by the Spirit of Red in honour of the “father of competitive skiing in Canada” and the carnival’s founder.

He added the trip will be “on my own nickel,” to quell any concerns that the city coffers would be tapped for the journey. He will be joined by his wife for the ambassadorial trip.

Coun. Tim Thatcher asked, “Is there a chance of becoming sister cities or friendship communities?” The mayor responded that while Rossland is open to the idea, he will wait for his cue from the Norwegians he will meet there.

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