COUNCIL MATTERS: Rossland City Council meetings, December 12, 2022
The 2022 Community Contributor Award; a focus on improving access to health care; getting Centennial Trail groomed/packed – soon! — the Community Grant Funding problem; 2024 Coy Cup aspirations; our mayor’s latest report on RDKB doings; and more … read on for details.
PRESENT: Mayor Andy Morel, and Councillors Eliza Boyce, Jeff Weaver, Maya Provençal, Lisa Kwiatkowski, Craig Humpherys,and Stewart Spooner; Staff – CAO Bryan Teasdale, Deputy Corporate Officer Cynthia Añonuevo, City Planner Stacey Lightbourne, Manager of Recreation and Events Kristi Calder, Chief Financial Officer Mike Kennedy, Manger of Operations and Infrastructure Scott Lamont, and Deputy Manager of Operations Ryan Niddery.
PUBLIC HEARING: Chief Financial Officer Mike Kennedy explained the Five-year financial plan amendment bylaw, and no one spoke in response.
2022 Community Contributor Award
The City of Rossland Community Contributor Award is presented annually, to recognize an outstanding community member who contributes significant volunteer time to enhancing the quality of life in Rossland. Mayor Morel presented the award to this year’s recipient – Diana Daghofer. Daghofer has volunteered her time and expertise to advocate on numerous pressing health issues, and helped bring the “Cycling Unlimited” electric-assist trishaws to Rossland, and much more.
PUBLIC INPUT PERIOD
A representative of the Rossland Arts Centre Society spoke in support of their request for letters of support for grants, to help them convert the old Drill Hall into an Arts Centre for the community. They will be having a Licence of Occupation from the Province – the School District has transferred title to the Province.
A resident spoke on behalf of Black Jack’s application for funding for a Master Plan for their routes; she mentioned that Black Jack will have, for the first time, a wintertime multi-use trail for fat bikers and snowshoers.
For this meeting, the focus was on health care:
1. BC Rural Health Network (Virtual Presentation)
Paul Adams, Administrator and Colin Moss, Vice President of BC Rural Health Network spoke to council on the Rural health care crisis and the importance of a unified voice with governments. The network aims to improve access to health care in rural communities, and to promote patient-centred, community-based health care reform. Readers can learn more about the organization by clicking on this link to its website. They requested that Rossland join the network, to add to its voice and influence. Membership costs only $50, and the organization has at least 17 other municipal members around the Province, among a total of 75 members listed on its website.
Morel suggested that Council would respond to the invitation at the next Council meeting on January 9, 2023.
2. Lower Columbia Community Health Centre Network Society :
Dr. Mike Scully, Dr. Tobias Gelber and Ron Parisotto of the Lower Columbia Community Health Centre Network Society presented information about the Society and asked Council to appoint a Rossland representative to its governance board. They stated, “There is a primary care crisis in the Lower Columbia with approximately 30% of residents without a family doctor or nurse practitioner. Our proposed solution is a Community Health Centre (CHC).”
They explained that a CHC “ is a not-for-profit clinic with doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, and other providers who work together to care for patients of all ages, abilities, and cultures.” There is a group working in conjunction with the BC Association of Community Health Centres with the aim of establishing three or four CHCs to serve the Lower Columbia communities. To learn more about the proposal and the local people involved, go to https://www.kootenayclinics.org/ and explore each of the tabs. See also the paragraph on this in Morel’s RDKB Report, below. The Lower Columbia Community Health Centre Network Society is now a legal entity, and the Society is working to establish a board of directors consisting of community representatives.
Gelber said, “we now know that medical care is best delivered by a team of health-care practitioners.” He pointed out that the concept is not new, and that there are other CHCs established in BC already. This group would like to have clinics in Fruitvale and Rossland, and perhaps two in Trail.
Spooner asked why a local society has to deal with an issue that ought to be the responsibility of the provincial government; Scully pointed out the value of having local control and knowledge, and that each community is different. Spooner explained that his concern was the downloading of provincial responsibilities onto municipalities.
Boyce asked about the funding formula; the share paid by the provincial ministry of health.
Humpherys asked if they thought a CHC could attract physicians and other health care practitioners; Gelber said, yes, they think it will. Scully reported that Penticton’s CHC reports better recruitment.
Morel asked bout the timeline for appointing a representative, and said the City could respond in January.
REFERRAL FROM PRIOR MEETING:
2022/23 Centennial Trail Grooming Program Report #2
A motion to direct staff to create a contract with the Black Jack Ski Club for the rental of one used snowmobile and groomer at the rate of $3/km (used by City staff) with the understanding that the City assumes all ongoing equipment maintenance including repairs during the use of the machinery for one season (2022-2023), CARRIED unanimously.
