Castlegar City Council highlights
Darlene Kalawsky from Communities in Bloom presented a project idea to complete a budget, plan and design for a Japanese Garden project alongside City Hall that would be a peaceful place linking Castlegar to its sister city, Embetsu, Japan. The project would be a sustainable, low-maintenance design and would include public engagement and a fundraising campaign. The project will be considered at the December 20, 2021 Regular Council Meeting.
WEST KOOTENAY REGIONAL AIRPORT RELIABILITY
Council gave three readings to West Kootenay Regional Airport (WKRA) Required Navigational Performance (RNP) Project Loan Authorization Bylaw 1371 authorizing the City to borrow $1 million, interest-free from Columbia Basin Trust to help finance the cost associated with funding RNP to improve reliability issues at the WKRA. The Trust loan results in a direct savings of $727,500 in interest payments rather than borrowing the money conventionally through the Municipal Finance Authority. The loan will be repaid over 25 years. This investment does not affect City of Castlegar taxpayers as West Kootenay Regional Airport is funded by passenger-related fees & charges.
RNP has been identified as the best solution for the Airport. It is a set of navigation specifications that use GPS along a precise flight path to create a high level of accuracy and integrity which offers significant safety benefits over traditional approaches. It allows aircraft to follow a guided approach into our valley, far below the minimum levels that are currently used, allowing aircraft to get lower and closer to our airport before deciding if they can land. Having an RNP solution in place will reduce the number of cancellations due to river/valley fog, improve customer confidence in the airport, increase bookings, and reduce carbon emissions by minimizing flight times and the need for circling.
Regulator approvals and final documentation are expected to be complete in 2022 and the RNP solution could be operational in early 2023.
SIMPLIFYING THE BUILDING PERMIT PROCESS
Council gave first, second and third readings to Building Amendment Bylaw No. 1368 to simplify the building permit process and align it with other municipalities, and Municipal Ticketing Amendment Bylaw No. 1369 to reflect the changes in the Building Bylaw and Business Licence Bylaw. The proposed changes would include removal of the requirements to obtain a Building Permit for exterior finishing, roof/gutters/drains, fencing, retaining walls (less than 5 feet), paving and sidewalks. These Bylaws will be considered for adoption at the December 20, 2021 Regular Council Meeting.
COLUMBIA AVENUE REDEVELOPMENT PHASE 2 COMPLETION
Council received a lessons learned report from the Project Manager of the Columbia Avenue Redevelopment Project – Phase 2. With any project, there are things that go well and things that can be improved upon. By reflecting on these items, staff can continually improve the approach and execution of capital projects. The project went very well from a construction management, budget and public relations perspective. The consultants and the contractor were skilled, professional, and flexible when navigating issues.
MILLENNIUM PARK & PONDS PHASE 4 – OUTDOOR AMPHITHEATRE
Council received a report from the Chief Administrative Officer seeking Council’s authorization to direct staff to include Millennium Park & Ponds Phase 4 – Outdoor Amphitheatre in the Five-year Capital Plan to be funded by grants. Council deferred this decision to its 2022 Strategic Planning session to allow time for more discussion.
INTER-COMMUNITY BUSINESS LICENCES
Council gave first, second and third reading to Inter-Community Business Licence Amendment Bylaw No. 1370 to remove the initial expiry date of the program and maintain the program indefinitely. This Bylaw will be considered for adoption at the December 20, 2021 Regular Council Meeting.
RECORDS AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
Council received a report from the Manager of Corporate Services requesting approval of the Records and Information Management Policy 1-16 to ensure that all City records are created, used, disposed of and preserved in an efficient, systematic, standardized and cost-effective manner, compliant with relevant legislation. This will be considered for adoption at the December 20, 2021 Regular Council Meeting.
SOLID WASTE AND RECYCLING
Council gave the 2022 Solid Waste and Recycling Regulation and Rates Amendment Bylaw 1372 first, second and third reading. The Bylaw will be considered for adoption at the December 20, 2021 Regular Council Meeting.
2022 UTILITY RATES
Council received a staff report and presentation from Ehren Lee of Urban Systems on 2022 utility rates and a Municipal Price Index (which incorporates cost of construction increases) for water and sewer utilities prior to drafting the 2022 Waterworks and Sewer rates and Regulations Bylaw.
Council adopted Official Community Plan and Zoning Amendment Bylaw 1366 to allow for Castlegar Search and Rescue to expand space for their operations to a property located at 202 Beresford Road. Five temporary accessory buildings are anticipated to shelter vehicles and equipment, and additional vehicles and equipment may be kept outside of the buildings.