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Council Highlights – January/February 2024

Council Highlights provide a summary of City of Castlegar Council meetings.

February 20, 2024

Presentations

Kathy Murray, on behalf of WildSafeBC, provided a presentation on how to prevent conflicts with wildlife, including rats. Rat populations are increasing across British Columbia, spread can be discouraged by managing attractants, removing cover and shelter, and by removing present rats responsibly. For more information on managing wildlife interactions, including rats, visit castlegar.ca/animalcontrol.

Upcoming Report to Council On Best Management Practices for Dog Parks

Council received a report for discussion to verify the objectives for the upcoming report to Council on the best management practices to consider for the Millennium Park & Ponds dog parks. The report summarizes previous discussions around the Millennium Park & Ponds dog parks and outlines the methods to establish best practices for dog parks. Staff will look to communities which have, and are currently considering, policies related to dog parks and will be looking at policies adopted in bigger cities across Canada. The best management practices report will be presented for Council consideration later in the year.

Asset Retirement Obligations Polity 3-8

Council received a report seeking approval of Asset Retirement Obligation Policy 3-8. The Policy will ensure effective communication across City departments regarding asset retirement obligations requirements and will ensure that the City’s financial reporting is compliant with Public Sector Accounting Board issued Standard PS3280, which outlines the legal obligation associated with the retirement of tangible capital assets. This report will be considered for adoption at the March 4, 2024, Regular Council Meeting.

Community Events

Council directed staff to submit three grant applications to the BC Fairs, Festivals and Events Fund to host a Canada Day Event, a Castlegar Playground Grand Opening and Millennium Park & Ponds 10th Anniversary Event, and a Winterfest Event. If successful the City will partner with community groups to assist with the coordination, logistics, and delivery of the events.

Community Support

Council approved a Letter of Support for the Castlegar Nordic Club in support of their application to the PacifiCan Tourism Grown Program Grant for their Castlegar Nordic Club Touristic Trail Development.

Bylaws

  • Council gave First, Second, Third readings to Council Procedures Amendment Bylaw No. 1415. The Bylaw incorporates flexibility in appointing a Deputy Mayor by allowing the Mayor to recommend one or more Deputy Mayors, along with the term of appointment. The Mayor’s recommendation(s) for Deputy Mayor and term of appointment will then be approved by Council resolution. This Bylaw will be considered for adoption at the March 18, 2024, Regular Council Meeting.
  • Council adopted 2024-2028 Financial Plan Bylaw No. 1417, 2024. This Five-Year Financial Plan fulfills requirements under Section 165 of the Community Charter.
  • Council adopted Planning and Development Procedures and Fees Amendment Bylaw No. 1414. The amendments are intended to streamline the development approval process.

February 5, 2024

2024 School District 20 Electoral Area 2 Trustee By-Election

Council approved the appointment of Nicole Brown as Chief Election Officer and Jennifer Chamberlain as Deputy Chief Election Officer for the 2024 School District 20 Electoral Area 2 Trustee By-Election and established the compensation to be paid to election staff.

Future of Pioneer Arena/925 Columbia Avenue

  1. Regional District of Central Kootenay’s Recreation Allocation Policy and Procedures

The Regional District of Central Kootenay’s Regional Manager – Recreation & Client Services, Trisha Davison, provided an overview of the Regional District’s Recreation Allocation Policy and Procedures, and how it is used to plan ice schedules. She also provided an update on the Reimaging Recreation at the Castlegar & District Community Complex Community Engagement Project where the Regional District will be connecting with the community for input into the future of recreation at the Complex. For more information visit engage.rdck.ca.

  1. Castlegar Minor Hockey Delegation

Minor Hockey representative, Amy Byers, presented their opposition to the closure of the Pioneer Arena. They shared concerns that recreation offerings will be reduced for children in the community, and tournaments will decline, along with the economic impacts that will come if the City loses traveling sports teams. For more information please visit the Council Meeting Recording.

  1. Healthcare & Housing Project

The City’s Chief Administrative Officer, Chris Barlow, provided a history and overview of the Healthcare & Housing project. The Project will house a Primary Care Facility at 925 Columbia Avenue intended to develop and support team-based primary care services. These networks are attractive to physicians and would bring enhanced services to the community. The Project will also address the lack of access to housing for workers, seniors, lower-income households, and lone-parent households by introducing a 68-unit non-market housing complex. Health and housing funding has been rare, and opportunities have recently opened that now make this Project timely. For more information please visit the Council Meeting Recording.

Humble Bean Coffee Company 6-Month Airport Concession Agreement

Council approved the West Kootenay Regional Airport Concession Agreement with Humble Bean Coffee Company for an initial 6-month lease to offer food and beverages at the Airport until a long-term Airport restaurant concept can be determined with the ongoing air terminal building expansion plans. Humble Bean will operate the cafe at the Airport 7 days a week, from a minimum of 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m..

