Rossland City Council adopted the upcoming wage hike for the next council and mayor at its March 14 meeting.
Council reviewed the remuneration bylaw and unanimously agreed to raise the pending council’s pay after a staff report released Jan. 10 indicated that their remuneration was among the lowest in municipalities of similar size.
The new mayor will receive $30,000 annually and council members, $15,000, compared to about $19,000 and $9,600 the current mayor and councillors are paid.
With Rossland heading to the polls in October, the review is done by April 30 on the year of each election.
The increase is expected to motivate more people to run in the election and will come into effect on Nov. 1, 2022.
There will also be annual adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index.
• Council passed first and second reading for Bylaw #2782 and scheduled a public hearing for April 19 for the property on 1081 Olaus Way in Red Mountain Village.
The applicant requested to change property designation from Gateway commercial (CD-2-GW-2) to Gateway residential (CD-E-GW-1) and believes it better aligns with the Offiicial Community Plan (OCP) rather than the original plan for a lodge in the area.
“We have sought to make the project attractive, ski in to all units and an addition we will all be proud of. It has created numerous dog walking and other recreational areas so its use is mostly public.”
The two lots are part of a planned 10-lot subdivision that is subject to this parcel being rezoned.
“This isn’t what was originally envisaged, but I think that’s a good thing,” said Coun. Stewart Spooner. “Rather than second homes and resort accomodation, we seem to be developing … at Redstone and at Red Mountain. That’s what the market wants and that’s what’s being provided.”
• The amendments to the OCP and Zoning bylaws of the Redstone development were adopted, with only Coun. Janice Nightingale opposed.
Council passed an amended motion, which will allow further development in Redstone to proceed upon the condition that the developer build a trail connecting Queen St. with Rubberhead Trail.
The condition to build a secondary access road was absent from the motion and council directed staff to consider a new triggering mechanism for the secondary access road and include that in Schedule I – Redstone Sector Plan of the new OCP.
The 20 homes planned for the new development would have exceeded the original trigger point of 100 homes that would require secondary access.
• Council addressed a concern that a downtown merchant’s sign contravened the good taste of the city’s design review panel.
Technically the Sister Sister Mercantile signs at 1995 Columbia Ave. had to conform to the Downtown Design Guidelines and be reviewed by the panel before being erected.
The owners were unaware and put up the signs without consultation, one flush against the window to cover the paint of the previous owner’s business, the other projecting.
According to sign guidelines, “The maximum height of an individual fascia sign shall be two feet.”
The height of the Sister Sister sign is 2.9-ft making the flush mounted sign larger than what is allowed.
The owners asked council for an extension as they are considering moving from that location.
Mayor Kathy Moore compared it to a “tempest in a teapot” and Coun. Nightingale called the measure “punitive” given the similarity to other signs on the same block, adding: “It’s a lovely sign.”
Council voted uananimously to give the business a pass until the end of the year, when council may or may not revisit it.
The city received six applications in the March input that generated discussion around merit and redundancy.
Those approved include $5,000 grants to Black Jack Ski Club, Cycling Unlimited, Greater Trail Swim Society, and St. Andrew’s Church who reapplied after their initial ask was denied. The Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society was also granted $3,500.
Rossland Search and Rescue’s request for funds to finance personal laptops for directors was denied after consideration by council.
Coun. Spooner pointed out that every non-profit could come to council with an application saying their volunteers needed laptops, and asked: “Is that what the fund is designed for?”
“We have lots of volunteers in the community that use their own laptops every day, including us,” said Coun. Andy Morel.
Mayor Moore added that Search and Rescue can reapply with a more COVID related ask.
• After much discussion, council passed the motion to hire a new recreation attendant for off-season use of the Rossland Arena.
• Council awarded contracts for the following:
The Recreation Master Plan development contract to Expedition Management Consulting for $78,815.
Aqueduct Trail Improvement Project to EMCO Waterworks Kelowna Ltd. for just over $517,000.
• Council carried a motion to activate Phase 2 of the Green Link Trail. Council approved the application to the Active Transportation Planning Grant program that will help fund the tender ready design.
Residents can access the councillors’ reports and several city staff reports online at rossland.ca.