A motion that Council approve the purchase of a new UTV (Utility Task Vehicle [a.k.a “Side-by-Side”]) with Groomer attachment in the amount of $70,000 for future years, also CARRIED unanimously.
Spooner noted that his comments during the previous Council meeting about grooming Centennial had been misconstrued – he strongly supports packing the route, but had not been convinced that setting tracks for cross-country skiing is helpful because the amount of other traffic – snowshoes, dogs and boots – tends to destroy set tracks.
2022 Animal Control Amendment Bylaw # 2797
A motion that the 2022 Animal Control Amendment Bylaw No. 2797 be adopted CARRIED with only Eliza Boyce opposed.
2022-2026 Financial Plan Amendment Bylaw # 2799
A motion that the 2022-2026 Financial Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 2799, 2022 be adopted CARRIED unanimously.
Zoning Amendment Bylaw # 2802– 3980 Old Red Mountain Road:
A motion that Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 2802 be read for a first and second time, and that a Public Hearing is scheduled for January 9, 2023, CARRIED unanimously after discussion.
Spooner asked if here was a policy to guide or limit development “beyond our footprint;” Lightbourne said at this point there is no such policy.
Boyce asked about short-term rental in that area; Lightbourne clarified that everything at Red is zoned for short-term rental.
Council Procedure Bylaw, # 2770, 2021 – Review:
Council discussed potential amendments regarding virtual meetings, and individual virtual participation; staff will produce a suggested draft at a later meeting.
STAFF REPORTS AND UPDATES
Community Grant Funding Applications for 2023
Staff requested further direction from Council on the level and allocation of Community Grant Funding for 2023 and beyond. The City has been granting some key organizations multi-year funding to enable them to plan ahead, and $294,054 of the $313,518 total funding for 2023 is already allocated. That leaves only $19,464 for new requests for funding in 2023. The problem: requests for funding for 2023 total $112,189, so Council had to make hard choices.
CFO Kennedy asked whether the City wishes to continue using 5% of its tax revenue for Community Grant funding; Teasdale note that the 5% figure is incorporated into the City’s financial planning. Spooner supported continuing with the 5% figure, as did Weaver. A motion to maintain the 5% funding level CARRIED.
Council then voted on whether to support each application for funding, and eliminated from consideration those not supported by a majority of Council members. This process eliminated the applications from Seven Summits Centre for Learning, Golden Bear Children’s Centre, the Rossland Arena Society, the Rossland Curling Club, and the Gold Fever Follies.
A motion to continue funding some organizations for multi-year grants CARRIED unanimously.
A motion to grant funding allocations as followed CARRIED unanimously:
Black Jack XC Ski Club ………………………… $6,794
Family Action Network …………………………. 420
Greater Trail Hospice Society ……………….. 2,500 per year for four years
Kootenay Festival of the Arts ……………….. 657
Rossland Arts Centre Society ……………….. 6,610
Rossland Society for Environmental Action … 857 per year for four years
Rossland Scouts ………………………………… 2,211
Development Permit Application – 2127 Columbia Ave.
Jeff Weaver recused himself and left the room for this item. A motion to issue a Development Permit for the proposed signage on the property located at 2127 Columbia Avenue CARRIED.
Development Permit Application – 3980 Old Red Mountain Road
A motion to issue a Development Permit for the proposed development, subject to the following seven conditions as listed below, CARRIED unanimously after discussion.
Spooner objected to the process: setting conditions but not, he thought, checking adequately on whether the conditions are met. Lightbourne noted that the City is now requiring a report from the environmental monitor, and that the conditions are noted on title.
Humpherys commented that, although conditions are required to protect certain trees with bird nests, that there seems to be no concern for overall habitat. Spooner asked if the building inspector can report back on matters other than the actual structures; Lightbourne responded, yes.
Boyce asked if the City has the ability to require a bond to be posted to guarantee compliance with environmental conditions; Lightbourne said, not now.
Morel is bothered by the fact that the developer hires the environmental consultant – he’d prefer a system similar to our building permit and inspection process.
The conditions required are:
A. THAT the applicant will comply with the recommendations in the report from Masse Environmental Consultants submitted with the application.
B. THAT the applicant will ensure that during the construction activities, a qualified environmental professional (QEP) must be retained to monitor the activities. This environmental monitor (EM) should ensure compliance with the City’s regulations and the environmental report and ensure that Best Management Practices and environmental recommendations are correctly implemented. A final completion report should be submitted to the City of Rossland one calendar year following completion of the clearing and servicing activities.
