City puts $20k toward Doukhobor Discovery Centre

Many renovations required by popular cultural attraction

The Doukhobor Discovery Centre will receive $20,000 from the city for repairs and renovations to two buildings, the blacksmith shop and implements shed, it was divulged at the Sept. 23 meeting of Castlegar City Council. They money will allow the centre to access part of a larger federal grant, which Coun. Dan Rye said he believed was around $68,000. “So, they will have to come up with some funds on their own,” he said.

In addition to the Hospice Society receiving word that the city is prepared to consider donating two properties on 8th Avenue for a regional hospice facility (see page A1), other highlights discussed at the regular City of Castlegar council meeting were:

Patti King, team lead of health promotion with the Canadian Cancer Society gave a presentation to council outlying the society’s position calling for a ban on the use of unnecessary cosmetic pesticides within the city. King said hundreds of studies have been done linking pesticides to adult and childhood cancers. The society is willing to work with the city on educational campaigns in conjunction with a new bylaw banning cosmetic pesticide use, such as the ones that are in place in more than 40 B.C. communities.

The city will send a strongly worded letter to Minister of Environment Mary Polak and the chair of Multi Material BC regarding proposed changes to recycling systems and responsibilities. The letter states the city is “highly skeptical” of the Multi Material BC plan and does not support the “take-it-or-leave-it” approach to contract and deadline demands. The letter went on to state the city’s position is that the changes will negatively impact diversion levels of glass, beverage containers and other materials and that residents could ultimately end up paying more for what could amount to a drop in service. The city also states the agreement many not be consistent with the Community Charter, the Local Government Act or city obligations under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

After revelations last month that City of Castlegar bylaws allow for the euthanization of animals after 72 hours, Councillor Deb McIntosh sought to have the wording of the bylaw changed to eliminate the reference altogether, as in practice, the city does not euthanize animals unless there are no other options. After a brief discussion between McIntosh and Phil Markin, director of development services, planning and development, Councillor  Gordon Turner made a motion to refer the matter back to that department for further consideration.

622 business licences have been issued year-to-date, down from 654 at this point last year.

Routing for the Trans-Canada Trail through Castlegar was approved. The route will pass through the Waldie Island Trail, cross the Castlegar-Robson bridge and then make a short pass through downtown before linking to the rail-bed trail head west of Keenleyside Dam. Approximately 30 small signs will show users of the trail system the way.

The Castlegar Fire Department responded to 63 calls this past August versus 74 in August 2012. Year-to-date the department has responded to 473 calls versus 543 in 2012.

The Crime Reduction Unit’s August report showed four individuals were arrested at a home in Robson on Aug. 16 as a result of an investigation into marijuana production and trafficking.

The city’s 1993 bucket truck was coming close to not being able to pass safety inspections and will be replaced with a new model from Kelowna at a cost of just under $110,000. The city budget had set aside $130,000 for the purchase. The amount will be financed over five years.

The full agenda, and minutes of past meetings, can be viewed online at www.castlegar.ca or are available by visiting Castlegar City Hall at 460 Columbia Avenue.

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