Dog fee hikes lead off Castlegar Council briefs from Nov. 19

Council briefs from November 19th Castlegar City Council meeting.

Dan Sammartino

Dan Sammartino

Council briefs

Dog fees going up

The Baja Men sang Who Let the Dogs Out, but soon Castlegar residents will have to pay a little more to let their dogs out.

Council heard and passed three readings of a motion that would raise the fees for dog licenses in Castlegar. This will be first time the fees have been raised in 18 years, or as councillor Heaton-Sherstobitoff said, “it’s less than three dog years.”

Councillor Russ Hearne of the Finance and Corporate Services Committee said the fees now fall in line with the surrounding municipalities.

“We’ve re-adjusted our animal licensing rates for dogs,” he said. “There’s lots of value in having your dog licensed.

“The tag allows us to safely return pets. Basically, it hasn’t been reviewed since 1994, so we did some housekeeping and raised the fees to put them more in line with our neighbouring communities and keep up with costs.”

The rate for neutered male dogs will go from $15 to $20; the rate for un-neutered male dogs will go from $35 to $55; spayed female dogs will go from $15 to $20; and unsprayed female dogs will go from $45 to $55.

Hearne expects the final reading and adoption will take place at the Dec. 3 council meeting.

Doukhobor Society

Dan Sammartino, president of the Kootenay Doukhobor Historical Society, and Netta Zeberoff, curator of the museum, gave a report to Castlegar City Council on Monday. Sammartino said the Doukhobor museum had a total of 2,800 visitors last year. He also talked about ways to improve the museum which includes adding a component where people can come and take pictures wearing traditional Doukhobor clothing.

Heritage Society

Chris D’Arcy of the Castlegar  and District Heritage Society gave a presentation to council on the 2012 activities.

He said business has been slower than normal this year.

“As a result, we made a decision in late September not to keep normal hours in the fourth quarter of this year at the Station Museum,” he said.

“This is the first time in 10 years that we’ve done this. It seemed prudent to make sure we had sufficient funds to keep our regular operating obligations through the new year.”

D’Arcy also reminded council that since this was an even year, there would be no CP Holiday Train. The train will return next year.

He said Zuckerberg Island was staffed from May until mid-August, other than two weeks when the causeway was closed.

“Repairs to the causeway have been done and we really appreciate that work being done,” he said. “The bridge is still closed due to weakness. The only two minor items that concern us are getting a regular phone line and bear-proof garbage containers.”

He said having the phone line would be advantageous for getting alarms out. Vandalism was a problem with several broken windows in both buildings, although they were all repaired quickly.

Youth Engagement

Councillors Deb McIntosh and Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff reported on meeting with students from Bud Gregory’s Student Leadership class at Stanley Humphries Secondary School as part of a Youth Engagement initiative.

“In 2010, we did a Youth Engagement strategy survey with about 600 kids getting interviewed for that,” said Heaton-Sherstobitoff. “It was quite obvious from that survey reply that there wasn’t much interaction between city hall and our youth.

“Youth want to have a voice and that’s a good thing because one day they’re going to be our leaders. So I thought about engaging the leadership class.

“It’s a varied group of kids from different ages and from different walks of life from around our community. I thought, what better way than meeting with them and asking, ‘what’s going on in your world?’ ‘Where do you see Castlegar going in the next 10 years?’”

The councillors said the students were very excited to meet them and after a warming up process, were very engaging.

“They came up with several neat ideas about what they would like to see here and what some of their concerns were,” said McIntosh. “I don’t think they understood quite the gravity of what we were asking them.

“I think it’s a huge step. We encouraged them to go and think about it; talk to their friends, talk to their parents. I think it’s huge for them to have input right to city council. It’s never been done before.”

McIntosh said Castlegar City Council has made plans to meet with the students a minimum of twice a year.

Some of the comments and concerns the students came up with related to public transit safety, school buses, and having a safe place to go that is youth friendly.


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