Council gets down to business: grants in aid, bylaws ...
Present: Mayor Kathy Moore, and Councillors Scott Forsythe, Chris Bowman, Dirk Lewis, Stewart Spooner, Janice Nightingale, and Andy Morel.
Staff present:CAO Bryan Teasdale, Executive Assistant Alison Worsfold, Chief Financial Officer Elma Hamming, Manager of Operations Darrin Albo, City Planner Stacey Lightbourne, and Manager of Recreation Kristi Calder.
1. Public Hearing on:
(a) Business Licence Amendment Bylaw # 2688
(b) Council Procedure bylaw # 2646
There was no one to speak to either bylaw, so Moore adjourned the Public Hearing and opened the regular meeting..
2. Regular Council Meeting:
Public Input Period: There were very few people in the gallery, and none wanted to speak.
1. Sergeant Mike Wicentowich, in charge of the Trail RCMP detachment, reported to Council on the crime statistics for the area’s third quarter of 2018. He noted that our crime stats are relatively low, but that as our population grows they may rise; he recommends increasing security measures to proactively counteract any upward trend. He went on to speak about the legalization of marijuana, and the need for good security measures for outlets. He mentioned that a person, especially a younger person, getting an unexpectedly high dose of THC can suffer adverse health effects.
Wicentowich noted that the Trail detachment covers a large rural area, and will be seeking additional resources to enable better coverage; an additional supervisor and an additional constable. He’ll provide “a fulsome report” when it’s ready.
“Moving forward, we’re going to be unionized, and there will be tighter rules” about officer safety. He recalled times when he was a constable and would be out in isolated areas, out of radio contact, by himself, to arrest suspects.
He spoke about the opioid crisis, and noted that very officer carries two doses of naxolone.
He spoke about the Citizens On Patrol (COP) program; if Rossland would like to participate in such a program, he thinks it could provide good value.
2. Applicants for Community Grants in Aidhad an opportunity to speak to their applications for 5 minutes each.
Heritage Commission: Jackie Drysdale explained the Commission – it’s a commission of Council; it has no staff. It was created in 2009 by a City bylaw. She went on to describe its official functions, and mentioned some key dates and events in Rossland’s formative years. Moore stopped her at the five-minute mark.
Ann Quarterman spoke on behalf of Seven Summits Centre for Learning (Visions for Small Schools Society) to explain the need for a newer van to transport students.
Recommendations from Staff for Council Decision:
1. Council considered the applications for Community Grants in Aid.
A motion to keep the informal guideline of 5% of City property taxes as the total amount to be distributed CARRIED with only Forsythe opposed.
Moore spoke about the practice of giving some applicants multi-year commitments; Spooner and Nightingale both spoke in favour of continuing to do that, as it provides more certainty for both the organizations and the City. Teasdale also pointed out that it saves a certain amount of time for Council; the only problem for staff is that the organizations don’t tend to provide their annual reports at a consistent time; some have different fiscal years. Forsythe asked Teasdale if there are any changes he would like to see to the policy to make it function better administratively, but Teasdale had no requests. A motion to continue the existing rolling three-year agreements, except for the Museum , which will be dealt with separately, CARRIED.
The current applicants: Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN) Wild Voices Program – A motion to fund them with $500 annually for a three-year rolling plan CARRIED unanimously.
Heritage Commission: a motion to provide one-year funding as requested ($5,200) CARRIED after discussion.
Visions for Small Schools Society applied for $10,000 toward the purchase of a better van to replace their 2003 model, which is rusting; a motion to approve FAILED three to four after discussion; Spooner objected that it wasn’t part of the City’s function, but Morel argued that in the larger picture, it is. Moore stated that she doesn`t think the City should be funding schools.
Rossland Society for Environmental Action (RSEA): seeking $1,125 for interpretive signage for the bat houses at the Jubilee Wetland; a motion in favor CARRIED (Councillor Lewis recused himself).
2. A motion to issue a development permit and to approve the proposed signage for the “Velvet” restaurant and lounge at the Josie Hotel, to be installed on the south-west corner, CARRIED unanimously.
3. Amendment 2019 – 2023: A motion directing staff to enter into the amended contract with the Museum, CARRIED (Nightingale recused herself).
4. A motion to recommend that Clansey’s be issued a liquor primary licence (this enables the sale of alcoholic drinks without accompanying food) CARRIED unanimously after discussion.
1. Council Procedure Bylaw# 2646: A motion to adopt CARRIED
2. Fees and Charges Bylaw# 2655: a motion to adopt CARRIED
3. East End Regionalized Sewer Utility Reserve Fund Bylaw # 2683: a motion to adopt CARRIED
4. 2019 Annual Revenue Anticipation Bylaw# 2684: a motion to adopt CARRIED
5. Water Rates Bylaw 2019 – 2023, # 2685: Council discussed a motion to give first, second and third reading. Nightingale moved to amend it by further increasing Tiers 3 and 4 by 10% of the increase to Tiers 1 and 2 (i.e., an additional 1.6%). Teasdale explained the reasons for limiting the increases to those in the draft bylaw, but Nightingale`s motion CARRIED. A further motion to give the amended bylaw first, second and third reading CARRIED.
6. Sewer Rate Bylaw # 2686: a motion to give first, second and third readings CARRIED.
7. Zoning Amendment for 1280 Spokane Street(for short-term rental): Staff made a recommendation to deny this one, as the City Bylaw governing the zoning of short-term rental properties requires that there be no more than one per block (that is, both sides of the street on a City block), and directs Council to consider the density of short-term rentals in the vicinity; while this application may technically fall within the requirements, this corner property is directly across – kitty-corner – the intersection from another property zoned for short-term rental. Council discussed the application, and a motion to DENY the application CARRIED, with Nightingale and Forsythe opposed. Forsythe thought it fell within the policy; Nightingale wanted to hear from neighbours at a public hearing.
8. Business Licence Amendment Bylaw: a motion to amend the number of the bylaw from 2327 to 2688 to correct a clerical error CARRIED; and a further motion to give the amended bylaw third reading also CARRIED.
Council reviewed that Task List, and the Rossland 2018 Indicators Report.
Hamming presented the Capital Budget Financial Plan Preview, introducing Council to the figures being forecast for the next five years, and explaining a number of necessary expenditures. Council will be working on strategic planning and development of the 2019 – 2023 Financial Plan during the first quarter of 2019. In April, Council will finalize the 2019 – 2023 financial plan and budget bylaw.
The list of City invoices paid for November was also in the materials, and a motion to approve it CARRIED.
Council had received a letter from resident Jill Spearn, who lives near Moon Gravity Farm, raising her concerns about the City’s deposition of wood waste there for a “hügelkultur” project to compost the wood waste. The completed and compacted heap of wood waste is now “cooking” and producing a mild but distinctive odour that reminds your reporter of sourdough bread mixed with cut evergreens. Spearn also reminded Council of the noise and dust her neighbourhood endured while truckloads of material were dumped at the site.
Morel confirmed that the truck traffic and the dust were a nuisance in the neighbourhood during the summer, but he reported that most neighbours understood and approved of the value to taxpayers. The project worked very well and saved a substantial amount of money for the City. That site is full now, but the City is looking for other places to use in the same way: to deposit wood waste within the City where it will compost into soil over time.
Member Reports: Council members reported on the meetings they had attended since the last Council meeting.
The meeting adjourned 8:50 pm. Your reporter crunched her way homeward on frozen snow, looking forward to more of the stuff falling soon; a healthy snowpack would be a wonderful thing for several reasons.