COUNCIL PONDERS POTENTIAL TAX INCREASE
Dates have been set for the first and second readings, as well as an open house of Castlegar’s 2011 budget.
On Feb. 21, the first reading of the budget will be conducted at city council’s regular meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. The next day, an open house will be available to the public from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Community Forum.
Presented will be a potential three per cent residential tax increase and a one per cent business tax increase.
“This is probably the single most important thing we do as a council,” acting Mayor Kirk Duff said.
After the open house, city council will consider the public input at March 7’s council meeting. The budget will then be adopted at March 21’s council meeting.
HEARNE APPLAUDS BUILDING SURGE
The value of building permits nearly doubled in Castlegar last year.
Commercial permits brought in twice as much money in 2010 than in 2009, with a value of $12,470,400 last year compared to $6,875,725 the year before.
“We’re really pleased to see that,” Coun. Russ Hearne said.
Residential, commercial, industrial and institutional permits are all taken into account. In total, 135 permits worth $25,224,279 were issued, including one permit to demolish.
Major construction projects included 33 new single family dwellings, multiple commercial buildings and several in-ground pools.
PUTTING DRINKING WATER TO THE TEST
Our water is good – so good, that we’re going to prove it to the world.
Castlegar has submitted a drinking water sample to the International Drinking Water Competition in Berkley Springs, West Virginia.
The city tried to send a sample last year, but the packaging wasn’t good enough.
“We packaged it way better this year,” Coun. Kevin Chernoff said. “Last year it didn’t make it.”
The sample must be sent in a glass container, so nothing leaches into the sample before the judging.
“We think our chances are good,” Chernoff said. “There have been winners from the Kootenays before.”
Chernoff cited Warfield as a previous winner.
“Not many communities take their water right out of the lake and our water is good enough to do that,” he said.
Taste testing is scheduled for Feb. 26.
SLOW DOWN ON WATER USAGE
Residents are asked to limit water usage between 10 p.m. on Feb. 17 and 1 a.m. on Feb. 18 due to work being done on the main water meter.
Chris Barlow, director of transportation and civic works said the reservoirs will be full starting at 10 p.m. but won’t be refilled during the four-hour window.
Barlow cited water-saving examples such as not letting your tap run all night and shutting down a leaky toilet.
Water supply will be back to normal after 1 a.m.