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City of Castlegar Council briefs: Sept. 3, 2013
A number of decisions were made on requests and proposals before Castlegar council on Tuesday, Sept. 3.
A request from the Castlegar Festival Society for the city to take possession of a mobile stage that would be used by community groups was denied. After reports from two committees, council felt the added insurance, storage, labour and transportation of the stage was not something the city should involve itself with. Coun. Kevin Chernoff said the stage in question is an older, used unit and the current fee for groups to utilize it is nominal.
The City approved a request from the Castlegar Rebels to purchase an advertising package at a cost of just over $1,100. The package includes 40 tickets to games that will be provided to children in the community. "We've done it for years," said Coun. Deb McIntosh. "It's a good program and a win-win."
The Element Club received approval for an extension of its hours from a closing time of 2 a.m. until 3:30 a.m. on Friday, October 4 when Boy George and Marc Vedo come to town. Councillors McIntosh and Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff voted against the extension, both citing reasons such as added policing costs and noise concerns. Castlegar RCMP Sgt. Laurel Mathew provided an email to Phil Markin, director of Development Services, Planning & Development saying she didn't see a problem with the extension.
Now Advertising, based in Trail, came before council last month in its fourth attempt over the last 30 years to work with the city to install billboards within city limits. Council unanimously upheld the current bylaw which does not permit billboards within municipal boundaries.
On the transportation and civic works side of things, Coun. Chernoff reported that water levels are not at a point where construction work on the Millennium Ponds project can begin. He also said work will begin shortly to try and halt erosion in the gully that runs adjacent to 36th Street at the end of 3rd and 4th Avenues. Placement of rip rap and some excavator work is planned and additional work may be needed in the area next year.
A scaled-back version of a lighting project for the Kinnaird overpass will proceed after councillors McIntosh and Heaton-Sherstobitoff voted against the idea. With an estimated cost of $45,000, funded from the $50,000 Community Enhancement budget, Coun. Heaton-Sherstobitoff commented that the "whole kit and kaboodle" was being spent on the project.
Coun. Heaton-Sherstobitoff also brought photos of the tennis courts at 8th Street and 9th Avenue, showing numerous cracks in need of repair. She commented there is no signage indicating "play at your own risk" and that liability may be an issue were someone to get hurt.
Coun. McIntosh brought up a number of issues, including requesting that staff look at modifying the 72-hour euthanasia policy regarding the animal control bylaw; adding some information to the tags that are given when licensing pets (to provide for alternate telephone numbers); and having a look at lowering the speed limit on 5th Street from 50 to 40 km/h based on concerns she has received from residents.
During question period, resident Rudiger Klaus commented on concerns with city crews being flexible in providing such services as waste pick up. He also feels the Millennium Ponds project is not a good use of taxpayer money and that traffic along Columbia Ave was becoming "insane." Klaus requested the city look at doing noise or traffic volume studies.
Also in question period, Antoinette Halberstadt asked about the process of disputing bylaw tickets. Chief administrative officer John Malcolm said residents are able to approach city hall or take the matter to court.
The next council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. Meeting schedules, packages and webcasts can all be viewed at www.castlegar.ca under the "City Hall" tab.