C. THAT the applicant register a no build covenant on the property for the area 7.5m either side of the seepage draw and 10 metres around the wildlife tree identified in the Environmental report submitted with the application. The no build area must remain free of development and natural vegetation must be maintained. Soil should be safely stockpiled outside of the ‘no build area’ in a manner that eliminates the possibility of erosion and sediment transport to this area. Stormwater must not be diverted into the no build area.
D. THAT the applicant ensure that only pervious materials will be used for driveways and parking.
E. THAT the applicant ensures that vegetation clearing shall be limited only to those areas of approved development activities including building location, driveways, utility corridors, fire smart non-combustible zone (1.5 metres from foundation), Priority Zone 1(1.5m – 10metres from foundation) vegetation can only be removed to comply with Wildfire Development Permit Guidelines.
F. THAT the applicant ensure all vegetation and tree removal is completed outside of the breeding bird nesting period which extends from April 1 to August 31. If tree removal must be completed during the breeding bird Page 4 of 290 December 12, 2022 REGULAR COUNCIL AGENDA period, a nesting bird survey would need to be completed to ensure that no active nests are impacted by these activities.
G. THAT the applicant is required to register a Covenant for the Wildfire Interface building and landscaping requirements on all applicable lots.
Development Permit Application – 1993 Columbia Ave – Sister Sister Façade Painting:
A motion to grant the permit for Sister Sister’s signage and paint job CARRIED.
2023 Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program (REDIP) Grant Application
A motion to develop and submit a proposal to the 2023 Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program (REDIP) in support of Aqueduct trail improvements CARRIED unanimously.
Invoices Paid for Municipal Services November 2022
Council examined and approved the November 2022 Cheque Register Report.
City Reports for Council Information for the Month of November 2022
1. Building Permit Report; 2. Building Permit Inspections by Type; 3. Step Code Energy Rebates; 4. Public Works Report ; 5. Water Production Report; 6. Eye on Water Report; 7. Rossland Midtown Status Report; 8. Bylaw Enforcement Report
The latest estimated date for substantial completion of Rossland Yards is April 7, 2023 (your reporter is sure the date given in the report of April 7, 2022, is a typo!)
There were queries abut the water supply – the reservoirs are low, and Morel noted that there appears to be no visible water flow in Hanna Creek. Lamont said Ophir Reservoir is getting water, and he is not concerned at this stage.
REQUESTS ARISING FROM CORRESPONDENCE
2023 J.L. Crowe Grad Class Fundraiser – Christmas Tree Collection & Recycling:
A motion to approve a one-time donation of $1,000.00 to the graduating class of JL Crowe Secondary in exchange for the collection and recycling of Christmas Trees CARRIED, after an amendment requiring them to put the trees in the City’s hügelkultur site.
Rossland Arts Centre Society requested letters of support for their upcoming grant funding applications: Next Great Save Competition, and Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program (REDIP.) The motion to provide letters of support CARRIED unanimously.
Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre requested a letter of support for a future REDIP grant funding application. A motion to provide a letter CARRIED unanimously.
Rossland Senior Warriors Coy Cup 2024 Support Request — that Council moves to extend the 2023/2024 ice season at the Rossland arena until April 1, 2024, to allow the team to bid on hosting the 2024 Coy Cup. The 2023 Coy Cup will be hosted at Quesnel.
Staff provided a detailed analysis of the likely additional costs and potential benefits of extending the ice season as requested, if the Warriors win their bid for the 2024 Coy Cup.
Provençal felt that the lacrosse players would be unfairly excluded from the facility if the ice season were extended. Kwiatkowski favours encouraging and enabling local teams to bid on hosting major events; Calder spoke about who bears the additional costs – the more direct beneficiaries, or taxpayers?
A motion to approve extending the 2023/2024 Rossland Arena ice season until April 1, 2024, with the Rossland Senior Warriors paying the standard adult prime time ice rental rate for ice time used and Arena Lounge rental rate for lounge use, plus all additional arena overages estimated at $6,660, CARRIED unanimously.
Members of Council provided oral reports:
Spooner commented that recycling pick-up seems very poor at this time, including communication; Teasdale noted that it is not a City program. Morel noted that snow conditions are a factor, as well as staffing and illness.
Weaver urged everyone to see a short film called “Beyond Begbie.”
Boyce attended Museum and Heritage Commission meetings; she mentioned a shift in the heritage world toward a broader definition to include “intangible heritage” – culture and natural surroundings.
Morel mentioned a letter from the LCIC asking for letters of support for the NDCU for a project aimed at collaboration to better ship/distribute locally produced products; and to develop a recruitment agency to bring people to the West Kootenays. A motion to approve a letter of support CARRIED unanimously.
