Red Mountain Hotel Design Squeaks by
April 27th, 2015: Council had a busy evening, starting at 5:00 pm with a Committee-of-the-Whole (CoW) meeting to discuss the City’s draft 2014 financial statements with the City’s auditor; at 6:00 pm, a Public Consultation on the Budget; and at 7:00, a regular Council meeting.
Present were Mayor Kathy Moore, and Councillors Marten Kruysse, John Greene, Andrew Zwicker, Andy Morel, and Lloyd McLellan. New Interim CAO Mike Maturo, Deputy Corporate Officer Cynthia Añonuevo, and Acting Chief Financial Officer Lois Hunter were present, and Planner Stacey Lightbourne was there for most of the meeting as well.
Note to readers: these reports are not complete accounts of the proceedings, but are intended to tell Rosslanders (and anyone else who’s interested) the main items discussed and decided at Council meetings.
During the CoW, the City’s auditor noted that Rossland Council has improved the City’s internal procedures considerably and noted that the new policy on related party transactions is a great improvement. She suggested that Council clarify the City policy on retirement, and praised Rossland’s Acting Chief Financial Officer, Lois Hunter, saying, “not often do we find anyone who works as hard as she does.”
Public Input on the Financial Plan: Only one member of the public showed up — Laura Petit. Hunter noted that the financial plan is not final until there is a bylaw in place, and that adjustments can still be made; and that there will be a special meeting before May 15 to adopt the final version of the financial plan.
Highlights: A 2% property tax increase is planned. The City is continuing to convert all properties to water meters; and to upgrade meters that cannot be read remotely. Hunter explained the modest increases in water and sewer charges, planned to be in effect as of July 1st of this year.
Hunter spoke to the City’s plan to begin increasing its depleted reserves. There will be withdrawals from some reserves to accomplish needed projects, and the City is making provision in its financial planning to build them up again.
Regular Meeting — 7:00
Youth Action Network (YAN): Mike Kent explained YAN’s request for permission to apply for grants of up to $5000 without seeking permission of Council for each one. He mentioned that their second Youth Week starts next week, and detailed the number of grants they have received and what they have accomplished with them.
Rossland Council for Arts and Culture (RCAC): Larry Doell spoke about the new kiosk RCAC has had made (pursuant to a resolution of the previous council) and asked for assistance from the City to install it in Harry LeFevre Square, over the boulder and plaque. Kruysse asked who would be administering the kiosk and its content; Doell indicated that would have to be decided. Moore said she was surprised to see the colour scheme (black and metallic gold). Lightbourne wanted to check back about what was approved by Council for the kiosk, before commenting. Doell noted that their budget of $3000 for the kiosk has been spent.
Moore answered an earlier question about the amount paid to Rossland by the Regional District for fire hydrants; the same amount is paid per hydrant to all communities.
A motion to approve the purchase of Associate Membership Liability Protection Insurance from the Municipal Insurance Association for YAN, which is a project of the City, carried unanimously.
A motion to establish an advisory committee for YAN carried unanimously. Moore explained that Council would then advertise to recruit members of the committee from the community.
A motion to approve the final design concept for the Red Mountain Hotel carried, with McLellan and Morel opposed. The City’s design consultant, Robert Inwood, had rather grudgingly recommended approval of the design, while commenting that “this architectural proposal presents many design elements that are somewhat at odds with the prevailing structures that have recently been built … it does not ‘blend in’ gracefully with the existing ambience of the area.” Inwood recommended that the City review its design guidelines, or consider how those guidelines should be interpreted, for the base area.
Council then agreed unanimously to recommend approval for two new liquor licence areas for Redstone Resort, and another for the Rossland Beer Company.
A motion to give first, second and third readings of the new Heritage Commission Bylaw carried unanimously; Moore noted that normally she would not agree to give all three readings of a bylaw at once, but that the changes in this bylaw are minor and have been well discussed in advance.
A motion that Rossland release the covenant on a property in the Evergreen subdivision, in order to get paid for the expenses incurred by the City to complete the former owner’s obligations, and tax arrears, when the property is sold, carried unanimously.
Council received a letter from Terry Brinson, the Golden City Days 2015 coordinator, asking the City to provide a detailed list of products and services. Council referred the request to staff for more information and advice on the total cost to the City compared with last year’s event and the current year’s budget.
Moore announced that Rossland will be hosting the Association of Kootenay-Boundary Local Governments (AKBLG) conference in 2017, not in 2016 as previously announced.
The meeting was closed to the public for discussion of labour issues, and your reporter walked home being grateful for the wonderful variety of buildings in this community, and the fact that design schemes have not been imposed upon most people’s houses … and wondering when the lilacs will begin blooming in Rossland this spring.