Monday night, Rosslanders voiced their concerns about a new business opening in town.
A public hearing was held to discuss the rezoning of the Rotary Health Building to downtown core. The rezoning will allow a coffee roaster, Seven Summits Coffee, to open in the building, and those who attended the public hearing were concerned about the odours they feared could permeate the neighbourhood. Tom Barrie, owner of Seven Summits Coffee, also attended the meeting and addressed the concern, assuring residents that he uses an electrostatic precipitator, which removes particulates from the smoke. One well-informed resident pointed out that removing particulates would do nothing to break down gases, which still carry some odor. The gases can be burned off using an oxidizer and another resident wanted to know if Barrie would commit to installing one if residents had an issue with the smell. In response, Barrie said that he roasts small batches, but if he expanded to roasting bigger batches he would install an oxidizer and was willing to put that in writing.
Residents also raised concerns about parking outside the business. Barrie reassured them that he has a parking plan and that the business would not have much seating — the idea is for customers to get a glimpse at the roasting operation and buy a cup of coffee; it’s not a full café — so it would probably not attract too many cars at once. There was also a concern about the hours when Seven Summits Coffee would be roasting, but Barrie said he roasts during the day, not in the early morning hours.
One resident also asked why the Rotary building needed to be rezoned when there are empty spaces downtown. Barrie explained that the infrastructure needed for the business would be a significant investment, and he didn’t want to put that much investment into a building owned by someone else. Whereas the spaces available downtown are for rent, Barrie bought the Rotary Health Building from the city.
Council was mindful of citizen’s concerns, but decided to approve the rezoning at a council meeting immediately following the public hearing.
Council adopts wildlife attractant bylaw
City council has now adopted a revised wildlife attractant bylaw and Rosslanders putting their garbage out should be mindful that garbage cannot be left at the curb on pick up day before 5 a.m. and that garbage left on the curb for pick up needs to be in a garbage can. Note that garbage cans used for curbside pick up do not need to be wildlife resistant; only containers used for long-term outdoor storage of garbage need to be wildlife resistant. For a full copy of the bylaw, contact City Hall.
Lower Washington St. should be paved for back to school
The stretch of Washington St. between First Ave. and Jubilee St. should be paved and open to drivers by the time kids start school on Tuesday, Sept. 6, according to Darrin Albo, manager of public works. During an update on the Washington St. project he also told council that so far the project is on budget.
Mayor Kathy Moore asked Albo to confirm that the original intention was to split the project into three sections and complete each one before continuing to the next. Albo confirmed that was the original plan and explained the new approach: “Rather than three sections — which was going to be Third, and then from Third to Sixth, and then from Sixth to Spokane — they’ve now brought it to Jubilee, and so that’s one, and then from Jubilee up to Spokane.”
Council votes to increase arena fees
Council approved the first and second reading of a bylaw to increase the fees at Rossland Arena to match Trail’s rate structure. The bylaw originally would have increased the fees by 40 per cent, but in that case Rossland’s youth prime time fee would have been higher than Trail’s, where as the adult prime time tournament fee would have been less than Trail’s. The bylaw was brought forward because the arena’s fees have not been increased since 2010 and the cost recovery rate has fallen from 42 per cent in 2012 to 34 per cent in 2015. If the bylaw is approved, the new fees would take effect on Jan. 1, 2017. (We will provide the new fee schedule once it has been approved.)
City staff pursuing options to limit 2017 tax increase
Following the two public input sessions that took place on July 5 and 6 and were attended by 48 tax payers, city staff reported that “it would appear based on the random sample of property tax payers” that an increase of 10 per cent to 2017 property taxes “would not be acceptable.” A 10 per cent increase is projected if council does nothing to increase revenues or decrease expenses. Staff asked council to instruct them to look at options for limiting the increase to no more than five per cent and reducing the overall cost of operating by $250,000. Council approved the request.
Miners’ Hall exterior reno is on track
The work on the exterior of the Miners’ Hall is on track to finish the first week of September, according to Albo, the city’s manager of public works. The contractor, DGM, is currently working on the siding and have started staining. Windows for the hall are on site and waiting to be installed.