Council Gets Stuff Done; Fixes a Donations Problem; LED Street Light Facts; No Free Arena Time
Rossland City Council Meeting, Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Five Council members attended: Acting Mayor Andrew Zwicker presided, with Councillors Lloyd McLellan, John Greene, Andy Morel, and Marten Kruysse.
Mayor Kathy Moore and Councillor Aaron Cosbey were absent.
Public Input Period gave a resident an opportunity to air his concerns about noise and other problems with a neighbour: see “What Kind of a Noise Annoys a Neighbour?” for details. Zwicker said the topic would come up at the next Council meeting, and “we should have a decision for you at that point.”
Another resident came to ask if Council would consider waiving fees for the Development Variance Permit for 1672 Kootenay Avenue, and reimbursing the fee for the Certificate of Location.
Four City policies were up for review. The first was the Parks and Trails Donations Policy, which needed to be amended because its wording put at risk the City’s ability to issue tax receipts for donations. The problem was that it said the City would issue tax receipts for donations of $100 or more for “benches, picnic tables or trees” in the City or along trails, and would “include an appropriate plaque to commemorate the donation.” Manager of Finance Elma Hamming explained that the Canada Revenue Agency could interpret the provision of a commemorative plaque as giving an advantage to the donor, and that would make the donation ineligible for a tax receipt for income tax purposes. The bigger problem is that if an entity gives out ineligible tax receipts, it can lose its status to give out any tax receipts at all.
Council could have removed the section about providing a tax receipt, but instead chose to remove the section about providing a commemorative plaque. The City is not expected to provide a plaque, and a donor will still get a tax receipt.
Permissive Tax Exemption Policy: A motion to confirm the policy CARRIED, after some discussion of how stringent the City should be in deciding which organizations should have, or retain, a permissive tax exemption.
Sidewalk Advertising Policy: A motion to rescind the policy and replace it with a signage bylaw (not yet drafted) CARRIED.
Retaining Elements and Landscape Feature Encroachment Policy: Council confirmed this policy without discussion.
Development Permit Application for 2309 Third Avenue: A motion to grant the development permit for a duplex CARRIED, subject to three conditions suggested by City Planner Stacey Lightbourne.
Liquor License Application — Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #10: A motion to support the application CARRIED. The purpose of the application is to convert the Eagles’ liquor license from a “club” license to a “liquor primary” license which will enable them to sell liquor to non-members during events.
Development Variance Permit Application for 1672 Kootenay Avenue: A motion to grant the permit CARRIED. A separate motion to refuse the applicant’s request to waive fees also CARRIED. The comment was, “Municipalities just can’t do that.”
Recreation Fees and Charges Amendment Bylaw: A motion to adopt the bylaw CARRIED, with minimal discussion.
Staff Updates & Reports:
McLellan asked if CopCan is going to help with the skatepark; Manager of Public Works Darrin Albo said the work should begin within a couple of weeks.
At the previous Council meeting, the father of a young hockey star had asked Council if his son, with his coach and mentor, could have permission to use the arena (using in-line skates) at no charge for practice, to maintain and develop skills. Kruysse moved that they be charged the “not-for-profit” rate of $32.50 per hour; McLellan said he would oppose that, and suggested that they be charged the “drop-in” rate of $3.50 each. McLellan was the sole dissenting vote, and the motion to charge the not-for-profit rate CARRIED 4 — 1.
Street Lights: Morel noted that there has been local concern about the colour and brightness of LED street lights, following a CBC feature highlighting public outcry about too-bright, too-blue street lighting and a slew of alleged adverse health effects including sleep deprivation, stress and obesity. Albo explained that Rossland will be using LEDs that are a “warmer” colour of light at 3000 Kelvin, not as “white” or “blue” as the ones from 4000 to 5000 Kelvin that have provoked complaints, and that care will be taken to avoid having them shining into people’s windows. Morel cracked, “Can we make sure we don’t have LED lights shining into chicken coops?”
Members’ Reports: Councillors reported on meetings and a few upcoming events. Zwicker noted that there will be “Green Drinks” on June 8 at the Old Firehall. Greene reported that Ritchie Mann is retiring from the Heritage Commission, and Kruysse said that Mann is also stepping down from his position as Vice-President of the Seniors’ Association.
The meeting adjourned and your reporter limped home, marveling at the sudden rush of green growth everywhere and the sweet fragrance of it all.