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Rossland Council Connects Newsletter

May 2022

Issue #79

Council News

Council is pleased to share our adopted land acknowledgement. After spending some time learning about the First Nations history of our area, Council took the first step towards understanding and reconciliation. A land acknowledgement by itself is just words, it must be backed by truly seeking to understand, learn, take meaningful action to reconcile with the past and work together constructively in the future.

 

We acknowledge and respect that we live, work, and play on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the sngaytskstx (Sinixt) People and honor all other Indigenous people who walked on, and cared for, these lands before us and continue to do so.

 

We also support and add our voices to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action in order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation.

 

Planning and Infrastructure:

Join us for this IN PERSON drop in style event to review the Draft OCP May 26th 6 – 8pm at the Miners Hall. Beer from the Rossland Beer Company. Can’t make it? Still have your say: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D9RK663 There will be draw prizes for those who come to the event or fill out the survey.

 

The OCP takes a 10+ year glimpse into the future of Rossland. It reflects our vision, values, and plans for change. Since 2020, we established a task force of Rosslanders, ran community surveys, held interviews and public events, had coffee chats, and built an interactive story map. All of that combined with background research and analysis has culminated in this draft.  A community plan cannot be created without consulting our community. We would love to hear your feedback!

 

A rezoning application for 1081 Olaus Way to change a parcel from commercial to residential was adopted. Council approved several development permit variance applications. Most dealt with challenging lots and were granted: 1395 Washington St, 2605 Maple Cresent, 1901 Butte St and 1627 Leroi. Several members of the public expressed concerns about the variance for 2545 McLeod and it required more discussion; however, Council was satisfied that the benefits of the variance outweighed any potential detriment. By requiring any structure in the variance area to be no more than one story, the major concerns should be alleviated. Council also approved a Development Permit for some cosmetic improvements to 2040 Columbia. A request for an amendment to reduce the 7.5m riparian set back requirement on a parcel at Red Mountain Village was turned down due to consideration of environmental concerns and the future impacts of climate change.

 

Council continues to support the development of the Home Energy Leadership Program (HELP). Through generous grants from Columbia Basin Trust and Fortis, this program will provide education and assistance for energy retrofits for over 100 homes. Watch for details as the program is rolled out.

 

The Aquaduct Trail improvement project will improve the trail for recreation as well as rebuild much of the City’s essential watermain from Mann Rd to the intersection of Gibbards Trail. The majority of the work will be done with grants. Copcan Civil Ltd. was awarded the project.

 

Recreation:

Council adopted a new policy to set the criteria for the cancellation of outdoor recreation programs due to extreme weather conditions (heat, smoke, heavy rain, thunder and lightning).

 

Administrative Matters:

Council heard an informative presentation about the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s financial plan. Rossland’s requisition this year for services rendered by the RDKB will be $1,708,097. Details can be found here.

 

The Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation, our regional economic development agency, presented their recent accomplishments and details of awards won. The BC Social Procurement Initiative presented on the many local community benefits of following a social procurement model.

 

Council approved the 5 year financial plan, 2022-2027, and the 2022 municipal tax rates. For 2022, residential properties will see a 3% municipal tax increase, and all other property types will see a 4% tax increase. With excellent work from our professional senior staff, Council has identified inequities in our long standing tax policy, and has been working towards rectifying them. In 2020, Council changed the application of the policy to ensure all property classes are assigned an equal amount in any tax change by the City, and in 2021 and 2022, Council has implemented a variable rate tax policy to our property classes. Council has also directed staff to continue applying a variable rate tax policy in the near term, while monitoring the tax rates and changes for differing property types until the burden of tax distribution becomes more equitable for all taxpayers in the City. While our community has a high percentage of residential properties, almost 95% by assessment, the tax burden has been skewed by our previous tax policy to place a disproportionate amount of the tax burden on our residential property owners. Property tax notices will be sent via mail in late May. Property taxes are due on July 4th at 4pm. Reminder: apply for a home owner grant (HOG) online before the July 4 deadline to avoid penalties. www.gov.bc.ca/homeownergrant.

 

The annual review and and adjustment of the local area service parcel tax bylaws for Ophir Reservoir and Red Mountain Water and Sewer Service were also adopted.

 

Remember, municipal elections will be held Oct 15, 2022. Now is the time to consider running; come to Council meetings, speak with current Councillors and learn about the contributions you can make to your community. Watch for an informative community session about the roles and responsibilities of City Council coming up in the months ahead.

