COUNCIL MATTERS: Rossland City Council Meeting, February 20, 2024

Sara Golling
By Sara Golling
February 21st, 2024

Former Mayor Bill Profili urges action on truck traffic, border crossing; RVs and vans a “canary in the coal mine”? Curious about Rossland’s water supply and how it all works? — read the Annual Water Report; and, job posting coming soon for Water Ambassador.



Mayor Andy Morel and Councillors Lisa Kwiatkowski, Stuart Spooner, Craig Humpherys, Eliza Boyce and Maya Provençal. Absent: Jeff Weaver. Staff: CAO BryanTeasdale, Deputy Corporate Officer Cynthia Añonuevo, Executive Assistant Rachel Newton, Chief Financial Officer Mike Kennedy, Manager of Operations Scott Lamont, Manager of Recreation & Events Kristi Calder, and City Planner Stacey Lightbourne.


Former Mayor Kathy Moore spoke to appreciate the new City Hall and Council chamber, and to urge all Councillors to take advantage of the collection of helpful books on municipal governance that she has passed on to Morel. The books are now in his office; Morel echoed Moore’s advice, and asked that people sign the books out when they borrow them.

DELEGATION: The truck route problem

Bill Profili, who served on Rossland City Council for one term before serving as Mayor for sixteen years, spoke about Rossland’s main street, which is part of both Highway 3-B and Highway 22, being an “industrial corridor” for truck traffic to an unnecessary extent. He pointed out that on average, over a hundred large commercial trucks daily travel through our downtown area from the Paterson border crossing, up the hill to Rossland, then down the hill to destinations in or near Trail.

Profili mentioned numerous mishaps he has witnessed involving large trucks in slippery conditions, blocking the highway for periods of time. He pointed out that when local hero Alan Davies (now in his 80s) retires, there may be no local capacity for clearing the highway in a timely way when it is blocked by jack-knifed (or otherwise misplaced) rigs.

Profili also spoke of the excess fuel burned, and greenhouse gas emission caused, by the extra elevation gained and lost by the truckers, and the additional wear and tear on the highway by the weight of the trucks and by their chains “chewing up” the pavement. Regarding quality of life in Rossland, he spoke of the noise of the big rigs, and the additional hazard to pedestrians.

Profili acknowledged that Rossland Council and the RDKB have recognized this problem and its solution – an alternate, valley route in the US, and a border crossing at Waneta capable of handling the truck traffic– for decades, and that it’s complex because it involves cross-border negotiations, and the expense of replacing a 120-year-old narrow bridge over the Pend Oreille River with a wider bridge capable of carrying heavy vehicles.

Profili suggested that a small task force with a narrow focus on the truck-route problem alone might be more effective than the groups that are currently working on the issue along with many other issues, and urged Council to create such a task force.

Spooner agreed that it’s a problem, and “a big undertaking” that would take lot of networking. Profili responded that it’s complex, but – he thinks – “not insurmountable.” He said that “at least six Washington State entities” support the alternate route.

Morel noted that the RDKB discusses the alternate route, but there has been no resolution; he pointed out that it would require not only the new bridge and expanded border crossing service, but also a highway re-alignment south of the border.

Boyce reminded Council that Profili’s suggestion was to appoint a Task Force to work on the problem. Morel responded that the RDKB does work on the issue, and that he is happy to “press harder” and to report back to Council on what is happening.



  1. CBT-ReDi Grant Allocation Policy: A motion to approve the policy CARRIED after discussion clarifying the meaning of “no additional funding.”
  2. Council Minimum Benefits (C-5) Policy, as amended: A motion to approve the policy CARRIED after discussion clarifying that the term “primary caregiver” is intended to cover caring for other family members as well as children.
  3. Management Minimum Benefits Policy (HR-7), as amended: A motion to approve the policy CARRIED after Teasdale explained the amendment, which specifies external market compensation reviews, rather than just having Teasdale do them himself.
  4. Personal Expense and Travel Policy (HR-11), as amended: A motion to approve CARRIED unanimously. The policy now discloses the source of meal and travel allowance rates.


A motion to endorse the 2024 Community Resiliency Investment Program – Firesmart Community Funding & Supports application and to provide grant management for the program, which will reduce the risk and impact of wildfire to the City of Rossland, CARRIED unanimously.


A motion to approve the 2024 Corporate Management Work Plan as presented CARRIED unanimously. Councillors discussed portions of the plan – Boyce questioned to cost of shuttle services, and Calder explained that Resort Municipality Initiative funding must be 70% for capital projects, and 30% can go to operating expenses for eligible programs, such as the shuttle services. Spooner added that it’s worthwhile to spend RMI funding to subsidize transportation, because otherwise, the cost and inconvenience of transportation is a barrier for people to get here.


