Rossland Gets a New Zone; Some "In Camera" Info Released

Sara Golling
By Sara Golling
January 29th, 2015

Rossland City Council  meeting, January 26, 2015

Present:  Mayor Kathy Moore, and Councillors Lloyd McLellan, John Greene, Andrew Zwicker, Marten Kruysse, and Aaron Cosbey.  Councillor Andy  Morel came in slightly late, and Aaron Cosbey left for a brief interval.

No one appeared for Public Input Period, and there were no delegations.

Shortly after calling the meeting to order at 6:00 PM, Moore accepted a  motion to  move into Committee of the Whole (COW), for a presentation by Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Tracey Butler, on the City’s Policy Manual.    She went through the list of policies, explaining briefly what each one covered.  She noted that the manual had been through an extensive revision in 2011 and 2012, because at that time many of the policies in effect had been written before the Community Charter and Local Government Act  came into effect.

Butler explained that policies are guidelines for Council and Staff, unlike bylaws which require compliance.  She noted that rescinded policies are archived.  Some policies are currently in the process of revision, such as the purchasing policy.

McLellan commented that he had identified at least ten policies that he would like to review; he moved that Council review two policies at each regular meeting, starting with ones identified by Council as high-priority and then dealing with the rest chronologically.  Councillors discussed whether or not they should wait until after they have dealt with some other large projects first, but the motion to begin reviewing policies at the next regular meeting carried.

Moore adjourned the COW and re-convened the regular meeting.

Community Support:  Council had to revise their funding cuts to community groups, because the Rossland Museum has a pre-existing Service Agreement with the City and is entitled to receive $48,500 for 2015.   When that came to Council’s attention, they had to find $5243 from potential grants to other groups in order to stay within their goal of 7% of tax revenues.

Two motions failed – one to subtract $5000 from the funding for the Sustainability Commission, and one to subtract $5000 from a possible grant to the Chamber of Commerce.   Finally Zwicker moved to calculate what percentage would have to be subtracted from all the other groups’ grants to reach the 7% goal and to subtract that amount from all other applicants except the Museum. 

Moore noted that Rossland Council for Arts and Culture and Wildsafe get matching funding for their small grants, so they would be penalized even more and she didn’t want that to happen.  McLellan opposed the  motion because he thought it was a way of avoiding a decision.   Motion carried.

McLellan moved to amend a  motion made at the Council meeting on  January 21 to clarify the intention of Council — which was to budget $9,500 for the Winter Carnival, with a $5000 contingency sum to be used ONLY if necessary.    Motion carried.

A motion to release formerly in camera information about the City’s settlement with CopCan carried.  CopCan had filed a claim against the City for an additional  $423,933.89 for work done on the Columbia/Washington project, claiming that the amount of bedrock found was not reasonably foreseeable.   After reaching a settlement in mediation, the City paid CopCan $103,000,  considerably  less than their original  demand.

Zoning Application:  The owner of 3975 Old Red Mountain Road has applied for a zoning amendment  to allow development of the property as a “Resort Campground“, to accommodate short-term visitors (staying up to one month) in “tourist cabins” or campground facilities.  (A “tourist cabin” would be 50 square meters or less in size.)   Staff deemed this use to support the Official Community Plan intention of supporting and enhancing resort recreation opportunities and experiences; it also appears to support objectives of the Strategic Sustainability Plan, including “a variety of accommodation types, tenures and sizes”.   There is no “Resort Campground” zone available in Rossland’s current  Zoning Bylaw, so staff have drafted the amendment to the Zoning Bylaw to create one.

Council members asked a number of questions, and the owner — who was present — stated that his facility would “not be an RV park.”

The motion to give first reading to the zoning Amendment Bylaw #2581 carried unanimously.

Council Procedure Bylaw:  Council members had given additional thought to the implications of the proposed Council Procedure Bylaw, and passed a motion to rescind second reading of the previous draft of the bylaw.  After discussion about reconsideration of motions, and the order of business at meetings, Council made amendments to the bylaw and  moved to give the amended bylaw second and third readings.  The motion carried unanimously.

