Council grants Rossland Radio Co-op rent reduction

Rossland Radio Co-op will be getting a 50 per cent cut to the rent it pays to the city.

Rossland Radio Co-op will be getting a 50 per cent cut to the rent it pays to the city, but council decided it will have to pay for the damage done to the roof. The co-op asked for a reduction in rent last month. The roof costs came about after the co-op attempted to install an antenna on the roof, which lead to roof damage that needed to be fixed.

It took council three votes to come to an agreement.

Coun. Kathy Moore called for council to wave the rent and pay half the bill for the roof, because of the service the co-op provides to the community.

Coun. Tim Thatcher said he thought a 50-50 split of both the roof and the rent would be best.

Thatcher also brought up another discussion of why the city owns the Rotary Health building in the first place.

“I don’t understand the reason that we own it,” he said.

The roof damage comes from the installation of lag bolts without the authorization to the city.  Coun. Jody Blomme said the RRC is an important part of the community, but not the same kind of non-profit as Search and Rescue or the food bank, which also share the building. As such, she said they should pay something.

“As far as the lag bolt issue, there was a rental agreement,” Blomme said.

During the public input period Marty Cancilla, director of the RRC apologized for the roof damage, but pleaded with council to help with the bill. Cancilla said there had been water damage there from before which contributed to the roof damage.

Coun. Jill Spearn said the co-op has a place in the fabric of the community, but she didn’t agree with the location, because it is “the entrance to the community.”

“We have to really go back and revisit the sustainability of the building,” Spearn said. “I always feel that everybody should pay something. The primary user of the building is the co-op.”

Coun. Cary Fisher supported the recommendation of staff, which was to keep everything how it currently is and make the RRC pay the bill for the roof in full. Fisher did suggest an amortization plan of 12 months that council did eventually adopt for the repayment.

Fisher said he can’t on one hand ask the city staff to look at cutting taxes, while eon the other granting exceptions for community groups.

Moore was the only one to vote to wave the rent and payment plan for half the bill.

Coun. Kathy Wallace said the co-op is in a bad place right now as a lot of Rossland can’t get reception, which is affecting membership.

“I think they’re in the wrong location,” she said. “I’d like to see them survive for the next year.”

Spearn hinted that perhaps with the potential school restructuring there would be some space opening up in the next few years. Fisher’s motion that rent be reduced by 50 per cent and the bill payment be amortized for 12 months, finally passed with Moore and Spearn opposed.

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