Highlights from the March 21 Castlegar council meeting.
Support for Ukraine
With the very unfortunate current events, council supported making a $1,000 donation to the Red Cross for its efforts in Ukraine, raising a Ukrainian flag at City Hall until June 30, and lighting the Kinnaird overpass blue and yellow when not lit for previously approved causes.
Given recent community concerns about speeding in certain areas, staff placed speed reader boards at 7th Avenue (northbound), Connors Road (southbound), and Monashee Avenue (southbound). Council received the results from staff which indicated levels below the posted 50 km/hr speed limit in the Connors Road or Monashee Avenue areas. Some speed concerns were noted at 7th Avenue, in the school zone in front of Twin Rivers Elementary, and the local RCMP has committed to prioritizing 7th Avenue for monitoring and enforcement.
Banner policy and program
Castlegar has flag poles with banners throughout the city that are changed seasonally. In the past, the city has displayed its banners and shared some space with community groups. With the recent installation of new poles and banners as part of the Columbia Avenue Redevelopment Project, and aging banners in other areas of the city, there is an opportunity to create a banner policy and program to allow the city and other groups to strategically use this public space.
Council supported creating a policy, including the Kinnaird overpass lights and the City Hall flags, and temporarily displaying the Castlegar & District Chamber of Commerce’s Love Castlegar banners on flag poles in Phases 1 and 2 of Columbia Avenue this spring/summer while the program is developed. This will be considered for adoption at the April 4, regular council meeting.
Castlegar Fire Department command/wildfire response unit
The city’s 2022 budget includes purchasing a new command truck to replace an end-of-life model. Command trucks are one of the fire department’s most utilized vehicles as they are used daily to respond to all types of emergencies, wildfires, and inspections. Council awarded the contract, valued at $69,093 plus taxes, to Nelson Ford. Once received, the city is required to install radios, emergency light package and siren, and decaling to meet National Fire Protection Association standards which bring the total cost of the unit to $90,000. Council also authorized borrowing up to $90,000 from the Municipal Finance Authority to finance the purchase over five years.
Low carbon homes pilot
Using funding from FortisBC’s Built Better Communities Grant, the city partnered with the City of Nelson on a Low Carbon Homes Pilot in 2021. The pilot analyzed several new residential builds to benchmark what materials are most effective in reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions during construction. The pilot led to the development of a Material Carbon Emissions Guide and Benchmarking Report to assist builders with their material choices.
Active transportation corridor link from Castlegar to Nelson
Council approved providing a letter of support recommending the Regional District of Central Kootenay apply to the Infrastructure Canada Active Transportation Fund for a feasibility study on an active transportation corridor link from Castlegar to Nelson, under a memorandum of understanding with the West Kootenay Cycling Coalition.
Castlegar & District Library association insurance coverage
After receiving a request from the Castlegar & District Library Association during 2022 budget deliberations, council received a report from the director of finance to enter into an agreement to allow the library to be part of the city’s insurance coverage. This will be considered for adoption at the April 4 council meeting.