Council held its regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 23. Mayor Moore commented, “This is the biggest gallery we have had yet…The biggest crowd we have had at a council meeting. We are stoked!”
Ilo Schubert operates an early childhood education facility from the Miners’ Hall in Rossland. Schubert will be retiring in May of this year and had sent correspondence to council asking them “to provide a letter assuring potential providers that the space in the Lodge Room of the Miners’ Hall be available to run a pre-school program under similar reasonable costs and contracts, as has been awarded to me in the past,” Schubert’s correspondence read.
Over 35 families have committed to enrolling their children in September 2015 to the program.
The public gallery of council chambers was filled with parents of young children wanting to provide support for this item on council’s agenda.
Three women addressed council during the public input period. Taking the opportunity to explain how this early childhood educational facility is one of a kind in Rossland, providing children with an opportunity to socialize with peers and learn routine, among other things, before starting kindergarten.
The elected officials voiced their opinions on how the facility was great for young families but they also cautioned that council must abide by municipal law and must not assist private business.
A motion was carried to refer the matter to staff for a staff report. The report is due in about a month’s time.
North Jubilee Park Wetland Restoration
Eva Cameron and Rachael Roussin, project coordinators of the North Jubilee Park Wetland Project presented to council during delegation time in regards to the North Jubilee Park Wetland Feasibility Study.
The project coordinators explained why wetlands are important to water filtration, wildlife habitat and reducing council’s labour costs. The project proposed students will have an outdoor classroom in which to study native wildlife in the ponds measuring 35 to 70 cm in depth.
Public consultation conducted for this study revealed the community would like to see the removal of the idle basketball court which consists of an asphalt slab.
Ownership of the land will stay with the city. The project would be carried out by volunteers with an anticipated construction commencement date of September 2015. Construction would cost $30,000 with almost 100 per cent of these funds already secured.
“This is a fantastic study and it has covered everything we want to see, thanks for being so thorough,” Councillor Aaron Cosbey commented.
Terry Miller chair of the Sustainability Commission presented to council on the outcomes of the commission’s recent workshop and on the commission’s current and future projects. The commission was looking for council’s approval and input.
The Jan. 20 workshop held by the commission gathered input to identify taskforces which need to be implemented.
Event Sign Policy
In October 2014 council approved an event signage board for the Columbia St Paul intersection (across the road from the OK General Store), budgeting for an installation in 2015. The event signage board will cost approximately $15,000 of which $5000 would be contributed from the city’s budget. At the October meeting, elected officials also directed staff to draft a usage policy. The draft policy had tentative approval from Tourism Rossland’s executive director prior to discussions at Monday’s meeting.
Discussions from the elected officials turned to fees for use, length of use, and whether tourism events should be given priority as suggested in the policy.
Councillor Lloyd McLellan pointed out there would be ongoing costs to the city for the operation and maintenance of this event signage board.
Elected officials voted unanimously in favour of changing the policy to introduce a fee of $50 per week for use of the event signage. When it came time to vote on the motion to change the policy so that tourism related events were not given top priority, councillor Zwicker and mayor Moore were the only two to vote against the motion resulting in the motion being carried.
The elected officials also voted to change the policy so that the maximum advertising period would be reduced from one month to two weeks.
Rusty the sculpture
Council were asked through a letter from the Rossland Council for Arts and Culture (RCAC) to assist with relocating and installing the horse sculpture known as Rusty, currently located on the corner of Washington St. and Columbia Ave.
Rusty is currently on lease from Castlegar Sculpturewalk. The concept for a regional sculpturewalk is being developed in collaboration with West Kootenay community arts councils and Castlegar Sculpturewalk. The RCAC is involved in this regional initiative and would like to continue to host a rotating exposition of public art in Rossland.
Due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the community regarding the sculpture, RCAC would like to purchase Rusty and add the sculpture to Rossland’s permanent collection of downtown art.
RCAC were seeking permission from the city to permanently install Rusty at a new location in the downtown. RCAC also requested the assistance of Public Works to move and install Rusty.
The artist has agreed to a purchase price of $8,000.00 for Rusty. This cost will be paid by RCAC not the city.
A motion was carried to refer the matter to staff to determine the exact location on the western end of downtown Columbia Ave. for placement of Rusty should the RCAC successfully purchase the sculpture.