Council Matters: arena decision, no check-out bag exemption, cannabis processing, and TDI
Council Members Present: Mayor Kathy Moore, and Councillors Dirk Lewis, Janice Nightingale, Scott Forsyth, Andy Morel, Steward Spooner and Chris Bowman.
Public Input Period:
James Brotherhood of 2613 Maple Crescent – a new Rosslander who has been following the arena discussion closely — related societal problems of inactive and overweight kids and kids with mental health issues — arguing that “physical literacy” and activity are important, and facilities for sport help with a healthy community.
Capital Plan [listed on agenda as item #8(e)] – specifically, the Rossland arena:
Council considered the Recreation Task Force report; all expressed appreciation for the work done by the Task Force. Moore noted that the arena finally has a champion in the Arena Society.
Lewis moved that Council accept the figures in the Task Force report as a basis for decisions. Nightingale expressed surprise that the different scenarios considered didn’t have greater disparity in their cost estimates. Costs, staff noted, are only estimates and cannot be fully relied upon as they are based on other locations and are generally outdated. Spooner said the numbers in the report give a picture “in broad strokes.” Lewis’s motion CARRIED.
Spooner moved that the City work toward a long-term solution that will keep ice in the arena. He argued that the community values ice-based sport in the arena, so Council should try to enable that. The motion CARRIED, with Forsyth and Bowman opposing the motion; Forsyth explained that he wants to see ice in the arena, but he wants a fiscally responsible solution, and that proviso was not in the motion.
Spooner moved that the long-term plan should set an amount for the goal of keeping ice in the arena, that it should be a “fixed liability” not an open-ended expense. He said having limits would motivate supporters to raise funds and limit costs. Morel supported that idea. Bowman explained that he doesn’t want Council to “confuse the asset cost with the operating cost” and that was why he voted against Spooner’s first motion; he wants ice, but also clarity about costs.
Teasdale noted that asset management involves constant change and adjustment, often based on external influences that can’t be predicted very far in advance.
Spooner commented that every facility operates on a budget and is expected to stay within it, or raise funds elsewhere. He would like to see a “blended model” of operating the arena, with funding dedicated from the City and with a large amount of input and assistance from the Arena Society.
Teasdale said that the motion under discussion basically tells the City to do what it’s already doing, and what the City really needs is to know what service levels to aim for. Spooner responded that he wants to “reverse the onus” – determine what the City can afford, and then see what levels of service can be achieved with it.
Spooner’s motion failed.
Bowman moved that the City work further toward necessary repairs and aim for Option 2(c) — ice and an off-season recreation gym floor. He wants to see the potential for full-year recreation in the facility to be better explored and developed.
Lewis wants that, but also wants to be cautious and not make expensive commitments at this stage. Forsyth agreed with the cautious approach. Nightingale agreed that the ice plus gym floor is the best option, but that the gym floor doesn’t have to be done immediately, but can be worked toward opportunistically and incrementally.
Spooner is not convinced that adding the gym floor would result in the best value for the money. Morel agreed that use of the gym floor, and revenues, may not be as great as predicted. Rec Kristi Calder recommended more research into potential use of the gym floor option, with consideration of the time required for installation and removal. Bowman thinks there is good potential for more use of a gym floor, and it would open up a new avenue for economic activity.
Teasdale pointed out that the motion would give staff high-level direction to take advantage of grants and to talk to potential funders to accomplish the goal.
The motion to aim for Option 2(c) – ice and a gym floor in the off-season — CARRIED 4 to 3.
Forsyth moved that the City involve the Arena Society as much as possible in the operation of the arena. The motion CARRIED unanimously.
A motion to adopt zoning amendment Bylaw # 2707, to rezone 2702 McLeod Avenue to allow short-term rental of a guest suite, CARRIED unanimously.
A motion to give third reading to Bylaw # 2708, to close Park Street Lane – adjacent to 2302 Park Street, to allow for sale of the laneway parcel – CARRIED unanimously. A further motion to adopt the bylaw also CARRIED unanimously.
A motion to give first and second reading to Bylaw # 2709, to permit cannabis processing in the City’s Light Industrial zone (M1), CARRIED unanimously.
Council discussed a motion to direct staff to address safety concerns that may arise regarding standard processing of cannabis (as opposed to micro-processing), during licensing. The motion FAILED as being unnecessary.
A further motion to schedule a Public Hearing for January 6, 2020, CARRIED unanimously
A motion to give first, second and third readings to the City’s 2020 Revenue Anticipation Bylaw #2710, which is required by the City’s financial institution and authorizes any necessary borrowing (up to a set limit) to cover expenses before taxes are collected, CARRIED; CFO Elma Hamming clarified that the City does not expect to need to borrow any funds for that, but the bylaw is required anyway.
