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Update: Year in Review: Castlegar council considers different kind of bottom line
Castlegar city council, on January 7 received the Asphalt Assessment and Capital Paving Plan as information and consideration for the next budget deliberations.
"We made a recommendation that we step up to the plate on our paving," said councillor Kevin Chernoff, who is also the chair of the transportation and civic works committee. "It's one of those items we tend to usually do the hacking to when we do budgets, and it's getting behind. I think, like most municipalities we tend to leave that, but I think it's one of the most important things as a municipality that we look after," the councillor continued. "So we made a recommendation that we follow a five-year plan and part of a $575,000 commitment every year for the next three years for the start of this plan. This'll allow us some savings over awarding a three-year contract to a paving company. If we're doing sewer or water work under the asphalt, we can re-pave those areas at the same time without having to wait a year to discuss it at the next budget. It just allows us to run more efficiently than we have been."
In 2012, the city hired LVM Consultants to perform a complete asphalt condition assessment, which will provide Civic Works with updated information to complete road replacement plans.
Every road was assessed and broken down and graded for defects such as rutting, cracking and potholes.
"All the roads were graded from 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst," said Chernoff. "We're not bad. We've got some that are 1.9s and run up as high as 7. The lower numbered roads are the ones we'll attack first. We also have to factor in if we're doing water or sewer work underneath. That could delay some of the worst roads for a year. It just allows us to do that efficiently."
Since 2004, the city of Castlegar has experienced a considerable increase in the cost of asphalt replacement.
In 2012, the cost was $35 per metre squared. The total value of paving was $51,000. In 2011, the cost per metre squared was the same, but the total value was $603,000. In 2004, the per metre squared cost was only $12.18 and the total value of paving was $497,000.
The lowest graded roads in Castlegar to be repaired this year are 9th Avenue at 6th Street at 0.3 and 9th Avenue at 3rd Street and 4th Street at 0.7.
The cost of replacing the roads in 2013 are set at $24,291 for 9th and 6th, and $33,568 for 9th and 3rd/4th.
Chernoff says it's important to not just fix the roads which are in rough shape, but also maintain the other roads.
"Once you get behind the eight ball you never get caught up," he said. "Like most municipalities, this is one of those places where, as more stuff comes to council, we have to focus on our basics. As far as I'm concerned this is one of our most important items. Our infrastructure is good here, because our departments do a really good job of monitoring them and we assess them on a regular basis and try to devote the attention they require."
Castlegar singer Nicole releases CD
Castlegar may not be the cowboy capital of Canada, we certainly take a back seat to our Albertan neighbours; however, one Castlegar lady hasn't let that stop her from putting out a country album and having a couple of songs picked up by country radio.
"We had the CD release party for It Got Ugly on Nov. 17," said Lisa Nicole this month, who is from Castlegar but lives in Vancouver now. "We started pushing the first song If You Say You Do to country radio in October. It's on over 31 country stations throughout Canada right now. That's pretty big for a first song."
Nicole recorded most of the album in Nashville, which she enjoyed tremendously. The CD has five songs on it and was produced by famed producer Bill Buckingham.
"Besides producing most of the album there, I also co-wrote all the songs," she said. "Being in Nashville was amazing. When I left I thought, I'm going to be living here one day. I can't wait to go back. The artists I worked with down there are all so talented. It was really cool."
Nicole was born in Grand Forks and grew up in Castlegar. After graduating from Stanley Humphries, she went to music school in Nelson at Selkirk College.
"Then I moved to Vancouver by myself and just started networking," she said. "That's where I met my vocal coach and my producer."
Nicole has been back in the Kootenays several times and performed at different venues. She really enjoys performing at the Concerts in the Park series at Kinnaird in Castlegar.
"I've been playing in Castlegar since I was in high school," she said. "I always love coming home and doing shows at home. Since then, I've gained so many more fans in Castlegar. It's great."
The second single from Nicole's CD, Real Men Stay, is going to be pushed to radio in January. She also recently released a Christmas video for Oh Holy Night.
Nicole has a new website at www.lisanicolemusic.com. Also, be sure to check her out on Facebook and Twitter.
"If anyone wants to message me or add me on Facebook, I love talking to all my fans," she said.
Roy Has Fire makes a name for itself
Roy Has Fire is (L-R) James Villa, Mateo Villa, Derek Monsen and Oliver Bean.
Castlegar band Roy Has Fire has made it into the top 10 of an online B.C. best of the band contest.
The alt-rockers were chosen by the judges out of several dozen B.C. bands for the contest based on the submission of a couple of original songs.
The band consists of Oliver Bean on guitar, James Villa on guitar and vocals, Derek Monsen on drums and Mateo Villa on bass guitar and vocals. Monsen and Mateo attend Stanley Humphries Secondary, while James goes to Mount Sentinel Secondary. Bean, who also teaches guitar at Supercat Studios, graduated from Mount Sentinel last year.
"It's hosted by Youthink Magazine and it's called B.C.'s Best Teen Band contest," said Bean. "We thought it was a perfect contest for us. All the other contests we were too old or too young or there was something that didn't work. With this one, we gave it a shot and now we're in the top 10."
"They hosted try-outs online and around 50-60 bands tried out," explained Monsen. "We had to send in a video and two recorded songs."
"A panel of professionals picked out the top 10 and we made it," said James. "Now from online voting - from people in the community, your fans and all that - that's how they're deciding the top three. The top three get cash prizes, a recording session and get to play a big concert in Vancouver."
To help out these young rockers, go to http://www.youthink.ca/band-contest-2013 and vote away. You can also go to Roy Has Fire's Facebook site and follow the link there. The Castlegar News website also has a link on our story.
Roy Has Fire has been together as a band for three years and has played at several shows around the West Kootenays but admit the contest is the most exciting event they've been involved with so far.
"It's been going great," said James. "We've had lots of shows in the community. We've played shows at multiple relays for life, Castlegar Sunfest, parties for people."
The band says there not strictly a rock band or strictly an alt band.
"It's kind of hard to describe it all," said Bean. "There's a bit of jazz influence. We're all fond of swing. They're some classic rock in there and some old punk in the sound."
"You can't really pin us down to one sound," said James.
At shows, the band alternates between cover songs and originals.
"Recently, we've been writing lots of originals and recording lots of originals ourselves," said James. "Trying to get ourselves out there."
The band hopes doing well in the online contest will 'get them out there'.
"We all really enjoy making music and we would like to make it a career," said Monsen.
"We're really trying to take off right now," said James. "We're also doing this as a way of representing the Kootenays. We're the only band in the contest from the Kootenays. All the other bands are coming from places like Vancouver."
The band members emphasize that it's really important for everyone to get out and vote.
"You can vote once a day," said Bean, who admits the sign-up process can be cumbersome. "But once you get signed in, you can log in every day with your email and vote."
The voting ends on Feb. 18. Once the public decides on the top three, those bands will play in Vancouver, where the ultimate winner will be decided.