Castlegar City Council took on community grants, development permits and bylaw amendments at its Sept. 7 meeting.
Council adopted a new bylaw for the Park Memorial Cemetery, increasing fees that had not been updated in 15 years.
The outdated fee structure was not covering the city’s costs for providing the services, so it was ultimately covering deficits through taxation.
In a report on cemetery fees, the city’s financial department said cemetery services should be generating enough revenue to fund cemetery operations, replacements and perpetual care fund reserves similar to other fee-based services provided by the city such as water and sewer.
Standard size plots for Castlegar residents will now cost $1000 and double, deep size plots will be $1500. Cremains Columbarium Niches will also cost $1000. Fees for non-residents are about 50 per cent higher.
Council passed a zoning amendment that introduces temporary use permits for emergency and transitional housing and clearly defines housing types in alignment with definitions used by BC Housing.
In a report accompanying the proposal, the city’s manager of planning said the amendments were necessary to introduce language and direction in relation to emergency and transitional housing.
For more details see: City introduces permitting process for emergency and transitional housing facilities.
The city typically hosts its own Giving Thanks community meal each year at Thanksgiving, but this year, council has decided to transfer the budgeted funds to other community organizations that are already planning to host meals.
Funding will go to the Community Harvest Food Bank ($1100), Kootenay Increasing Recreation Involving Seniors ($300), Way Out Shelter ($300) and the Royal Canadian Legion ($300).
Council approved grants to three sports organizations. Castlegar Girls on Boards received $500 for their 2021 End of Summer Skate Jam. The Castlegar Skating Club received $500 for the 2021 West Kootenay Invitational tournament. Kootenay Robusters Dragon Boat Team received $250 for their breast cancer awareness calendar campaign.
Council also decided to support the Castlegar & District Chamber of Commerce 2021 Business Awards with $250.
At the committee of the whole meeting, council heard a presentation from Ed Grifone of CTQ Consultants on the city’s 2021 Downtown Area Plan.
Highlights of the plan include the need for more residential development in the downtown core, the need for consistent and modern design guidelines and the need to create a commercial destination.
The plan will be brought forward at the Sept. 20 council meeting for final adoption.