Grand Forks City Hall. File photo

Grand Forks City Hall. File photo

Grand Forks city council meeting in brief

Council met at city hall Monday, Oct. 19.

$85,000 left in Rural Dividend Fund

The Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce (BCRCC) updated council on RDF financials. There is around $85,000 remaining in the fund, the BCRCC’s Sarah Dinsdale informed council.

The money will go to community works recommended in the Roger Brooks Plan, which was developed to promote Grand Forks’ recovery in the wake of the 2018 freshet.

The BCRCC intends to disperse the funds by the end of the 2021 fiscal year. More than one-third of the money ($35,000) will pay for Dinsdale’s nine-month marketing contract with the BCRCC.

An additional $32,000 will go towards the BCRCC’s Discover Grand Forks initiative, with money going towards social media and online advertising, brochures, billboards and trail maintenance.

Welcome to the Neighbourhood

Deborah Baker and Alf Him led a delegation on behalf of the Downtown Business Association, whose latest business initiative is now in its second phase.

New businesses will receive “Welcome to the Neighbourhood” packages listing important local contacts and offering special discounts at other participating businesses.

12 Days of Deals

The Gazette’s Chris Hammett asked council for a $5,000 marketing grant for the Downtown Business Association’s 12 Deals of Christmas shop-local campaign. The grant, which council passed unanimously, will offset holiday advertising costs for over 30 interested businesses between Christina Lake and Rock Creek.

This is the second year the association has run the initiative.

Maps, kiosks and a bridge

Councillor Chris Moslin discussed Grand Forks’ Social Services Advisory Group’s (SSAG) Oct. 14 committee meeting.

The committee’s Jan DeHaan reported that an overwhelming majority of respondents to a Facebook poll by Citizens for a Better Grand Forks wanted a referendum on about proposed homelessness solutions at Grand Forks’ upcoming byelection. The survey did not list questions earlier formulated by Councillor Neil Krog.

SSAG will host a special meeting Oct. 28 to discuss its Campus of Care program

Moslin then praised recent efforts to restore the Darrell J. Priede Memorial Bridge, thanking Councillor Krog for his dedication to the bridge.

Thanks for attending the gas leak at my house

Councillor Cathy Korolek started her report by thanking Grand Forks/Fire Rescue for dealing with a gas leak at her home over the weekend.

She reported having met with the Boundary Museum Society and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB).

The RDKB has announced that BC Housing has discontinued funding for showers and portable toilets at Grand Forks’ Aquatic Shelter due to lack of use.

‘I am not putting a lot faith in this survey’

Council discussed the results of a survey of South Ruckle residents about cutting the area speed limit from 50 kilometres an hour to 30.

“I am not putting a lot of faith in this survey at this point,” Mayor Brian Taylor said, noting that fewer than 20 surveys came back.

Council did not bring forward a resolution, leaving the speed limit unchanged.

‘I want to concur with Councillor Krog’

Council discussed BC Housing’s application for a permit to operate a homeless shelter out of the old Hardy View Lodge this winter. A temporary use permit would set aside zoning bylaws that currently don’t allow a homeless shelter in the neighbourhood.

“I’m not thrilled with the location because it is a residential neighbourhood that’s close to the Boundary hospital,” Councillor Krog said. “But, yes. I agree that we should go forward with the process.”

READ MORE: BC Housing asking Grand Forks for homeless shelter permit at old Hardy View Lodge

Councillor Moslin said, “I want to concur with Councillor Krog … Let’s try and make it work.”

Council will decide whether or not to grant a permit at a special meeting Nov. 5.

Resolution fails on a tie

Councillor Neil Krog tabled a motion at council Monday, Oct. 5, calling for a referendum on a year-round shelter and BC Housing’s proposed supportive housing facility on 2nd Street. Council then requested that Chief Administrative Officer Duncan Redfearn present a staff report on potential referendum questions.

“I put my foot in my mouth and suggested that we come back with some massaged language, which was incredibly difficult,” Redfearn joked at this Monday’s meeting.

READ MORE: No referendum on homelessness solutions after Grand Forks council meeting

Councillor Krog said that he’d “tweaked” his original referendum questions, which he felt were “still valid.”

Krog also suggested that a detailed survey of city voters could reflect public opinion as effectively as a referendum or a separate opinion poll at the ballot box this December.

Councillor Christine Thompson suggested it was too early for the community to come to an informed consensus.

“With all due respect, Neil, I know where you’re coming from. But I don’t think it’s fair to the community, as a whole, to just push this forward.”

Councillor Krog put his motion to a vote in its original phrasing. It failed on a tie, with councillors Krog, Korolek and Zak Eburne-Stoodley voting for, and councillors Moslin, Thompson and Mayor Taylor voting against.


@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

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