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Rossland Radio Co-op hopes city will forgive $2,400 gas bill

Rossland Radio Co-op is hoping the city will forgive a $2,400 gas bill that is threatening to sink the non-profit.

The bill came as a result of an administrative oversight and includes back-payments for the past three years that the co-op has been in the Rotary building on Columbia Avenue.

Marty Cancilla, president of the co-op, said it is at a turning point and the bill came as a surprise.

"One of the things on our agenda was to ask the city for a lease renewal when we were met with a bill for $2,400 for half the utilities for gas," Cancilla said. "This was due to administrative oversight, we hadn't been billed in three years."

Cancilla said the co-op finds it virtually impossible to pay the bill.

"I feel it will set us back and really detracts from our efforts thus far," he said. "We're asking that the city forgive this bill."

Cancilla noted that the city does provide reduced rent for the co-op, but the co-op has never asked for anything in the way of a cash grant from the city, for capital of operational ventures on top of the rent decrease.

He argued that the gas would have also been on whether the co-op was there or not, since both the Rossland and District Search and Rescue and the food bank operate in the building as well.

He said the co-op has given "a lot of people, a lot of purpose."

The bill also comes at a bad time, since Cancilla will be leaving for New Zealand for three years in March.

Coun. Kathy Moore said the presentation brought up a lot of questions for her about the bill.

Mayor Greg Granstrom said there would be a staff report coming for the next meeting, which would hopefully answer some of those questions.

For more information on the co-op, go to www.rosslandradio.com.

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