Rossland Beer Company Expanding; Food Bank Moving; What Some People Still Don't Know About Rossland; and more
Rossland City Council Regular Meeting, September 6, 2016
Present: Mayor Kathy Moore, and Councillors Lloyd McLellan, Aaron Cosbey, John Greene, Marten Kruysse, Andrew Zwicker. Absent: Andy Morel
No one contributed any comments for Public Input Period.
Recommendations from Staff for Decision:
1. A motion that Council approve the 2017 Revitalization Tax Exemption application from Alanco Development Corporation at 2104 Columbia Avenue CARRIED unanimously. McLellan mentioned that it fits the strategic plan.
2. After discussion, a motion that Council approve the Heritage Commission opening a chequing account at the Nelson and District Credit Union CARRIED unanimously. Kruysse asked what the financial check would be; Moore noted that the Heritage Commission is accountable for the money, and that it is a commission of Council. Chief Financial Officer Elma Hamming said the City’s auditor saw no issue with it, because the funds have already been approved, and the City sees all the expenditures. Lloyd suggested independent third-party review; Cosbey said that sounded like an unnecessary level of bureaucracy. Moore also pointed out that the total amount concerned is between $3000 and $5000 over the course of a year.
1. A motion that Recreation Fees and Charges Bylaw Amendment #2618 be read a third time CARRIED unanimously. Moore pointed out that the rates are still a bit lower than Trail’s.
2. A motion that Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2619, to define “Craft Brewery” and permit that business in Rossland’s C-1 Commercial Downtown Core zone, be read a first and second time, and that a Public Hearing for the bylaw be set for October 11, 2016 CARRIED unanimously. Cosbey complimented staff on the well-prepared information, said he regarded the motion as a piece of necessary housekeeping, and expressed delight that the business is expanding. Kruysse commented that he has seen breweries in both commercial and light industrial zones in other cities and has never heard of a problem.
Staff Updates and Reports:
Manager of Public Works Darrin Albo reported that the Miners Hall roofing should be finished by Friday, and the scaffolding should be coming down by next Tuesday. The City will have to pay for two extra weeks of charges — $2800 — for scaffolding.
Washington Street Project; Albo expects the project to be “substantially complete” by October 10. Washington is remaining closed for subcontractors to work. Railings are being installed along the east side of Washington most of the way from 1st Avenue to 2nd Avenue. The water main change-over went well. McLellan asked whether the bike lane would be paved at the same time as the roadway; Albo said no, there is a different paver for the bike lane. Cosbey expressed appreciation for the job Albo has been doing on the project. Albo responded, “It’s been interesting — even more so than Columbia Avenue was.”
Software Upgrade report: Moore exclaimed that this was “the most exciting thing in the package!” Kruysse said he thought the new software should fix most of the problems the City has been having, but Hamming demurred, explaining what the IT consultant will be looking at, such as “the infrastructure,” security, what options the City has if systems go down, and so on.
Moore asked when the Food Bank will be ready to move to its new home at the south end of the arena building; Albo explained that the move would likely happen during the last week of this month.
McLellan asked about steps taken to reduce “I&I” — inflow and infiltration into the sanitary sewer system, which increases the amount of money that Rossland must pay to the Regional District for Liquid Waste Management. Albo said that his department will be working on raising manhole covers to keep storm-water from flowing in through their vents.
The BC Cancer Society requested a motion endorsing their recommendation that the BC government expand the scope of BC’s Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act to prohibit use in public outdoor spaces province-wide. The letter pointed out, “In BC, the annual economic burden attributed to tobacco is $2 billion.” The letter went on to say, “In addition to protecting citizens from second-hand smoke exposure, smoke and vape-free outdoor places support people who want to quit smoking and provide positive role modelling for children and youth. A comprehensive provincial policy would help change social norms about tobacco use and provide equitable protection from second-hand smoke and vapour.” A motion to support the recommendation CARRIED unanimously.
RCMP quarterly crime statisticsfor the second quarter: it appears that crime was down in Rossland compared with the second quarter last year.
Cosbey reported that the Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation has 12 businesses in the downtown core signed up for broadband and two more in discussion; he pointed out, “the window for free hook-up has expired, but there is a possibility that that window may open up again later in the year if they’ve got enough money, so watch for something, maybe in October.”
Seven Summits Centre for Learninghas started its year, with 43 “learners” registered so far, including several international students. The transition to District 71 has gone very well; “they’re offering lots of interesting courses that they couldn’t have otherwise.” Seven Summits has asked whether their video could be included on the City’s website. Cosbey made a motion to that effect, and it CARRIED unanimously. Cosbey noted that Seven Summits is a public school now, and the teachers are now getting paid CUPE wages; “before, they were quasi-volunteers.”
Skatepark: Copcan hasn’t started excavation for the skatepark yet, but may be able to get on it in 2 – 3 weeks; there’s a “tight window” for pouring concrete this year, so the concrete work may have to wait until next spring.
Greene reported on the Museum. The visitor count to the end of August is about 6400, the best since the underground mine tour closure. The Museum is back to winter hours, from noon to 5:00 pm five days a week, but it will be fully open for Golden City Days. The Museum now has exhibits in downtown locations: Mountain Town Properties, the Library, and Alpine Drugs, and there will be more. Council members congratulated Joel Hodgins on her management of the Museum.
Kruysse reported that Tourism Rossland is planning to move to new premises. Their AGM is this Thursday; unfortunately Kruysse will be at the Emergency Preparedness meeting, as will all other Council members.
Zwicker reported on “the food group” which is developing a “food charter” for Rossland, hoping to have it included in the OCP.
Zwicker has been working with Cezary Ksiazek on getting more exposure for Rossland as a place to set up high-tech business; he said there seems to be a “shocking” lack of knowledge about Rossland — its very existence, location, the ski hill, and so on. Zwicker reported that Nelson Bennett, the technology writer for Business in Vancouver magazine, is working on an article about Rossland.
McLellan reported that the communications procedure between the Lions and the wetlands people regarding the Centennial Wetland has now been clarified. He also reported on the sewerage flow meter readings for July. He provided an update on the planned SPCA relocation from Trail to Castlegar; there has been a hold-up on that as the land Castlegar had offered is Crown land. McLellan also reported on a proposed “agricultural liaison service” to support agriculture in the Columbia basin; he voted in favour of it at the Regional District.
Moore reported on a number of items, including Rossland’s appointment with BC Assessment during the UBCM convention about how they calculate assessments, and another appointment with the Minister of Education to discuss the restrictive clauses that school districts are sometimes able to insert into their contracts, and to learn about the Ministry’s position on that.
Moore reported that the Thoughtexchange process to collect community input on priorities for City spending will be getting underway in a week or so.
Council recessed to an in camera session a mere hour after beginning the meeting, and your reporter walked home marvelling at the beauty of the evening.