The wooded area shown here (at the end of Kiwanis Field in Castlegar off 6th Ave) may eventually become the home of a regional hospice facility. The Castlegar Hospice Society has presented a report to council which is now under consideration.

Council Briefs: land donations, pesticides, radon bylaws and more

Highlights from the regular City of Castlegar council meeting held July 15, 2013

Suzanne Lehbauer, executive director of Castlegar Hospice Society and Roger Simmons, consultant, presented a report to council titled “Hospice Without Borders: a plan to build and operate a hospice house in Kootenay Boundary.” It has long been a vision of the society to develop a regional hospice facility in Castlegar to care for those with life-threatening illness.

The organization is seeking property from the city in order to construct such a facility.

After evaluating four sites, the property the society feels is best suited for a ten-unit hospice is located on 6th Avenue adjoining the fire hall. Site development, construction, equipment and furnishing costs have been estimated at over $3.5 million. The proposal has the support of the Castlegar & District Hospital Foundation, the Greater Trail Hospice Society and Salmo and District Hospice.

Some concerns were raised by councillors regarding possible future expansion needs of other nearby facilities. Simmons said he wanted to be clear they will sit down with any city committee or group to discuss options. The report will be sent to the Planning and Development Committee for consideration.

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It was noted from the Finance and Corporate Services Committee  a letter would be sent re: a grant application from the Castlegar Pride Group for assistance with hosting the “Cirque de SoGay” event at Element Club Bar and Grill on August 30 informing them the 2013 grants budget has been depleted.

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The Planning and Development Committee reported similar numbers in June for both business licenses and building permits over the same period last year. Year-to-date new licences are at 590 versus 628 at this time in 2012. Permits were 67 year-to-date versus 71 in 2012.

The committee also recommended draft operating guidelines for Mobile Food Vendors be received for information and implementation. The guidelines suggested an amendment to the Business License Bylaw reflecting (among other requirements) a $250 business license fee for Mobile Food Vendors (up from $90), as well as not being able to operate within 50 metres of non-mobile food vendors (restaurants) except where the mobile vendor has the written agreement of the non-mobile vendor.

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The emergency services monthly report in June noted an almost identical number in total incidents, with 74 in June 2012 and 73 in June 2013.

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Public Works cleared sight lines around 24th Street and 11th Avenue in response to concerns raised about excessive vehicle speeds. They also trimmed trees, ensured 30 km/h signs were in place and painted ‘SLOW’, ‘SCHOOL’ and ’30 km’ on roadways. Speed watch groups and the RCMP are also monitoring the area.

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Coun. Chernoff reported on the completion of work at the Cobra Climb and Coun. Turner said the facility had seen increased usage and positive comments were being received since improvements were made to the stairs, lightning and parking area.

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Citizens for a Pesticide-Free Castlegar were represented by Antoinette Halberstadt during question period, who wanted to know what happens next in the process of Public Works providing a full report to council. Coun. McIntosh replied communications lines would remain open between the city public works department and the public and the report would be available in August, September at the latest.

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After extensive discussion over a number of years, Building Bylaw 950 was amended regarding radon gas to read: “21.4 All residential buildings within the City of Castlegar shall be provided with a radon extraction system connected to  the rough in for the subfloor depressurization system required by Article 9.13.4.3 of British Columbia Building Code 2012. The mechanical exhausting devices shall discharge directly outdoors.”

Detailed information about the council meeting can be found on the city website. The next regular council meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 12.

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