Sports group needs different source for grant

Briefs from Castlegar City Council meeting of April 15, 2013

'Snowbusters

A relatively light agenda was dealt with by Castlegar City Council on Monday, April 15.

Three grant requests were looked at, the first two (in the aid of Crimestoppers for $500 and National Aboriginal Day, June 21, $100) were approved while the third, a request by the West Kootenay Minor Lacrosse Association for $5,000 toward the cost of shot clocks, jerseys, nets and equipment, was denied.

Councillor Deb McIntosh recommended denial in a report contained in the agenda. It was noted that the grant request was reviewed by the Finance and Corporate Services Committee at its April 9 meeting.

Coun. McIntosh later explained that the city’s policy in such cases is to supply funds that go toward team travel, etc.

“I think our grants in aid policy doesn’t allow for that,” said the councillor on Tuesday morning, “because there are limited funds available. We were hoping that if they didn’t know about the CBT (Columbia Basin Trust) initiatives in time for this year, that they would apply for it next year.”

She referred to the CBT Community Initiatives grant program.

“But $5,000 out of a very small budget that doesn’t allow for that, just doesn’t work.”

Council approved a sponsorship request in the amount of $250 for an award at the June 15 Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

In the “Green” category, council gave a financial nudge to the Fortis BC Kootenay Energy Diet pilot project.

The plan, summarized in a report by Green Committee Chair Mayor Chernoff, indicated that the diet promotion is “meant to overcome barriers to homeowners making energy efficiency improvements.” The initial assessment fee for those taking part is $50.

Council went along with the green committee’s recommendation to offer a $25 subsidy to the first 50 Castlegar homeowners to sign up for the energy diet.

A fair bit of discussion focused on the issue of a temporary use permit for a small recycling operation in the building at 167 Columbia Avenue, which is shared by the Bargain Bin.

Items including various forms of hazardous waste such as paint, lighting products and small batteries would be handled and processed at the location.

The main concern raised by those commenting on the issue, was parking for those using the service. Mayor Chernoff suggested the situation be looked at and future measures be taken if, and as needed.

The permit has a term of three years.

A report intended to bring council up to date on radon standards released in the 2012 BC Building Code was received.

As Castlegar is one of a number of communities with a high level of radon gas present, a bylaw to mitigate the  gas in new home construction is being considered. Several procedures apparently remain to be completed before such a bylaw can be adopted.

Planning and Development Committee member Coun. Gord Turner spoke about the bylaw following the meeting.

“We have the bylaw ready to go, and new homes will have some sort of radon mitigation built into them. According to the 2012 building code there’s a provision that in (high) radon areas a council can put forward a bylaw.” Turner added that the bylaw would have to gain approval from provincial authorities.

Council received a report outlining the decision to award pavement marking contracts to Aardvark Pavement Marking for the years 2013 to 2015. Aardvark, with bids of approximately $44,000 to $45,000 for each of the three years, got the nod over competitors whose bids for one year ranged as high as $75,000.

The city’s Heron Sculpture, “Patient Hunter” the 2012 Sculpturewalk people’s choice winner had it’s new home announced at the April 15 meeting.

The artwork will be installed at the Highway 3 interchange area… near where the turnoff to Grand Forks meets Columbia Avenue. Council approved a motion regarding the installation that had been amended to include some sort of water feature as well.

“There’s a triangle piece where you can go up towards Grand Forks, just below the medical clinic,” said Coun. Kevin Chernoff of the spot where the metal bird will roost.

The question of vandalism came up but was quickly dismissed by Coun. Chernoff who said, “It’s like anywhere else, the possibility of vandalism is there. If we’re going to put a chain link fence around public art… why have public art?”

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