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SUMMING IT UP: Grand Forks city council

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
December 11th, 2012

City councillors continue their efficiency trend keeping meetings short and to the point. The last two sessions for the City of Grand Forks demonstrated their trust in committees and staff to do their work.

Dog laws needed

On Nov. 19 the Kootenay Boundary Pet Dog Association brought forward concerns about animal control, and restrictions on home-based dog boarding. The Association’s representative, Sandy McKelir, said that it is essential to have licenced kennels, groomers and trainers. But she added that to encourage quality pets good breeders need to be a part of the mix. 

Current Regional District of the Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) bylaws being introduced might reduce how “dog-friendly” the area is, and by restricting the numbers of animals in a house severe limitations may impact breeders.

McKelir suggested it is not the number of dogs in a household, but the quality of their care that determines problems. The Association provided council with some suggested bylaws drawn from other regions of the province.

Council advised that they would take the association’s concerns and suggestions to the RDKB where the new animal control contract is being set up.

City hall holidays

City hall will be closed between Dec. 24 and Dec. 28 for the holiday season as approved by council at the Nov. 19 meeting. 

Downtown merchants group gains traction

The downtown business owners have held a series of meetings to come together as a group to boost the city’s core. Councillor Gary Smith called on the city to host an open house on the topic to get further input on the city’s downtown initiatives. This was approved and will be scheduled in the new year.

Hospital costs

Participation on the West Kootenay Regional Hospital board is a mandatory part of the work of city council, and their involvement on key financial decisions are part of the process. A topic floated regularly over the past five years has been to encourage cities to agree to tax the local areas for hospital costs in anticipation of future needs.

In the past this has been rejected by local governments, but the topic has resurfaced with a suggestion that setting up a reserve for building replacement at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital should start sooner than later. 

Mayor Brian Taylor brought the topic forward as an information item to council to be forwarned about the discussions.

Data servers to be financed

A fibre optic system developed with grants in collaboration with School District 51 over the past few years is in the final stages of completion. As a part of the city’s commitment to the project, they approved the purchase of data servers for $67,000 in 2013.

The city was in a position to replace current equipment within the next two years, said chief administrative officer Doug Allen in his report to council. In purchasing this equipment they will keep their data, servers and storage equipment current as well as ensuring data is located offsite in the case of a catastrophy.

The new system will have a lifetime of 10 to 15 years.

Roxul road closure

A plan for closing the roads near Roxul West to allow for changes to their properties was approved by bylaw Oct. 9. Impacted nearby businesses appealed to the city to redesign the road closures to accommodate their needs. 

The new bylaw passed for three readings on Dec. 3 re-opened the key portion of Industrial Way for the adjacent businesses while allowing the partial closure of the road for Roxul.

Meetings are short – watch the video from Les Johnson at GFTV to see the parts that interest you most!

Categories: GeneralPolitics