A motion to award a two-year Residential Garbage Collection Contract to Davies Sales and Service  carried unanimously.

CBT Water Smart Grant:  Motion as per Staff recommendation to apply for a $10,000 grant for retrofitting old water meters — the majority of them are at Red .   McLellan suggested the grant could be used for water loss management instead; the need for retrofitting the meters, and the business case and payback time  were discussed.    The motion carried.

Correspondence Consent Calendar:

Moore spoke about Council’s Communications Plan,  noting that the final version had been sent out by e-mail, and that she had sent copies to the press.

Cosbey asked about the recommendation that the Rossland Community Garden continue to raise funds for the insurance policy required by the City.  (The Community Garden  occupies City property and is allowed use of City water.)  Butler explained that the Community Garden cannot be covered by the City’s insurance because they are not City volunteers.

Moore commented that she would like to see  more detail in the Building Permit reports that Council receives; she would appreciate more history, for comparison, and would like to know the nature of the projects:  whether they are renovations or new construction.

Members’ reports:  

McLellan stated that he was favorably impressed  with the condition of the water treatment plant, and the orderliness of the works yard.  He reminded Council that the CUPE contract expires at the end of  February, and suggested checking with  supervisors  to find out if there are any clauses in the contract that might be problematic.  Moore noted that the committee consists of McLellan, Moore, and Cosbey.

Zwicker wanted to arrange for Council coverage at the Winter Market on January 31, and offered to be there from 2:00 – 5:00.  Cosbey can be there for 5:00.  Morel will try to be there from  2:00 – 4:00.    Greene will go around 5:00, and Moore will appear when she can.

Cosbey spoke about the meeting with the Broadband Task Force last week.  They have put some questions  to the Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation and are waiting for answers.  They are also looking forward to hiring a consultant  to assess City Hall’s telephony needs, and one to assess the current business case for broadband in Rossland.      

Cosbey also spoke to a letter from Hudson’s Hope  seeking support for their opposition to the Site C dam.  Cosbey stated that there are many reasons to oppose the dam, and moved that the municipality should oppose it because of the fiscal impacts it will have on the province and its ability to fund municipal projects.   The motion carried.

Morel attended his first meeting of the Lower  Columbia Community Development Team (LCCDT).  One thing he was excited about was a project supporting  some  Selkirk College students to propose  ideas for local development.   He cited examples including:  A district energy system in Rossland by Kailyn Nelson;  and a commuter/recreational trail from  Rossland to Fruitvale, by  Alanna Theoret;  and  restoration of Centennial wetlands, by Melissa LaFace.

Kruysse attended a Tourism Rossland meeting.  He characterized Tourism Rossland as “a very dynamic group, with lots of ideas”.  Kruysse reported that they are thinking of expanding, and doing more events to attract people from out of town. 

Moore reminded Councillors that the  provincial financial disclosure form is due by Feb 15, and failure to file on time means a $500 fine.  The new Council’s first effort to reach out to the whole community, in the form of the ThoughtExchange project, is  about to launch.  Moore wants  all citizens to sign up on the City’s web page to take part in it.  Morel asked whether there would be something sent out that people can share on FaceBook;  Moore said,  yes.  

Moore went to the Royal Canadian Legion Provincial Curling Championship  event and dinner, and said it was  very well organized.  Council has been invited to go down to tour the Fire Department facilities and their dispatch centre.   She reported that the RDKB board are “heavy into budget discussions”  and that she has 67 scheduled RDKB meetings (board and committee) to attend this year.  Moore will be the chair of the RDKB Sewage Committee.  She has not yet seen the final  Bridge Funding agreement, and will not be signing it until she has seen the operating  and maintenance  agreement as well.    Moore reported that Rossland will  be hosting the Association of Kootenay & Boundary Local Governments  in April of 2016 –that  will bring about 150 people to town. 

 A motion carried to adjourn the regular meeting and move to in camera pursuant to Section  90 (2) e)  of the Community Charter:  Review of a report by the Auditor General for Local Government (AGLG).    Your reporter crunched home in the mist and frost, thinking that a much lighter laptop would be a fine idea, and wondering what suggestions for improvement the new report from the AGLG might contain.

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