Sara Golling
By Sara Golling
May 10th, 2016

Rossland City Council Special Meeting, Monday, May 9, 2016, 3:00 pm

All Council members were present.

A New Pilot Project:

The first item of business was a presentation by Brian Fry, Chair of Climate Change Disruptors (CCD), and Pilar Portela, CEO and co-founder,  with a proposal for a pilot project for data collection, aggregation and sharing, to measure greenhouse gas emissions from City vehicles.  Fry has sold his original company, Rackforce, and is embarking on this new initiative with Portela, who has worked  in software development for the past 20 years.   For more information on Fry and Rackforce, readers can check out this podcast and then this one.  Portela is featured in  this podcast, explaining the aims and methodology  of  CCD.

Fry began by stating that the great challenge of our times for the world  is to try to keep the earth’s average temperature at no more than 1.5 degrees C. above pre-industrial averages.  To do that, people, companies  and countries will have to act more quickly on factual information — and will have to access that information much more rapidly than has been possible  so far.  Fry says that CCD will provide automatic, standardized,  impartial  and immediate data collection and sharing.

For the pilot project,  they propose to start small, and  look  only at emissions under our direct control:    emissions  from Rossland’s fleet of City vehicles.  Other communities will participate as well, and the data can be shared.

Selkirk College will place sensors in the City’s vehicles,  and  will collect data about the GHG emissions of the City’s vehicles. 

Councillor Aaron Cosbey, who has experience working on climate change,  said he supports the City’s participation in the project because he can see that  “this can be really big.”

A motion to facilitate the pilot project by CCD CARRIED unanimously.

Financial Plan and Tax Rate bylaws:

Council unanimously adoptedBylaw #2613, City of Rossland Financial Plan 2016 – 2020, and Bylaw  #2614, Tax Rates for 2016.

Contract Awarded for 2017 AKBLG Conference:

A motion to award  the contract for AKBLG convention planning  in 2017 to Ann Damude in the amount of  $19,000  CARRIED unanimously.  Damude also did the planning for the 2012 AKBLG event held in Trail.

The generosity of CBT:

Council considered a letter by Mayor Kathy Moore on behalf of the City of Rossland,  thanking CBT for  its generous provision of grants to Rossland and committing to refrain from applying for capital grants for the next two years, in recognition of the fact that Rossland has received more funding from CBT than any other community in the region over the past two years, and was among the top five recipients of funding over the past five years.   CBT had requested this commitment,  and that it be endorsed by Council resolution.   Cosbey asked, and Moore confirmed that the City will be unable to provide letters of support for capital grant applications to CBT for Rossland organizations during that time, but the  restriction  does not apply to grants for operating expenses.

Cosbey noted that there are good reasons why Rossland has received more CBT  funding.  He said it’s partly because Rossland has proposed excellent projects;  and if CBT tries to enforce a more  even distribution of funding across the region, he hopes they will not be awarding funds for  less-worthy projects to achieve that goal.

CBT’s most recent financial help to Rossland is providing up to  $114,000 “gap money” to enable the Miners Hall attic renovation  to go forward, provided that the City actively continues fundraising efforts,  and refunds to CBT any monies obtained elsewhere.

A motion to endorse Moore’s letter CARRIED  unanimously.

Kruysse  suggested that a review of the distribution of tax charges might be in order.  CAO Bryan Teasdale pointed out that there are legislated limits on the differences in the tax rates between classes of  properties.  Kruysse  moved that Council consider a property tax strategy to inform next year’s five year plan, and the motion  CARRIED.

Teasdale explained that the tax structure examination will be part of the  asset management plan. 

Then Council adjourned the meeting, and your reporter  rushed off to the Post Office to collect her latest order of seed potatoes (Russian Blue and Amarosa) to plant, and to Ferraro’s to buy a bag of potatoes to eat,  then returned to City Hall to sit in on a meeting  of Rossland’s  Fire Services Task  Force while  all those weighty potatoes languished under a chair, waiting to be carried home.

Categories: Politics

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