A relatively light agenda was dealt with by Castlegar City Council on Tuesday, May 21.
Kicking things off, a group of invited representatives of the Castlegar Rebels was called forward to accept a certification of appreciation from council.
The team was saluted for an outstanding season, recently completed, in which it earned the championship of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.
Library shares strategy
A pair of reps from the Castlegar and District Public Library addressed council in relation to the institution’s strategic plan for 2013 to 2015.
Director Heather Maisell and trustee Katrina Vermette delivered a powerpoint presentation starting with the library’s mission statement: “Your place in the community is to explore, create, and share information and ideas.”
The library literature describes its vision as “Minds Grow Here, Your Gateway to Lifelong Learning.”
Listed were accomplishments from 2008-2012, which include the opening of the Rotary Centennial Garden; the hiring of new library director and interim library director; the offering of e-books; and the hiring of a new full-time librarian.
Those involved with the library look forward to a bright future due to its:
• solid reputation in the community;
• qualified and satisfied staff;
• dedicated volunteers and supporters;
• an impressive collection
• involved and committed board of trustees, and
• a facility that works, with possibilities for improvement.
Council agreed to supply a grant of $500 to the upcoming Selkirk College Aboriginal Youth and Educators Conference.
New business licences
Council, by way of a report, learned of new business licences being acquired by: Arrowhead Yard Works; Kings Eco Oasis; Grabill Homes; Everclear Window Cleaning and Studio Uno Hair by Maria.
Permits for new residential construction for 2013 to date were zero, however, permits were granted for residential alterations/ additions representing values of $25,300.
One point three million dollars worth of permitted new commercial construction is on the books along with just over $31,000 for commercial alterations and additions.
Year to date total is just over two and a quarter million dollars, a jump of about $400,000 over last year.
Council discussed the issue of mobile vendors (food service trucks/trailers) in the community.
A related bylaw has apparently been on the books since 1980.
There are currently two of these businesses in Castlegar, a Taco Truck and a trailer-based enterprise called Twisted Thyme, both on Columbia Avenue.
Coun. Deb McIntosh feels no more such licences should be granted for these types of operators, given what she says is a struggle for existing restaurants in the current economy.
Coun. Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff said she feels otherwise, stating, “I don’t want to be part of a community that says no to business.”
Coun. Dan Rye said any bylaw that’s been around since 1980 deserves a review. He added that, in his opinion, a limit of four or six mobile operators would be more appropriate. He does feel business licence fees should be tailored to the fact that these folks are only working locally for a limited time.
“For them to come into town and pay less for a licence than an existing business… I think there would be something wrong with that playing field. They’re here for maybe three months where your existing business is operating year-round and contributing to the community year-round. So I think the ones who come in for a short period of time should pay more for their licence.”
The matter has been referred to the planning department which will examine it. Also studied will be how other communities of similar size are dealing with the issue of mobile vendors.
A report dealing with local water quality and consumption was summarized and contained in the agenda.
Director of Transportation and Civic Works Chris Barlow was pleased to disclose that a downward trend as regards consumption has been observed over the last couple of years. Following the meeting he elaborated:
“It was a huge capital year for the City of Castlegar, we completed a number of major projects.”
As for the reduction in use, Barlow revealed drops of about 10 per cent in each of the past two years.
Council briefly discussed measures to manage the population of geese which frequent the soccer fields at Millennium Park. A device called Geese Be Gone is to be tried out and installation will take place soon.
It’s an electronic device that emits goose distress calls alternating with the calls of birds of prey. It’s effectiveness and suitability will be monitored.
As per a council decision this past February to purchase new LED streetlight heads from Road Way Lighting Ltd. A contract has been awarded to Mar Tech Electric for the installation of the 819 light heads. Mar Tech’s bid of $79,372 was the lowest of five submitted.