Garden Festival on May 15th; Rossland Skatepark Association raising funds; a new hotel at the base of Red is in the works

Sara Golling
By Sara Golling
May 1st, 2014

Council had planned to have its in camera  session at 5:00 pm and then begin its public session at 7:00, but there was no quorum at 5:00, so the in camera session was postponed until after the public portion of the meeting — for which there was quorum, but only just.  Mayor Greg Granstrom and councillors Kathy Moore, Cary Fisher, and Jill Spearn were present. 

Absent were Councillors Jody Blomme, Tim Thatcher, and Kathy Wallace  whose resignation is effective at the end of April.

Delegation:  Rossland Mountain Market

Miche Warwick, who will be managing the local farmers’ market held on Thursdays in Rossland, explained to Council the changes planned for the market this year — a seating area, some educational sessions, more contests, and the “Garden Festival” planned for May 15th.

Delegation:  Rossland Skatepark Association

Aaron Cosbey and Rob Strachan explained the progress made to date toward getting a world-class skatepark in Rossland, and reviewed the steps taken to choose the building site on the south-east portion of the Emcon site.  The primary lesson taken from other communities with skateparks was to make the site central, and not to hide it away from public view.  The City originally granted a 2-year construction window, which would expire this year; and, although the association has raised significant funding toward the $600,000 project, there is still a shortfall — so it can’t be built this season.  Cosbey outlined the social and economic benefits to the community of having a skatepark, and asked Council to grant a 2-year extension.

Variance application postponed

Dan Eheler, of 913 Earl Street, has applied for a variance to allow him to extend the height of an existing building to accommodate a garage with a suite above it.  The building is currently 4.3 metres high (14 feet) and the proposal is to double the height to 8.6 metres.  The allowed height is 6 metres, so a 2.6 metre variance is needed for his project.   Staff recommends allowing the variance,  as the site is set well back on the property and is surrounded by trees, and would have “minimal impact” on the neighbourhood.  However,  Moore declared a conflict of interest, and if she left the meeting it would lose quorum.  Discussion on the application will be delayed until the next Council meeting.

Development permit for a new hotel at Red

Council approved the development permit for the proposed Red Mountain Hotel at  4306 Red Mountain Road, with the seven conditions recommended by staff.  Spearn expressed concern that the hotel will take up a large area currently being used as parking for the ski hill;  City Planner Stacey Lightbourne explained that ski area parking is the responsibility of the ski hill, not the hotel developer.  Moore noted that the ski area must provide enough parking capacity to match the capacity of the ski area, and with the opening of the lifts on Grey, that has expanded.  Lightbourne noted that it is up to staff to ensure that the parking requirements are met.   All four Council members present voted in favour of the application.

A scholarship for Rossland’s  Seven Summits Centre for Learning:

In response to a letter of request, Spearn moved that Council grant a $200 scholarship for the Seven Summits Centre for Learning — 2 students will graduate from grade 12 this year.  Moore said “we ought to support this school in our community.”  Fisher spoke against the motion, saying that “it’s an unfair balance” considering the numbers of students here and at Crowe.  Granstrom noted that the more students who move out of the public school system, the more it hurts the public school system.  Council approved the $200 scholarship.

Later in the meeting, Spearn commented that the larger funding shortfall the school district is experiencing is at least partially a result of their decision to close a school in Rossland, that in doing so they “shot themselves in the foot” in order to save a mere $140,000 a year, and that they knew there would be consequences when they did it.  Spearn reiterated that K-12 education in Rossland is an important part of Rossland’s OCP and that point should not be neglected.   Granstrom noted that Council cannot affect the school board’s decisions.

Granstrom then adjourned the public meeting to move to an in camera session pursuant to Sections 91.1(e) and 91.2(e) of the Community Charter;   those sections read as follows:

91.1(e) the acquisition, disposition or expropriation of land or improvements, if the council considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality;

91.2(e) a review of a proposed final performance audit report for the purpose of providing comments to the auditor general on the proposed report under section 23 (2) of the Auditor General for Local  Government Act.

Your reporter packed up and walked home, enjoying the bright clear evening and contemplating the fact that this is tick season.   Watch for them.  Your reporter notes that watching for them seems to result in frequently feeling (non-existent) ticks scampering about on her person.

To avoid thinking about ticks, try contemplating the upcoming municipal election.  The Local Government Act covers municipal elections and contains a great deal of information for those interested — here are three morsels:

 1.  Voting day in municipal elections is held on the third Saturday of November in election years — this year, that’s November 16th.  Mark that date!

2.   Nominations open on the 46th day before the voting day — this year, that’s October 1st (by my calculations).

3.   Nominations close at 4:00 pm on the 36th day before the voting day — this year, that would be October 11, but October 11 is a Saturday.  It’s unclear what effect, if any, that has, as your reporter can’t tell from the Act whether or not Saturday is considered a “holiday” for this purpose.   So it would probably be safer for nominees to get those papers in order and submit them well before 4:00 pm on October 10 — just in case.

Categories: General

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