COUNCIL MATTERS: Rossland City Council Meeting, May 21, 2024

Sara Golling
By Sara Golling
May 22nd, 2024

Dog attacks;  People working to improve health care systems;  Speeding and traffic calming – next steps;  How much our recreational facilities (and other amenities) cost;  Environmental Assessment Office asks for input on Record Ridge magnesium mine proposal


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



1. Prima Health – moving toward better medical care in our communities?

Jennifer Ellis (ED of Prima Health), Dr. Michael Scully, and Jan Morton (Board Member, Kootenay Boundary Division) spoke about developments in, and barriers to, their efforts to bring either Community Health Centres or Community-Led Clinics to communities in our region.

Their aim is to relieve some of the burdens that primary are physicians face in their practices, to attract more physicians to work in our region so that fewer people are without a family doctor, and to enable more team-based care.

2. Rossland Public Library – Annual report.

Stacey Boden (ED) and Doug Orr (Board Chair) presented information demonstrating the high level of library membership and use in Rossland, and the library’s continuing development of programming.

They mentioned the increase in the variety of things available to borrow from the “Library of Things” and the resulting need for more storage space; they pointed out that library funding from the Province has not increased in 15 years, except for a one-time grant received last year which must last for three years. Until then, Rossland’s library staff were paid only minimum wage.

They noted that there is no Council liaison position; and they hope the City will undertake a building review in 2025.

Spooner commented that it is challenging for the City to fund community facilities adequately.


Permissive Tax Exemption Policy – a motion to reconfirm the policy CARRIED unanimously.


Land Development Applications Procedures Amendment Bylaw # 2386

A motion to adopt the bylaw CARRIED unanimously. The bylaw is part of the City’s work to align with new provincial legislation passed last November.

Spooner commented that he looks forward to seeing some plain-language explanations that can be better understood by the general public.

Council Procedure Bylaw # 2809

Motions to give the bylaw second and third readings CARRIED unanimously. This bylaw is also intended to align with the new provincial legislation.


Development Variance Permit – 2472 Railway Street

The owner is applying for reductions in the exterior and interior side setbacks, to allow for a covered stair from the garage down the slope to the house, to enable the owner to age in place more safely. The changes would not affect neighbours or City operations. A motion to allow the variance CARRIED unanimously.

Development Variance Permit – 1707 LeRoi Avenue

The owner wants to replace a covered porch on the west side of the home, and make a ramp for easier access from the sidewalk on Davis Street. A variance is needed because of the home’s proximity to the lot line. Staff’s assessment was that the proposal would not affect neighbours or City operations. A motion to allow the variance CARRIED unanimously.

Liquor Licence Application: Rossland Beer Company

The Rossland Beer Company is seeking to make its patio a permanent feature, and seeks permission for the structural changes to accomplish that; the City has received no complaints about the facility, and no comments on the application after publishing notifications and request for input. A motion to approve the application CARRIED unanimously.

Rossland Youth Action Network (YAN)

A motion to approve the updated Terms of Reference for the YAN Advisory Committee CARRIED unanimously. The Advisory Committee is required as a condition of annual funding from Columbia Basin Trust.

Union of BC Municipalities Convention (UBCM)

The 2024 UBCM will be in Vancouver, from September 16 to 20. Council representatives can seek meetings with provincial ministers and senior staff to discuss matters of importance. Rossland has budgeted to send the Mayor plus two other members of Council (on a rotating basis – this year, Spooner and Kwiatkowski) and the CAO.

Teasdale noted that he and Morel will be meeting with other mayors and CAOs in our region to discuss regional priorities for the UBCM.

Municipal Cheque Register Report for 2024:

A motion to approve the City’s expenditures during April, 2024, CARRIED.


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.

A quote from the Bylaw Compliance Report: “It is discouraging to recount that a total of four (4) unwanted dog interactions were reported to City; two dog attacks in which two had sustained injuries requiring medical attention. A lot of time is dedicated towards educating residents e.g. dogs on municipally maintained ball fields and other exclusion zones.” [Emphasis added.]

Traffic calming (for information only)

Why the 30 kilometre per hour speed limit on streets in town? According to statistics based on a large number of incidents, a pedestrian hit by a car traveling at 30 km/h has a 90% chance of surviving, but a pedestrian struck by a car traveling at 50 km/h has an 80% chance of dying. The City has been tracking speeds of vehicles traveling along Thompson Avenue, and while the average speeds are around 38 to 43 km/h depending on the location, some people drive along Thompson at over 80 km/h. A pedestrian hit by a car going 80 km/h has almost no chance of surviving. And someone hit by a car going 45 km/h has “less than 50% chance of surviving.”

City staff have been studying ways of encouraging safer driving, and the plan is to install centre-line speed notices, plus “lane delineators” at the edge of the roadway, at specified points along Thompson Avenue.

Recreation Cost Recovery Report (for information only)

Justin Brogan, Accounting clerk, presented a comprehensive report, detailing the costs of operating and maintaining Rossland’s recreational facilities and related amenities (and their revenues, and the grants obtained for them), and the total cost of each. Here’s a very brief summary, in no particular order, for 2023. These figures are taken from the “2023 Net Cost of Service Offerings” pie chart on page 8 of the 12-page report.

Tennis courts: $58, 653 (higher than usual because of a geotechnical report)

Pool: $104,536

Arena: $297,866

Miners Hall: $38,167

Skate Park: $6,102

Youth Action Network: $30,941

Seniors Hall: $8,031

Library: $140,897

Museum: $85,432

City Trails: $61,121

Third-party Trails: $29,000

Parks & Fields: $117,108

Campground: $909

Daycare: $3,186

Downtown: $83,452

Calder noted that the arena gets much more winter-time use when snow conditions are poor.

Council will consider the magnitude of the infrastructure deficit, and will eventually have to make decisions about which facilities to upgrade or replace, and which to retire.


BC’s Environmental Assessment Office sent a letter to the Mayor and Council, asking for input on whether an Environmental Assessment ought to be required for the proposed magnesium mine on Record Ridge.

A motion to send a letter supporting a requirement for an environmental assessment for the project CARRIED unanimously.

Humpherys commented that he is astonished that an application for a mine located at 1500 metres in a watershed can be submitted without automatically triggering an Environmental Assessment.

MEMBER REPORTS (selected highlights only):

Humpherys had attended an Arts Centre meeting about the Drill Hall project, and said it was very well attended – he read off a very long list of attending organizations interested in the Arts Centre.

Morel spoke about a meeting of the East End Services Committee, and the high (and rising) cost of providing transit services.

A motion to send a letter of appreciation and thanks for her years of service to retiring MLA Katrine Conroy CARRIED unanimously.

The meeting recessed to an in camera session at 8:04 pm, and your reporter made her way home, feeling grateful for the rain but also contemplating the contents of an article on a report by a federal government think-tank, about 35 major factors likely to drastically damage our way of life and the world in general, the foremost being disinformation and misinformation, and the next being ecosystem collapse, possibly within five to six years. And thinking about how closely related those factors are. For hardy souls, more reading:





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