Rossland City Council Brief: December 14

Future of the Emcon lot; Recreation programs seeking new homes; Business licenses

Future of the Emcon lot

Council approved a request from the Rossland Skatepark Association to collaborate with them during the Washington St. Renewal project. Specifically council agreed to allow the association to tie in drainage for the skatepark during construction and to capitalize on excavation and debris removal by using the same equipment. City staff concluded that having the association capitalize on concrete purchasing wasn’t possible, as the City and association both need different kinds of concrete and the tender does not specify amounts of concrete.

Council also voted to begin the process of rezoning half of the lot to park space, but councillors John Greene, Martin Kruysse and Lloyd McLellan were opposed. They had no problem rezoning 10,000 sq. ft. for the use of the skatepark, but didn’t want to commit the rest of the half of the lot to park space.

The Rossland Youth Action Network had also requested that staff reallocate one of the old storage buildings on the Emcon Lot for a new youth centre, which council approved. Again councillors Greene, Kruysse and McLellan were against it because they were afraid it would limit future development on the site.

There were also concerns raised about the City property being stored in the building, and staff had recommended budgeting $70,000 to build a third building on the lot to continue storing these items, but council agreed that they could either sell off some of the items and/or find a less costly storage solution.

Recreation programs seeking new homes

Council gave staff permission to look at alternative venues for the recreation programs that will be displaced when the Miners’ Hall closes in February. Staff estimates that they will need to pay for approximately 610 hours of rental space for the programs, and that most venues charge $20 to $30 per hour, resulting in an approximate cost of $12,200 to $18,300.

Stretch and Strength and Youth Karate have already found new homes, and some of the recreation programs already take place in the RSS gym, but there are a number of recreation programs that will have to be cancelled if a venue can’t be found. The City would forgo $9,150 in revenue from the displaced programs.

Staff will report back to council with a cost analysis of the rental options.

Business licenses

Council voted to have staff conduct a comprehensive review of the Business License Bylaw, and begin charging businesses that fail to pay their business licenses on time a $100 late fee. The late fee will apply to any 2015 fees not paid by December 31, 2015 and any 2016 fees not paid by the due date.

Council briefly discussed what benefits business owners get in return for paying for a business license. The amount collected from business licenses used to match the amount the City gave to the Rossland Chamber of Commerce, but now it’s unclear what benefit business owners derive from paying the fees. Council agreed this would need to be discussed further as the bylaw is reviewed, but as it stands the law requires owners to pay for a license.

 

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