– Dana Schmidt gave a comprehensive presentation to council on the ongoing work of the Donna Schmidt Memorial Lung Cancer Prevention Society. The society aims to reduce lung cancer from home and workplace exposure to Radon gas. Some areas of the Kootenays have high levels of Radon, an odourless, colourless, tasteless gas produced naturally by the breakdown of uranium in soils and rocks. Schmidt is pushing for regulatory changes to help oversee proper construction methods and ensure compliance with building codes. According to the Canadian Lung Association website, Radon decays quickly and gives off tiny radioactive particles. If inhaled, these particles can damage cells lining the lung. Long-term exposure to Radon can lead to lung cancer.
– An ongoing dispute between property owners regarding a home and vacant lots in the 3600 block of 14th Avenue was again before council. A development variance permit was issued for the property with conditions that would see some work done on the home and lots in question within 90 days.
– Coun. Heaton-Sherstobitoff reported there were 148 building permits issued in Castlegar in 2012, up slightly from 145 in 2011. The value of the permits was almost $9 million.
– A motion defeated at the last council meeting regarding the purchase of new vehicles was reconsidered and ultimately passed. Coun. Chernoff said the issue of the purchases being missed in the last budget process was an oversight on his part. Coun. Chernoff answered questions from Coun. McIntosh about the suitability of some vehicles being considered, and then again the matter of oversight with a member of the public during question period.
– Mayor Chernoff acknowledged the efforts of volunteer firefighters from Castlegar and Robson, RCMP members and other law enforcement personnel with respect to two recent fires. Two suspects were apprehended on Thursday, March 28. Each suspect has been charged with two counts of arson after fires destroyed a van and much of St. Rita’s church on Monday, March 25.
– Coun. McIntosh also thanked assembled media for their coverage of the fires.
* Past council meetings can be viewed on the City of Castlegar website at www.castlegar.ca/meetings.php