Council Briefs: City of Castlegar – May 6, 2013
– Five Miss Castlegar candidates introduced themselves to council in very well presented short speeches.
– Patricia Dehnel, program manager, PowerSense FortisBC, presented the Kootenay Energy Diet. The program is designed to help residential home owners reduce their energy consumption through an evaluation of energy use. Homeowners pay $35 after rebates for the evaluation which includes some free lighting, a low-flow shower head and pipe insulation, if needed. Energy-saving upgrades identified through the program can be financed through low-cost, long amortization loans available from Heritage Credit Union and other financial institutions in the Kootenays. Rebates of up to $4,000 are also available to help offset upgrade costs. Coun. Heaton-Sherstobitoff said she has seen significant savings in her home energy costs since undertaking upgrades and encouraged residents to look into the program. In Rossland in 2011, about 22 per cent of homeowners participated with most saving between 20 to 50 per cent on energy costs and more than $1.6 million was injected into the local economy. In 2015, receiving an “EnerGuide” number through an inspection will become mandatory; the higher the number on a scale of 0 to 100 the better. The Castlegar launch for the program will be Wednesday, May 22 at Stanley Humphries Secondary School at 7 p.m. with a trade show and industry launch scheduled for Tuesday, May 28 at the Community Complex. Council supported the rollout of the program.
– Coun. Turner reported preliminary planning for Canada Day celebrations is going well with a barbecue and outdoor movie night being discussed.
– Coun. Rye reported a donation of a sculpture to the Chamber of Commerce was well received but recently suffered some damage from wind. The sculpture is expected to be back in place by Thursday, May 9.
– Accounts Payable for March 2013 were $764,777.79
– Council approved the maximum transfer of $506,275 from the Community Works (Gas Tax) Reserve Fund for Universal Water Meter Program.
– Council approved $560,000 from the Land Sales Reserve Fund and $470,000 from the Development Reserve, Reserve for Future Restructures both for the Airport Utility Extension Program. The purpose of the program is to bring water and sewer services across the Columbia River to the airport property.
– Final audited financial statements for the City of Castlegar for the year ending Dec. 31, 2012 will be presented to council for approval on Monday, June 17.
– 2013 Tax Rates Bylaw 1174 was adopted.
– The Green Committee stated a report on the Carbon Neutral Kootenays recommendation regarding the Climate Action Reserve Fund will be brought forward at the May 21, 2013 regular council meeting.
– Chris Barlow, director of transportation and civic works, addressed the issue of pesticide use on city owned parks. Barlow explained that ongoing monitoring of all fields throughout the year — managing weeds when and where necessary — is currently the most efficient way to reduce hazards. Broad-leafed weeds can become large, slick patches that can result in falls from those using the parks for sports and recreation. Barlow said the city is actively looking at all options to reduce pesticide use and will ensure that signage is prominent during any applications.
– The Castlegar Slo-Pitch League and the Castle Theatre were both granted Public Special Occasion Licences for upcoming functions.
– Mayor Chernoff had good things to say about the Crime Reduction Unit (a partnership between the City of Castlegar and the RCMP) as it relates to public safety.
– Council awarded Maglio Installations Ltd. the tender for repairs to the Zuckerberg Island suspension bridge. The bridge was damaged in flooding in 2012. The contract was for $21, 400 plus applicable taxes and the work is expected to be complete by the end of June.
Minutes and agendas for all City of Castlegar council meetings can be viewed online at: www.castlegar.ca/meetings.php