City staff will be developing a Strategic Community Energy and Emissions Plan (SCEEP). The project will be done in partnership with the Community Energy Association. Fortis BC and Columbia Basin Trust will be assisting with funding.
The plan will identify community electricity and greenhouse gas reductions. Participating in the program will support the city in moving towards its BC Climate Action Charter commitments, complying with key Official Community Plan policy statements and reducing energy costs.
The plan will be completed between September 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016.
Council has decided to extend their licensing agreement with the Kootenay Food Strategy Association. The three year extension will enable to group to continue managing the Community Gardens located in Millennium Park. The group has been operating the gardens for a number of years and has seen growth in the program this year. The Community Gardens are part of the master plan for Millennium Park and will remain to compliment future growth in the park.
Intersection design contract
A $69,844 contract was awarded to Pennco Engineering Ltd. for the intersection design at the proposed access for the airport/weigh scales land off Highway 3. The city received five RFP submissions and Pennco Engineering was the lowest qualified bidder. The local firm is based in the West Kootenay Region and has completed projects of a similar nature in neighbouring municipalities.
“This was a direction that was prioritized by council. To proceed with any of the works that we will do on city land adjacent to the airport and weigh scales, this is where we start; we start with traffic assessment… this is the first key to the puzzle,” said Councilor Kevin Chernoff.
The city has already reached an agreement with the Ministry of Transportation regarding the location of the future intersection. The detailed intersection design is the next step in attracting commercial development to the area. The project expenses are included in Castlegar’s 2015 budget.
Pennco engineering will be providing the preliminary work necessary including engineering design, drawings and cost estimates. These will be submitted to the City of Castlegar and the Ministry of Transportation. They then will prepare detailed construction ready design drawings, detailed cost estimates and tender ready documents to be submitted for final approvals.
Following up on a previous recommendation from the Kootenay Camas Project, council is moving ahead with designating some areas in Millennium Park for Camas conservation. Camas is a bulb plant that has significant historical and cultural importance to indigenous people of the area.
The area covers just over one acre of land and includes grassed and treed areas as well as several informal walking trails. Camas bulbs disturbed by future development in the park will be relocated to the conservation area.
A decision has been reached as to which projects will be part of the 2015 Community Enhancement program and budget. These projects include a Canadian flag for the Castlegar interchange, Industrial Park entrance signs and landscape improvements, new signage for parks, city attractions and welcome signage.
Council approved a motion to purchase a “silver” sponsorship package in support of the Castlegar Rebels Hockey Society for the 2015/16 hockey season. The $800 expense will be allocated from the advertising budget.
The package includes 30 tickets, which will be distributed to youth in the community. The city will also get a wall board sign, a half page program advertisement, web broadcast, a logo on the website and a PA announcement nightly.
Praise for youth
Councilor Chernoff had high praise for the talented Castlegar youth artists that painted the installation found on the south end of Columbia Ave. “I want to highlight the art the youth did on the fence behind arrow building supplies on Columbia Ave,” said Chernoff. “The youth did a fantastic job on creating something and took what looked terribly bad and made it something that looks terribly good.”
WEE Library for Millennium Park
Resident Shelley Stetsko has built and donated a WEE (Welcome, Enjoy, Engage) Free Library for Millennium Park. The small birdhouse style structure will host a supply of free books that visitors are welcome to either borrow or keep. The supply is replenished by donations of fresh books and returns of borrowed books. The idea of miniature free libraries has spread to communities around the world. Stetsko’s first library can be found at 206 4th Ave. You can expect to see the library installed in the next few weeks.