Castlegar building permit values on target for record year

Castlegar council reports on building permits, awards grants and purchases a mower.

Reports released at Monday’s city council meeting show that Castlegar is set for a banner year as far as building permits go. The year to date total of $16,078,669 is four times the 2015 total for the same time period. Building permits are on pace to be the second highest on record, falling only behind the year that Celgar had a major expansion.

A major contributor to June numbers is the new Fortis BC operations centre. Construction on the project taking in place in Ooteschenia officially broke ground last week.

Grants approved

The Kootenay Columbia Educational Heritage, a registered charity whose objective is to collect, preserve and store educational artifacts allowing educators and the public access to the material, received a $200 grant from council to assist with the purchase of archival storage boxes to house and protect educational artifacts from the former School District #9.

Twin Rivers community Choir was awarded a $100 grant to assist with the costs associated with hosting a concert in Castlegar on July 9.

The West Kootenay Minor Lacrosse Association was given $500 grant to assist with the costs associated with travelling to Richmond, Vancouver and Coquitlam as the teams will represent the West Kootenay area at the 2016 Minor Lacrosse Midget, Bantam and Pee Wee Provincial Championships to be held in July.

Mower purchase

Castlegar will be purchasing a new ground mower for the mowing of large fields. The 2015 Toro Groundsmaster 4100-D with a 2016 Textite cab will set the city back $84,800 plus GST/PST. According to documents accompanying the proposal, the current unit has been plagued with mechanical issues and creates downtime for the crew. Additionally, several breakdowns at key times of usage gave staff reason to pause and re-evaluate the fleet priorities for 2016.

The new mower will mulch the grass clippings, resulting in saved time for staff as well as water conservation savings.

Pledge of support

Robert Planiden, the new general manager at Trowelex Rentals and Sales spoke to council affirming the company’s plans to continue supporting the programs the company has supported in the past under the previous leadership of Kevin Chernoff. “We want to let the city know that everything is going to continue forward,” he said. “We are going to continue with our community support, everything is going to continue on like it was. Things will never be the same, but we are moving on.”

The speech evoked an emotional response from councillors and city staff, who gave Planiden a standing ovation to show their appreciation.