Marten Kruysse Honoured
Rossland City Council Meeting, February 10, 2015.
All Council members were present, and before the meeting began, Mayor Kathy Moore announced a special honour for one of Rossland’s Council members: Marten Kruysse has been chosen for an ” Award of Excellence” — special recognition by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) for his contributions to the FCM’s International Program. Moore listed many of his volunteer endeavours, and the Mayor of North Vancouver attended by speakerphone to speak about Kruysse and his accomplishments, calling him “a true citizen of the world” and a “quintessential Canadian,” and referring to his “selfless giving … expecting only the intrinsic rewards of giving and teaching.”
After the applause, no one took advantage of the “Public Input Period”, and there were two delegations: Gordon Smith appeared on behalf of School District 20 and reported briefly on enrolment figures and facilities — no news there — and Libby Martin introduced the new Museum Director, Joelle Hodgins. Ms. Hodgins made a presentation on the current state of affairs at the Museum, and plans for its future.
After the delegations, Council adopted previous minutes with no discussion, including the minutes of the Committee-of-the-Whole meeting held on February 4, and approved all recommendations included in those minutes. Those recommendations included:
· rejecting the Curling Club’s application for $7,500 to paint and re-carpet their locker room;
· making provision in the 2015 budget for a 1% increase in wages;
· preparing the 2015 budget to reflect a 7% decrease in Public Works “man” hours;
· to allocate $10,000 in the 2015 budget for casual “man” hours;
· that consultant costs in the amount of $10,000 be allocated to the 2015 Broadband budget;
· that the amount of $186,625 be allocated for capital expenditure in the 2015 Broadband budget.
There had been an application on the February 4 COW agenda by the Curling Club for a grant-in-aid in the amount of $26,800; Acting Chief Financial Officer Lois Hunter explained that it wasn’t really for a grant-in-aid (cash), but was intended to ensure that the City would dedicate resources up to that amount for the operation of the curling rink, as it has in the past, and as it is obligated to do according to its agreement with the Curling Club. Therefore the application was not reviewed with the other community support applications and Council did not make any resolution about the application.
The State of Rossland Indicators Report: This report is part of Rossland’s ongoing sustainability efforts, and provides information on 32 “indicators” that will, when tracked over time, show how well Rossland is progressing toward its sustainability goals. Council adopted the report.
Councillor Aaron Cosbey commented that the report was very well-done; Councillor Andy Morel thought the response rate was rather low, and Planner Stacey Lightbourne said she is very open to ideas on how to improve that. Kruysse noted that there are some areas identified as “needing attention” and asked what the next steps are for those. Lightbourne replied, “That’s up to Council.” Cosbey clarified that Council can direct the Sustainability Commission (SC) to work on things, but that the SC isn’t solely responsible for carrying the City’s Sustainability Plan forward. Kruysse noted that the information is very useful to have before starting a strategic planning process. Moore pointed out one error: the report refers to the Seven Summits Centre for Learning as a “private” school, and it is not.
The owners of 1920 Park Street had applied for a Development Variance Permit to allow for a wider driveway, and narrower rear and side set-backs, to allow for a garage to be built by the lane. The motion to approve carried unanimously.
Council then unanimously passed a resolution committing the City to pay $1,090,850 as its share toward the Washington Street water main replacement project, and to proceed with the project IF its funding application is successful.
Council voted unanimously to give second reading to the Zoning Amendment Bylaw for 3975 Old Red Mountain Road, and to set a Public Hearing for March 9, 2015. Attentive readers will recall that a new Zone, “Resort Campground,” is proposed for the property.
The owner(s) of 1638 Third Avenue applied to have the property re-zoned from R1- Residential, to R1-Infill-Detached Infill Residential, for the purpose of subdividing the property. Council voted unanimously to give first and second readings to the zoning amendment bylaw, and to schedule a Public Hearing on the matter for March 9, 2015.
Council discussed a letter from the Rossland Public Library, asking for reconsideration of the funding cuts. Council members expressed real regret about cutting funding for the library, and acknowledging its value to the community, but felt they had no choice but to spread the pain as evenly as possible. Moore indicated that the City will praise the library lavishly, as they deserve, in any letters of support for other funding.
Petri Raito of the Rossland Beer Company wrote to Council (and was present at the meeting) to clarify to expectations of the Design Review Panel (DRP) regarding his proposed fence. Council and Petri discussed the issues, and arrived at a mutually satisfactory conclusion which was passed by unanimous resolution. Lightbourne, who sits in on the DRP meetings, explained that the DRP will also welcome a review of the guidelines under which they are required to operate. Councillor Andrew Zwicker suggested that Council should deal with problems on a case-by-case basis until the guidelines have been reviewed. Councillor John Greene praised the talent and helpfulness of DRP member and painter Ken Turner.
Members’ Reports: a few highlights:
· Councillor Lloyd McLellan was impressed by, and grateful for, the amount of volunteer work donated to make Winter Carnival a success; others agreed, and Moore wants letters of thanks to go out.
· Morel is impressed with the library renewal project; Cosbey commented that he is “completely sold” on it.
· Cosbey had attended a board meeting of the Seven Summits Centre for Learning, and notes that they are seeking larger premises.
Moore then adjourned the meeting to an in camera session, pursuant to no fewer than five subsections of the Community Charter. And your reporter walked home in the dank and foggy dark, trying not to be disgusted by the sound of water dripping out of trees, rushing through storm drains, and dribbling down the gutters.