Rossland council looks at project costs and a new CAO

Could the citizens of Rossland guess the cost of the Columbia/Washington project?

Could the citizens of Rossland guess the cost of the Columbia/Washington project? This was a suggestion for a game from Coun. Kathy Moore last week in council, as she hoped the city would release updated figures to the public.

“Last meeting I was told that this was going to happen, it has not,” she said. “The contest is a joke, but not telling the citizens what it’s going to cost is not a joke.”

Moore said now is the time and was disappointed that it hasn’t been carried out, since it is the citizens that are ultimately paying for the project.

Coun. Kathy Wallace echoed the sentiments, wondering what was happening with the benches, bike stands and other optional items.

Moore clarified that some of the street furniture had been removed when the parallel parking was removed, as the sidewalks were smaller.

Coun. Jill Spearn noted that the costs were not that easy to add up.

“It’s a complicated project,” Spearn said. “I think everything is looking wonderful.

The mayor said earlier that the costs would come out, but were part of the ongoing construction and not final.

In other council news, it was Chief Administrative Officer Victor Kumar’s final meeting and council took time to congratulate him and wish him well on his future pursuits.

Council also took time to critique a recent letter by former council member Laurie Charlton, which has circulated through the local newspapers.

Spearn was especially critical of the letter, saying that it condemned new CAO and CFO Cecile Arnott prior to her even starting the job. Spearn even went as far as to say that Charlton had something to do with Arnott leaving when she was on staff in Rossland years ago.

“It’s detrimental to our community, it’s detrimental to Ms. Arnott, it’s character defamation,” she said.

Mayor Greg Granstrom said he already had a response to the letter written by Charlton and could send it off.

“If it’s council’s wish to do that, then I will do that,” he said, adding that he would send it out.