Bill’s Heavy Duty Enterprises Ltd. Land Lease

Council approved a 2-year land lease with Bill’s Heavy Duty Enterprises at the West Kootenay Regional Airport lands. Bill’s Heavy Duty Enterprise Ltd. provides regional heavy-duty maintenance and repair services to commercial vehicles supporting local industry and previously held a 3-year agreement with the City at the same location.

Proposed Rogers Wireless Communications Monopole Tower Installation

Council received a presentation on the intention by Rogers Communication to install two antenna systems in the City. The authority that approves these types of installations is the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED). Proposed installations include:

  • Site 1: Castlegar North End, adjacent to the Canadian Pacific Railway Station Museum, proposing a 33-metre telecommunications tower.
  • Site 2: Midtown, adjacent to Kootenay Centre Cinemas, proposing a 36-metre telecommunications tower.

The ISED requires a 5-step approval process. In Step 2, Rogers notified the City of Castlegar as the land-use authority. Now at Step 3, Rogers will be notifying the public of their intentions and will address relevant concerns.

2024 Community Emergency Preparedness Fund

Council approved an application to the 2024 Community Emergency Preparedness Fund in the amount of $18,564.50. The Fund encompasses several programs to enhance local resiliency in responding to emergencies. Funding will be used to build Emergency Support Services capacity in the community and purchase required equipment. The Emergency Support Services team provides emergency support and services to the citizens of Castlegar and assists Regional District Areas, Kaslo and Nelson in the event of fire, floods or other disasters that displace people from their homes.

Community Support

Council approved the following:

  • Contributing $500 to the Castlegar Special Olympics to help cover the cost of renting a pool for a Special Olympics swim meet for athletes;
  • Providing a Letter of Support for the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ’s Children’s Orchard Preschool to accompany their application to the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund for assistance to build a new 40-space childcare facility on the grounds of the Brilliant Cultural Centre;
  • Changing the Kinnaird Overpass lights to blue on February 22 in support of World Thinking Day;
  • Changing the Kinnaird Overpass lights to magenta and teal on April 11, for the month of April, in support of Parkinson’s Awareness Month; and
  • Changing the Kinnaird Overpass lights to purple on May 12 in support of Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.

2024 Exempt Staff and Castlegar Volunteer Fire Department Compensation Adjustment

Council received a report requesting approval to adjust the exempt staff compensation grid and the rates and stipends paid to the Castlegar Volunteer Fire Department members. The City’s Administrative Staff Compensation Policy 4-8 states that the annual cost of living adjustment is applied to the exempt staff compensation grid each year. The Policy provides direction that the adjustments be based on the average annual change from comparable municipalities. The City contacted the seven comparable municipalities identified in the Policy, the average adjustment from the comparable municipalities was 3.85%. Council will consider this for final adoption at the February 20, 2024, Regular Council Meeting.

Bylaws

  • Council gave First, Second, Third readings to 2024-2028 Financial Plan Bylaw No. 1417, 2024. This Five-Year Financial Plan fulfills requirements under Section 165 of the Community Charter. This Bylaw will be considered for adoption at the February 20, 2024, Regular Council Meeting.
  • Council gave First, Second, Third readings to Planning and Development Procedures and Fees Amendment Bylaw No. 1414. The amendments are intended to streamline the development approval process. In 2022, the Local Government Act was amended to allow local government staff, as delegated by Council, to approve a Development Variance Permit if the proposed variance is ‘minor’. The proposal amends the Bylaw by defining a Minor Development Variance and the guidelines to be considered when considering issuance and delegating the authority for issuance of a Minor Development Variance to the Manager of Planning, Development and Sustainability, or their delegate. Council will consider this for final adoption at the February 20, 2024, Regular Council Meeting.

January 15, 2024

Housing Statutes Legislative Changes

Council received an update from Meeri Durand, Manager of Planning, Development & Sustainability, on upcoming legislative changes being made to Housing Statutes in BC. For more information please view the City Council Meeting Recording, and watch for future Council Reports providing more information on the changes and how they will impact the local community.

Bylaws

  • Council adopted Wildlife Attractant Control Bylaw No. 1411. The Bylaw includes the addition of curbside definitions and regulations pertaining to attractants, inclusion of commercial businesses, and generally strengthens enforcement regarding wildlife attractants.
  • Council adopted Special Events, Parade, and Park Use Permits Bylaw No. 1410. Corporate Services undertook a thorough review of various municipalities policies, applications, bylaws, and best practices to create the updated Bylaw.


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