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Rossland Council “reZooms” remote meetings

Screenshot from an earlier remote meeting of Council

Special Council Meeting 11:00 a.m. November 23:  Safe  Restart Grant Funding

Present:  Mayor Kathy Moore, and Councillors Chris Bowman, Stewart Spooner, Janice  Nightingale, Andy Morel, and Dirk Lewis.   Staff:  CAO Bryan Teasdale, CFO Elma Hamming, and DCO Cynthia Año Nuevo.

This special meeting of Council was called to expeditiously adopt the bylaw given first, second and third readings at the previous Council meeting, to set up a special reserve fund to manage the provincial “Safe Restart” grant funding.

From the Council materials sent out last week for this meeting, here is more detailed information:

BACKGROUND

“The City of Rossland is receiving approximately $1,257,000 in provincial funding under the COVID‐19 Safe Restart Grant for Local Governments as part of the Province’s previously announced estimated $2billion joint federal/provincial spending, including: $540 million for local governments, $418 million for community infrastructure,and $1 billion for transit,TransLink and ferries. The $540 million for local governments was further divided into three funding streams.

“Two of the streams (“Development Services” for $15 million and “Strengthening Communities” for $100 million) will be application‐based funding. More information on these funding streams will be forthcoming.

“The third stream will provide direct grants to local governments and is called the “COVID19 Safe Restart Grants for Local Governments” and will provide up to $425 million for local operations impacted by COVID‐19. This funding will support local governments as they deal with increased operating costs and lower revenues due to COVID‐19. It will also ensure local governments can continue to deliver the services people depend on in their communities.

“To effectively manage these funds, staff proposed the creation of a new reserve fund. At the November 16,2020 Regular Council Meeting, Bylaw #2743 was read for the first, second and third time – and it can now be adopted.

“BUDGET IMPLICATIONS: Funding levels related to the proposed Bylaw are directly related to the financial support expected to be received from the Province by the City as per the … correspondence (i.e. $1,257,000).

“These funds will be directed to appropriate activities as indicated above. All expenditures will be contained in the City’s approved / amended Financial Plan(s) or be consistent with any Council Resolution(s) in relation to the activities as set out under the eligible expenditures under section 2(b) of this Bylaw and/or any future agreements with the Province of BC for appropriate use of these funds.”

A motion to adopt Bylaw # 2743 CARRIED unanimously

To accomplish minor housekeeping changes to Financial Plan Amendment  Bylaw #2742, a motion to rescind third reading CARRIED; and a motion to amend the bylaw by inserting amortization amounts in Schedule A  CARRIED.

COVID-19 Pandemic Policy:  Staff and Council members discussed the fact that Public Health Orders take precedence over municipal policies, and that PHOs that make masking and other requirements mandatory are in place until December 7 – and may or may not be extended.

The eight-page long City policy does require mask-wearing inside City facilities, with only a few exceptions, and details other precautions at length, including the City’s intention to cancel any planned or scheduled events that would contravene Public Health Orders.

A motion to adopt the policy as presented CARRIED.

After officially adjourning the meeting, Council discussed briefly how to best manage subsequent Zoom meetings;  starting this one took a few moments to get everyone into the meeting.

Your reporter was grateful for the ease of hearing everyone's contributions, and for being able to sit unobserved in her most comfy and disreputable-looking garments while taking notes.