A larger than normal group attended the regular City Council meeting of August 11.
About 45 people consisting of Castlegar city workers and their friends and family showed up to make a statement about the breakdown of labour negotiations between the workers and the city. During question period, CUPE Local 2262 President Leford Lafayette stated, “With a show of good faith and the city’s cooperation, we could conclude this round of bargaining without a strike.”
In other matters, after hearing concerns from John Phillips about the proposed pathway along Connors Road, council decided to amend their motion to award the contract subject to discussion with residents of Connors Road. Mr. Phillips expressed concerns over loss of vegetation and green space, safety issues, speed of users, drainage and clean-up responsibilities. The city will be arranging a meeting in the future and believes it can answer the residents’ concerns and resolve some misconceptions. Chris Barlow, Director of Transportation and Civic Works, addressed a few of the concerns.
“Some of these concerns have been expressed by other residents and I have met with them on site,” said Barlow. “The intent of the pathway is to use the existing gravel shoulder, so there will be very little vegetation loss.” Regarding speed and safety issues at the railroad crossing he stated, “There will be gates at the crossing so skateboarders and cyclists would have to go through the gates, so they could not go across with a speed that would be a concern.”
With $3,000 remaining in the annual grants budget, Council approved three grant requests. The Castlegar Quilters guild received $300 to assist with the cost of hosting the Castlegar Quilt Show. The Castlegar Aquanauts Swim Team secured $500 to help with travel costs to compete at the 2014 BC Summer Swimming Association Provincial meet in Kamloops. The HEP C BC association was granted $150 to aid in the showing of a TIFF documentary.
Council passed a bylaw updating development cost charges for the city. Phil Markin reported that the increases are not large and the costs are on the low end of the scale when compared with other local municipalities. The bylaw must now go to the Inspector of Municipalities for approval.
As an update to the continuing MMBC recycling saga, Mary Polak, B.C. Minister of Environment, has acknowledged in a letter that the service offered by MMBC in the Castlegar area is inadequate. She has directed staff and MMBC to revisit the outstanding issues.