 

Sign up for Eye-on-Water. This is an app linked to your property’s water meter that helps you track your water usage. A key feature of the app is it’s leak detection alert function, which will send a notification to your phone if a leak is detected. The average leak in Rossland last year went undetected for 6.7 months and resulted in close to 50 cubic metres of wasted water per month! Over 90% of active leaks are at properties without the Eye-on-Water App installed. Your water bill is switching to quarterly invoicing so you can really benefit from this service to catch any leaks. To create your account visit www.eyeonwater.ca/signup. To create you account, enter your postal code as “V0G1Y0” (zeros, no spaces), and your utility billing account number as “###-########-###” (3 digits, dash, 8 digits, dash, 3 digits). Call our Finance Team at 778.457.5031 with any questions you might have. 

 

The City of Rossland COVID-19 Community Support Fund.  funds have been awarded to provide financial assistance to benefit the citizens of Rossland. Grants were made to the following groups in May: Golden City Days ($4k) and the Rossland Light Opera Players ($5k).

 

Council approved a late Community Grant Fund request from Trail Little League to support Rossland team members to offset the Trail Resident Program’s extra fees. In an effort to build goodwill, 50% of the fee will be covered by Rossland and the remainder by Trail for this year only.

 

Council approved two new policies for managing Freedom of Information Requests and Privacy considerations to provide transparency and consistency for the public. Council reviewed monthly staff reports, all are on our website, in the council meeting agendas. For the Midtown Housing Project, including information about about applying for a rental unit, contact Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society. www.lowercolumbiahousing.ca

 

 

Community:

The Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society and the City of Rossland are seeking suggestions to name the new City Hall/Workforce Affordable Housing building at 1920 3rd Ave. Names should be simple, distinctive, and recognizable; may convey a sense of place and celebrate the distinguishing characteristics of the neighbourhood or Rossland area; and should respect the community’s values, history, and culture, including those of the local and traditional Indigenous groups. Send suggestions to www.lowercolumbiahousing.ca by May 20th

 

YAN events for youth (12-18 years old) "Teen Tuesday" at Flux Climbing. 3-6pm $5 entry, $2 shoes, free pizza slice. Wed. May 18: Cooking Class: Tostadas and Salsa Music at YAN. Cost: $2 (Cash) Fri May 20: 70's Roller Party at the Arena. 7:30-9:30. $2 entry, $2 roller skate rental. Registration: online, YAN programs at rossland.ca/recreation. Wed. May 25, gyoza dumpling cooking class and movie night, 5-8:30, $2 Every Friday: Art Club 4:30-6:30 with Kimberley Cutler. Free! Drop-ins welcome. End of school pool party at the Rossland pool, Thurs June 30th 5-7 pm Ongoing: Free anonymous youth mental health counselling at Kootenay Counselling. Call Gabriel Roy-Wright (MC, CCC-Q) at 250-362-5035 and mention "YAN Sponsored Counselling" Skatepark Action Cam Camps: Make and edit videos of you skateboarding, BMX, scooter, whichever at the skatepark. Saturday June 4th, 10-3pm. More info to come soon. E-mail questions to Sam at rosslandyan@gmail.com.

 

Rossland’s FireSmart Neighbourhood Program Wildfire is our greatest risk. Learn more about the program by clicking here.

 

Contact our Age-Friendly program to learn about fun and educational events being offered for seniors this spring: age.friendly@rossland.ca, www.rossland.ca/skseniors. http://www.facebook.com/skseniors or call 250-368-1896.

 

The New Rossland Community Farmers Market: Starting Wed. June 15th from 2-5pm every week until Oct. 6.

 

The Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre needs helpers! https://www.rosslandmuseum.ca/news/2021/committees, or museumdirector@rosslandmuseum.ca or 250-362-7722

 

The Rossland Heritage Commission is installing a bench at the Columbia Cemetery. A 'Ross Thompson' book is being republished to compliment two additional books: First History of Rossland and Civility, Chicanery, and Celebration. Come to the Columbia Cemetery clean up day. June 18th 10am -12pm. Bring gardening tools and gloves. Refreshments provided.250.362.2329 or development.services@rossland.ca

 

Be in Touch! City Hall: 362-7396. Sign up for City updates at www.rossland.ca Next Regular Council meeting: Monday June 6, 2022. 6 p.m. at the Miners Hall. Public input at 6pm or contact City Hall to sign up as a delegation.

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