Morel noted that Council has attended a session with Lightbourne, and will be having a session with Kennedy in the New Year. He wished everyone a great holiday season. Morel’s RDKB report is reproduced below:
RDKB Directors Report for November 2022, by Mayor Andy Morel:
RDKB BOARD ACTIVITIES:
November 9, 2022 Inaugural Board Meeting – post October Election, Trail,BC:
• New and returning RDKB Board Members – Oaths of Office and Code of ConductL
Corporate Officer Winje delivered the oaths of office and had the following sworn-in directors sign the RDKB Code of Conduct: Director Ali Grieve Area A • Director Linda Worley Area B/Lower Columbia-Old Glory • Director Grace McGregor Area C/Christina Lake • Director Linda Kay Wiese Area D/Rural Grand Forks • Director Sharen Gibbs Area E/West Boundary • Director Steve Morissette Village of Fruitvale • Director Everett Baker City of Grand Forks • Director John Bolt City of Greenwood • Director Richard Dunsdon Village of Midway • Director Mike Walsh Village of Montrose • Director Andy Morel City of Rossland • Director Terry Martin City of Trail • Alt. Director Raymond Masleck Village of Warfield (Director Frank Marino – Village of Warfield sworn-in later)
• Election of Board Chair and Vice Chair for 2022/23 – Linda Worley, Area B Director was acclaimed as Board Chair. Grace McGregor, Area C/Christina Lake elected as Board Vice Chair.
• Various Committee Appointments with Directors established including Chairs and Vice Chairs. I will be Chairing the East End Services Committee for the next year.
• Letter from the Province outlining the approval of a new Crown Tenure for a 8000+ acre Snowcat operation, Powder Renegade Lodge in the South Monashee Range, Christian Valley area.
RDKB Regional Advisory Planning Commissions opposed this extensive development with concerns for wildlife habitat including grizzly bear range as well as other environmental impacts being proposed on the land. There has been substantial opposition from environmental and wildlife groups throughout the Region. The greater RDKB Board opposed this application for several similar reasons as well.
• The staff report dated November 18, 2022 from Barb Ihlen, General Manager of Finance/Chief Financial Officer, regarding the first draft of the 2023 – 2027 Five Year Financial Plan, is presented. With many costs rising, some services expected to see substantial increases expected in 2023 and beyond. As the work plans are presented to various committees in coming weeks, priorities will be set by Staff and Directors to help confirm funding requirements. Lots of budget work forthcoming in Committee meetings, building on staff’s efforts to date.
East End Services Committee Meeting – November 15, 2022 – RDKB Trail, BC
• North South Corridor update. Local delegation meeting in Spokane with US counterparts and Washington State Representatives from Seattle regarding the potential of enhanced North/South Corridor.
• New West Kootenay Transit Committee Members – Linda Worley, Steve Morrissette and Terry Martin on behalf of East End Communities and Areas A&B.
• Delegation: Ione Smith, Upland Agricultural Consultants Report in support of sustainable and local food supplies –“South Kootenay Agricultural Strategy”. Key recommendations – require additional staff capacity – Directors will consider through Budget and Workplan deliberations into 2023.
• Delegation: Win Mott, Community Health Centre Project update. Group now incorporated. New 13-member Board being formed with members from surrounding lower Columbia municipalities and Area A & B. 6000 people in Lower Columbia without family physician. Walk in clinic proposed to be integrated into project. Community support for Health Centre will be critical to development.
• Delegation: Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation staff and Board Chair provided an update of activities of 2022 and plans forward for 2023. Feasibility of project – study of potential Battery Recycling Hub for Western Canada. Lots of potential here for circular economy. LCIC collaboration with Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation – new ISP in Trail providing enhanced connectivity in downtown Trail. LCCDTS has struck a new Sustainability Committee with Montana Burgess as Chair.
Board Meeting – Nov. 23, 2022, Trail, BC
• Delegation – Rogers Communications – Re: Tower Projects proposed within RDKB. Most in Boundary Region – 6 in total being built. Will improve Hwy. 3 corridor somewhat. Directors advocated for Rogers and other carriers to support cell coverage along the rest of the Hwy. 3 corridor especially over Highway passes.
• Multiple Director appointments to various committees that the Regional District is a member. Examples include:
• Columbia Basin Regional Advisory Committee (CBRAC)
• Selkirk Innovates
• Municipal Insurance Association
• Municipal Finance Authority
• Southeastern BC Regional Connectivity Committee
• Columbia River Treaty
• Economic Trust of the Southern Interior Regional Advisory Committee.
[END of RDKB Report]
The Council meeting ADJOURNED, and your reporter once again donned her spike-clad boots and trekked homeward, feeling an unpleasant stinging sensation in the nasal passages and wondering why our community reeks like a dumpster fire so much of the time now, and pondering the effects on our health – each of us – of breathing so much smoke nearly 24/7.