A motion to approve the January 2024 Municipal Cheque Register Report CARRIED unanimously.

2023 ANNUAL WATER REPORT (For Information Only)

The annual water report – a Provincial requirement — covers pages 77 to 111 inclusive of the Council materials for this meeting, and provides detailed information on Rossland’s water sources, storage, delivery, treatment, pressure zones, recent infrastructure upgrades, and much more.

Rossland relies on three creeks – Hanna Creek and Murphy Creek, plus Topping Creek as a back-up. Water is piped from Hanna and Murphy Creeks and can go into the Ophir Reservoir, or bypass it; the system allows either reservoir – Ophir or Centre Star Gulch – to be taken “off-line” if necessary. Last year, Centre Star Gulch Reservoir was “off-line” for safety upgrades to its dams.

The report indicates that since Rossland instituted water metering, water consumption has dropped by 28%.

Humpherys asked whether the amount of water usage recorded includes water used for snow-making; Lamont answered, no, it does not – water for snow-making is untreated and is used only when there is excess water available.



The report provided statistics on the various ways people communicate with the City and vice versa, including website visits, emails, phone calls, and so on.


The report provided information about facilities, events and services for seniors in our region.

Boyce commented that she likes the new system of doing draws from the list of registrants for spaces in programs and events, instead of giving space only to the first people to apply.

MONTHLY REPORTS TO COUNCIL for January: Council reviewed the information in the following documents:

1. Building Permit Report

2. Building Permit Inspections by Type.

3. Step Code Energy Rebates

4. Public Works & Water Production Report

5. Eye on Water Report: Readers may enjoy this portion of the material provided to Council, for its watery imagery:

In 2024, the City will embark on a journey to make waves in our City’s water conservation efforts, through the reinvigoration of the Water Smart Ambassador. This position is poised to create a sea of change in public awareness and engagement. This ambassador will not be just a drop in the ocean but a pivotal tide-turner in educating the community about water use, employing a reservoir of knowledge to sprinkle wisdom across every corner of the City.”

There will be a job posting soon for the Water Ambassador position.


6. Bylaw Compliance Monthly Activity Report

The report included the information on the increase in RVs and vans camping on City property:

Vehicles parking for extended periods during snowfalls and contrary to downtown signage continue to challenge snow removal operators. The ski season has brought a significant increase in RVs & vans observed and addressed camping on city property. There was a total of 112 traffic bylaw related files – an 18% increase from January 2023.”

Boyce commented that she considers this an indicator — a “canary in the coal mine” — regarding the disparity between workers’ incomes and the cost and availability of housing. Morel thought that the figures also include “ski bums” and people just passing through, but he also noted that RED is now charging $25 per night for parking such vehicles at the hill and that it was formerly free. Morel also said he has noticed overnight parking at all the trailhead parking lots along Highway 3-B.

Bylaw Enforcement Officer Zak Keating was in the public gallery, and when asked, he responded that he has spoken to many of the occupants of the RVs and vans – the “van lifers” – and that many of them are Red Mountain staff.


Provençal reported that she had attended three committee meetings and had a baby; Kwiatkowski said, “That’s a hard act to follow – I attended only one meeting, and didn’t have a baby!” Kwiatkowski’s meeting was a nomination meeting for the board of the 2026 BC Winter Games.

Spooner attended a meeting to develop a regional tourism initiative, and noted that Tourism Rossland is not participating. He also attended a Mine Review Committee meeting, and said there was not much new information; a plan suggested by West High Yield to use the large paved area by the weigh scale in front of the Rossland Museum as a turn-around for ore trucks has not elicited any response from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Spooner didn’t hear anything more about an Environmental Assessment.

Morel reported that he also attended the 2026 BC Winter Games meeting, and noted that this year’s BC Winter Games, near Quesnel, has had to cancel all snow sports, for lack of snow. Morel also said that the RDKB is busy pulling together its budgets for this year.

Morel also reported that Rogers has aligned itself with Starlink, and the plan is to provide cell phone coverage across the province without having to build additional cell towers.

THE MEETING ADJOURNED, and your reporter walked home in the dark and damp evening, contemplating differences – such as disparities in income between, for example, many CEOs and the workers in their industries, and disparities in snow-pack depth between, for example, BC and Nova Scotia recently.


Categories: General

Other News Stories