COUNCIL MATTERS: Public Consultation and Meeting, April 15, 2024

Sara Golling
By Sara Golling
April 16th, 2024

Concern about biodiversity and climate action; RDKB assessment up by 17% from last year; can Rossland have a farmers’ market? Tidying up the old cemeteries; a new sculpture; and a “joie de vivre” celebration on May 25.



Mayor Andy Morel and Councillors Stewart Spooner, Craig Humpherys, Eliza Boyce, Maya Provençal (virtual), and Jeff Weaver. Absent: Lisa Kwiatkowski. Staff: CAO Bryan Teasdale, Deputy Corporate Officer Cynthia Añonuevo, Executive Assistant Rachel Newton, Chief Financial Officer Mike Kennedy, Accounting Clerk Justin Brogan, Manager of Recreation & Events Kristi Calder, City Planner Stacey Lightbourne, and Manager of Operations and Infrastructure Scott Lamont.

Public Consultation: 5-year Financial Plan

CFO Mike Kennedy and Accounting Clerk Justin Brogan presented the Plan to a public gallery of only three individuals.

Kennedy pointed out that only a portion of our total property tax bill is paid to the City of Rossland – Rossland collects it, then pays 5.4 million dollars to other entities: The Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB), Police Services, Schools, and the BC Assessment Authority. The RDKB assessment rose by 17% from 2023 to 2024.

Brogan pointed out that Rossland has an “infrastructure deficit” of over 46 million dollars –that’s the estimated amount it would take to do needed maintenance, repairs or replacement on all of our infrastructure that is beyond its expected useful life.

Lamont spoke about how the City works to coordinate and consolidate work to make the best possible use of each project.

The Public Input:

Only two people spoke. One queried the ice resurfacer item; another was concerned that she saw too little in the Plan to address biodiversity and climate change. She spoke of a grant available to municipalities to encourage biodiversity on private land, which led to a discussion of that particular grant, and the efforts the City is making – “We’re still in the planning process,” Lamont commented. Rossland’s Strategic plan includes, among other things, “Prepare and take steps to implement an Integrated Climate Action Plan.”



Public Input Period:

Miche Warwick expressed concern about the lack of a Farmers’ Market in Rossland. She said she has a team of seven volunteers “ready to go” but another group has an agreement with the City about the use of a segment of Queen Street for the market, and she has been unable to establish any communication with that group. She noted that this would be the second year without a market in Rossland, and said that food banks receive coupons that people can use at farmers’ market – but only if there is one.

Delegation: Grant Thornton – the City’s annual audit

Ashley Ruggiero and Satinder Kaul, members of the Grant Thornton audit team, summarized their findings. They explained that they take a “risk-based approach” – they identify all potential areas of risk, and look for any signs of problems. They found no problems, but they did identify a few minor errors which have been corrected.


Natural Control Alternatives 2024 MOU

A motion to approve the updated Memorandum of Understanding between the City and Natural Control Alternatives CARRIED unanimously.

A second motion to approve an annual budget allocation of up to $5000 to cover potential cost overruns also CARRIED.


Zoning Amendment Bylaw # 2828 – Short Term Rental Regulation

A motion to adopt the bylaw CARRIED, with only Humpherys opposed.

A second motion to rescind the Short-Term Rental Accommodations Policy also CARRIED.

Business Licence Bylaw # 2801

After some discussion about the relative fairness of the different charges for B&Bs and sort-term rentals, the motion to adopt the bylaw CARRIED, with only Humpherys opposed.

2024-2028 Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw # 2830

A motion to give the bylaw third reading CARRIED unanimously.

Water Parcel Tax Bylaw #2834

This bylaw will impose the first increase in the water parcel tax rate since 2015, to begin to address the City’s infrastructure funding gap. The increase is 10%, for an additional $15.67 per parcel. Motions to give the bylaw first, second and third readings CARRIED unanimously.

Sewer Parcel Tax Bylaw

This bylaw will also raise the sewer parcel tax rate by 10%, or $5.92 per parcel.

Motions to give the bylaw first, second and third readings CARRIED unanimously.

Ophir Reservoir Local Area Service Parcel Tax Rate Bylaw # 2832

Motions to give the updated bylaw first, second and third readings CARRIED unanimously.

Municipal Tax Tate Bylaw # 2831

Motions to give the bylaw first, second and third readings CARRIED unanimously.

Other Business:

Development Variance Permit – 449 Copper Road:

The owner seeks a driveway width variance from four metres to eight metres, to allow for extra parking for a secondary suite in a home that is under construction.

A motion to approve the variance CARRIED unanimously.

2024 Heritage Legacy Fund Application:

A motion to authorized an application to the 2024 Heritage Legacy Fund for a grant in the amount of $4836 toward ongoing clean-up and restoration of the Columbia and Calvary Cemeteries, with grant management through the Rossland Heritage Commission, CARRIED unanimously.

Approval of 2023 Audited Financial Statements:

A motion to approve the City of Rossland audited financial statements for 2023 CARRIED unanimously.

RFP Review and Award:

1. Single Axle Dump/Plow Truck: A motion to approve the award of a contract to New West Trucking Company to supply and deliver a 2024 Freightliner 108SD with dump box, sander, water tank, and extendable belly plow, for $332,268.15, inclusive of trade-in, CARRIED unanimously.

2. Class V Medium Duty Truck: A motion to approve the award of a contract to AM Ford to supply and deliver a 2024 Diesel Ford F-550 for $146,001, plus applicable taxes, CARRIED unanimously.

3. Electric Powered Ice Resurfacer: A motion to approve the award of a contract to Big Hill Services to supply and deliver a 2013 Olympia Ice Bear with LVR Laser Leveling System for $144,500 plus PST, CARRIED after discussion of the fact that the old machine, though still functional, was emitting too much exhaust for safety in an enclosed area. It will be retained for outdoor use, and for emergency back-up.

Municipal Cheque Register Report for March 2024:

A motion to approve the City’s expenditures during March CARRIED unanimously.

Reports, for Information Only:

Council had read reports on the 2024 Corporate Work Plan – Q1 progress, and the Q1 2024 Budget Update, and the RCMP Q1 statistics, as well as the six regular monthly reports – Building Permits, Building Permit Inspections by Type, Step Code Energy Rebates, Public Works and Water Production, Eye on Water, and Bylaw Compliance.


The Association des francophones de Kootenays Ouest (AFKO) requested support for its “Joie de Vivre” event to celebrate francophone culture in Rossland, planned for Saturday, May 25, 2024. Specifically, they asked to use Esling Park; and that the short section of Spokane Street between Esling Park Lodge and the Rossland Lumber parking lot be closed from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM on May 25; for in-kind support in the form of delivery of City equipment such as tables, chairs, barricades, and cones; and an exemption from the noise provisions of the Good Neighbour Bylaw, to allow for amplified music between 1:00 PM and 7:00 PM.

The City has imposed conditions and restrictions, and subject to those, a motion to approve the request CARRIED unanimously.

Rossland Council for Arts and Culture (RCAC) – sculpture request:

RCAC has requested permission to install a new sculpture, “Home is Where the Heart is” by Winlaw artist Peter Vogelaar, on the cornier of Washington and Columbia. A motion to approve the request CARRIED unanimously.

The meeting adjourned at 7:15 PM, and your reporter sat back and contemplated the perennial apparent lack of interest in Rossland’s budget process and 5-year financial plan among Rossland’s otherwise fairly engaged residents.

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