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Compost, recycling, European trade, streetcars and more: a summary of the January 21 Nelson City Council meeting

Bill Metcalfe
By Bill Metcalfe
January 22nd, 2013

This article summarizes the presentations made at the Committee of the Whole meeting on January 21, 2013.

RDCK: Major waste management changes in the works

Uli Wolf, General Manager of Environmental Services and Mike Morrison, Resource Recovery Manager with the Regional District of Central Kootenay, updated Council on the progress of plans to

  • move the transfer station from the Nelson waterfront to Blewett,
  • close the Salmo landfill in 2014 in favour of a new one at Ootishenia,
  • develop composting facilities for Salmo and Kaslo,
  • change the recycling process for paper and packaging, and
  • locate a new recycling depot in Nelson.

The Nelson Daily will cover this in detail in an upcoming story.

CETA: Nelson contracts open to European bidders?

Councillor Candace Batycki put forward a Notice of Motion that Council ask the federal government to exempt Nelson from inclusion in negotiations related to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Council agreed that it will debate and vote on the motion at the February 4 council meeting.

This issue has come before Council before. To read a previous story in The Nelson Daily explaining the implications of Batycki’s motion and how CETA might affect Nelson, click here.

Nelson Streetcar Society: Tradition and debt

Walter Laurie of the Nelson Streetcar Society outlined the history of streetcars in Nelson and asked Council to formally recognize the many volunteers who maintain the service, all of whom are rather elderly. “If you’re 65 in that group you are considered young,” said Laurie, adding that he is 90 years old and that most volunteers are in their 70s.

He said the group would be coming to Council soon to ask for some financial assistance, and Councillor Donna Macdonald asked if the group did not already owe Council $48,000.  Laurie said his group will be coming to Council to ask that that debt be written off.

SPAN: Social issues questionnaire upcoming

Katie Tabor appeared on behalf of the Social Planning Action Network Society (SPAN), “a network of citizens and stakeholders dedicated to strengthening community wellbeing in Nelson. We work together to lead community collaboration to identify and respond to social needs.” Tabor said SPAN intends to put out a community questionnaire this spring to find out which social issues are most important to citizens, and she asked Council for input into the questions to be asked.

SPAN has representatives on the City’s Advisory Planning Commission and on the Nelson Housing Committee.

Development and Sustainability

Dave Wahn, the City of Nelson’s Manager of Development Services and Sustainability, which oversees all aspects of city planning, presented an overview of his department’s activities. In his discussion of how the number of building permits in Nelson has decreased over the past few years, Wahn explained that it is not just the number of projects but the value of them that makes a difference. Large projects contribute disproportionately to the City’s revenue, and without a large development (such as last year’s Anderson Street project) his department’s budget falls short.

There will be more detail about Wahn’s presentation in an upcoming story in The Nelson Daily.

SQx Danza: Big plans for dance and education

Carmen Moreira appeared as one the founders of this new international dance organization based in the Kootenays, and explained workshops and activities planned for the region including a visit from a Chinese dance group in 2014.

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