Council discussed a motion to give first, second and third readings to the 2020 Waste Collection Service and Rates Bylaw # 2711, which increases the charges for garbage collection by 3% and for spring clean-up by 10%. Forsyth asked whether the City’s utilization of the hϋgel methodology will reduce costs of spring clean-up. Teasdale explained tht their current hϋgel site is probably good for a couple of years, but there will be much more material because of the emphasis on FireSmart work. The motion CARRIED.
A motion to give first, second and third readings to Bylaw 2712, the Financial Plan Amendment Bylaw for 2019 to 2023, CARRIED. Council also moved and CARRIED motions: to allocate $23,268 from the Climate Action Reserve Fund to match the successful Bike BC Grant funds; to transfer the $93,730 settlement for the Museum Tour Guide Building collapse to the General Capital Fund; and to transfer a portion of the Resort Municipality Initiative funding to the RMI Program Reserve Fund.
Council discussed a motion to give Zoning Amendment Bylaw # 2713 first and second readings, to change the zoning of 2119 Washington Street to R1-STR to permit short-term rentals of both the dwelling units in the building, without an owner living in the building. Forsyth and Lewis both expressed discomfort with adding two short-term rental suites, with no one living on-site, and thought that Rossland has more of a shortage of long-term rentals than short-term rentals; Spooner and Nightingale agreed, as did Bowman.
City Planner Stacey Lightbourne explained the requirements of the various zoning options available.
The motion FAILED unanimously.
Motions to confirm the Council Advisory Group/Committee System Policy, and the Christmas Gift Certificates for Employees Policy as amended, CARRIED.
A motion to reconfirm the Emergency Operations Centre Wage Reimbursement Policy CARRIED.
Staff Reports and Updates:
Council discussed the Butch Boutry Ski Shop request for exemption from the Single-Use Check-out Bag Regulation Bylaw. A motion to deny the request, based on the research Council members had done revealing that the plastic proposed just breaks down into micro-plastics and pollutes the biosphere, CARRIED unanimously.
Council discussed an amendment to the bylaw to remove the requirement that paper bags have “40% recycled content” printed on them, which FAILED because Council members had found that sources of the specified bags are available.
Proposed subdivision of 100 Ritchie Road into two parcels: the property is just outside the City boundary, in the Regional District, and the request has been referred to the City by the Ministry of Transportation. A motion that the City recommend replacing the existing blanket right of way over the property for water lines with a surveyed 8.5-metre-wide Statutory Right of Way through the property along the water lines, and using the SRW to continue the Centennial Trail toward Black Jack, CARRIED unanimously.
Jingle & Mingle, December 18, 2019: a motion to grant the requested assistance for the event CARRIED unanimously.
Council then reviewed the regular information items: Invoices paid, Public Works and Water reports, Building permit report, Task list, and Bylaw Enforcement Report.
A Council member raised the issue of dogs being ticketed who are tied up in high-traffic areas such as the dog-watering bowl outside the Alpine Grind, outside Ferraro’s and in Harry Lefevre Square; some thought it unreasonable, while others recalled the reasons for restricting tied-up dogs to low-traffic areas, citing an event years ago when a dog jumped up on an elderly woman and knocked her over, breaking her hip; one councillor cited figures about the greatly reduced life expectancy of older people who suffer a hip fracture. (For information on that, click this link for an informative article.) Forsyth suggested that the Animal Control Bylaw be reconsidered.
Highlights from Members Reports:
Lewis had submitted a notice of motion, from the Climate Caucus, to send a letter to the Federal Government urging them to act on the advice of scientists to curb the rate of climate change and citing several specific actions to take. The motion CARRIED unanimously.
Lewis reported that he had signed up for the “eye on water” app; it reported a leak, which he was able to repair, and it told him how much water he uses per shower (41 litres, he admitted) – and more.
Moore reported that School District 20 is one of the pilot areas for the Toddler Development Instrument, a two-year study to help identify and understand the needs and experiences of BC families. For more information on the TDI, click this link.
To go to the TDI and fill it out online, go to: https://tdi.ubc.ca/
Council recessed to an in camera session, and your reporter put her raincoat and gloves on over the many layers of insulation required for survival in the none-too-warm Miners Hall, and strode home in rain-punctuated darkness . . . contemplating one of the many expected results of global heating: a trend toward rising snow-lines in our mountains.