New airport maintenance contract leads council briefs

Council briefs from Dec. 19 Castlegar City Council meeting at the Community Forum.

At the regular meeting of Dec. 19, Castlegar city council voted to accept the staff recommendation from to award the West Kootenay Regional Airport operations and maintenance service contract to Sentinel Airport Logistics Ltd.

The contract is for one year commencing Jan. 1, 2012 with the possibility of two one-year extensions.

“Atco Frontac, who looked after our airport contract for years, let us know they were no longer interested in doing it,” said councillor Russ Hearne, who chaired the discussion after Mayor Lawrence Chernoff stepped out of the room to avoid a potential conflict. “We had two bidders that came forward. Tonight we awarded that bid to Sentinel based on a criteria from senior staff.”

Hearne said he does not expect any major changes to take place at the Castlegar airport.

“It’s a union staff out there, so it’ll be the same great people out there doing the work,” he said.

Free New Year’s bus service

Transportation and Civic Works committee member Russ Hearne reminded those in attendance of free bus service in Castlegar for New Year’s.

“We started that a few years back and it’s been a great service,” said Hearne. “The buses run late and are offered free to anyone that wants to ride them. It allows people to get out and enjoy the local venues and not have to worry about getting home.”


Millennium Park grant application

Council voted to submit an application to the Community Recreation Program for the Natural Water Recreation Area project for Millennium Park in Castlegar.

The Millennium Park plan is part of the City’s new Official Community Plan.

“As a council we always look at finding funding sources that don’t come out of our city coffers and this was one of those opportunities,” said councillor Kevin Chernoff.

The Community Recreation Program is a provincial government program through the Ministry of Community, Sport, Cultural Development, and the grant is $400,000. If the city is successful, they could also apply for a federal grant to supplement it.

The Natural Water Recreation area is expected to cost approximately $1.3 million.

“We will be taking water from the Columbia, and returning the water to the Columbia,” said Chernoff. “We will be trying not to treat this water and with that creating a lazy river and some swimming/beach style areas.”

Work on the project is expected to begin next Spring and should take about a year.

“We’d be discussing this in our upcoming budget talks anyway,” said Chernoff. “But if we are successful with the grants, obviously we can speed that up.”