Community Funding Decisions; and Washington Street Contract Awarded
Special Meeting of Rossland City Council, April 4, 2016, 3:00 pm
Present: Mayor Kathy Moore, and Councillors Lloyd McLellan, Andrew Zwicker, Andy Morel, Aaron Cosbey, and John Greene
Public Input: KCTS President Ryan Kuhn spoke on the value to communities of trails. “Trails are considered a primary driver of migration to Rossland.” He pointed out a number of the onerous regulations under which KCTS operates, and the fact that many of our trails are on private land, requiring a separate agreement with each owner. He stated that cutting funding to trails is a false economy. Kuhn mentioned the numbers of people who come to Rossland for events such as the Rubberhead race and other events, and that 150 riders will be coming to Rossland for a Trans-BC race this summer.
Council had decided earlier to spend $287,500 on its community funding, and is not able to reduce some of the funding (such as the Museum, because of a pre-existing contractual obligation to pay $48,500, and Bear Aware which cannot function at all without its basic funding of $2500.)
Council discussed how to allocate the funds, and decided to average the amounts suggested by each councillor on a spreadsheet, but with adjustments needed where a councillor may have allocated too little to a group that must receive a certain level of funding. Here are the amounts ultimately allocated:
Rossland Council for Arts and Culture: $3778
Kootenay Columbia Trails Society: $18650
Tourism Rossland: $20678
Bear Aware: $2500
Funding for Trail Recreation Program: $46167
Heritage Commission: $3654
Sustainability Commission: $13444
Tennis Society: $2833
Museum : $48,500
Library: $ 115,948
Visions for Small Schools $6348
Youth Action Network: 2190
Food Security: 2806
Cosbey moved that the City give the Museum notice to renegotiate their contract so that during budget preparations the City will not be bound to provide a pre-set amount of funding for the Museum every year. The motion CARRIED unanimously.
Moore spoke briefly about how the City is spending more than it can afford on all the amenities Rossland offers, and that the City will be engaging residents in assessing the degree of community willingness to fund our amenities with tax dollars.
Rossland Mountain Market requested permission to close Queen Street east of the Nelson & District Credit Union on April 23 to host a market event as part of the Earth Day festivities. A motion to grant the request CARRIED unanimously.
Washington Street contract tender:
Manager of Public Works Darrin Albo presented material on the two competitive bids submitted:
Maglio Installations Ltd — tender price : $6,664,487.75
Copcan Contracting Ltd — tender price: $6,099,100.50
Council moved to award the contract to Copcan; it CARRIED unanimously.
The tender price accepted is not the full cost of the project, which is expected to total about 7.5 million dollars. As with the Columbia Avenue work, a considerable amount of rock will have to be removed, some of it very close to gas mains and other services.
Albo went through the materials, explaining items listed and pointing out items that have already been done and paid for by the City in this year’s budget, and other items that may be omitted to save money. He explained the difference between laying the asphalt in two layers, which ends up with a thicker final product, and better compaction, especially around features; and laying it in one layer, which is less expensive but tends not to last as well.
Albo presented 3 options for the project, outlining different costs for including different items of “optional work”. Option 1 included “optional” items such as the thicker 2-layer pavement, LED street lighting from 2nd Avenue to 4th Avenue similar to our downtown lighting, fibre optic conduits and junction boxes, and “watermain extension works” to replace undersized water mains on 3rd Avenue and 5th Avenue. Albo explained that if the lighting wasn’t done, the current “cobra-head” lights would remain.
Option 2 excluded the fibre optic works, but included the thicker pavement and the new street lighting from 2nd Avenue to 4th Avenue. Option 3 excluded all the “optional” features.
Zwicker moved to go with Option 1, except without the watermain extensions. Council discussed the cost of using poles for the fibre optic works (instead of underground conduits); Moore suggested that Council then study the amounts of money known to be available for the project, and the costs of the different options. Albo offered that he is “fairly confident” that the cost estimates should cover the work that needs to be done.
Moore asked about the watermain extension — how soon would the City have to address it if we don’t address it now? Albo replied that the work would not be needed for several years.
Council mulled over the long-term cost savings of doing projects now, at lower expense, rather than deferring things into the future.
The motion to choose Option #1, but without the watermain extensions, CARRIED unanimously.
Council discussed which streets will be open for traffic during construction; Albo acknowledged that there will be inconvenience, but that people will still be able to get around. There will be alternate routes, and the City is planning to provide residents with advance notice about closures.
There will be one change from the original plan: Turner Avenue will now be one-way “in,” only from uphill traffic on Washington Street.
Council then recessed to an in camera session under Community Charter Section 90(1)(c), and your reporter walked briskly home, buffeted by cold breezes and feeling the dreaded onset of a sore throat.