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City breaks its own law on bear-proof garbage, Hall Street reno moves forward, Nelson Cares asks for contribution to Ward Street upgrades, and more: Nelson City Council June 23, 2014

Bill Metcalfe
By Bill Metcalfe
June 24th, 2014


The following is a summary of the meeting of Nelson City Council on June 23, 2014.

Bear Aware coordinator asks council to follow its own rules

Joanne Siderius (WildSafe BC Community Coordinator for Nelson) and Frank Ritcey (WildSafe BC’s Provincial Coordinator) asked council to replace four garbage cans on city property with bear-resistant cans at a total cost of $4000.

WildSafe BC was formerly called Bear Aware.

Three of the bear attractant cans are in Lakeside Park. The fourth is at the top of Stanley Street, as pictured and reported in the Nelson Daily story linked below.

UPDATE JULY 8: It was revealed at the city council meeting on July 7 that the offending garbage container at the top of Stanley Street belongs to the Regional District of Central Kootenay, not the city. 

A private resident in Nelson can be fined up to $200 for leaving garbage outside in an unsecure container. Ritcey said there have been four bears destroyed in the vicinity of the city’s Stanley Street garbage can since 2006.

Ritcey and Siderius said there are more bear problems around Nelson this year than in the past few years. 

Siderius said Castlegar and Kaslo have recently installed bear-proof containers in city property and Nelson is falling behind. Ritcey said that although it may be expensive, “it is our responsibility to the wildlife.”

Councillor Candace Batycki said she is embarrassed about the Stanley Street container. Council asked staff to bring a solution back to the next regular meeting.

Ritcey and Siderius presented other information and statistics about bears in the area. Their report is attached below.

*Related story in The Nelson Daily:

City should lead by example, says Bear Aware coordinator (May, 2013)


Nelson Cares asks for contribution to its fundraising campaign for Ward Street Place upgrade

On the 40th anniversary of Nelson Cares, executive director Jenny Robinson and board member Ron Little told council about a major fundraising campaign they will be launching soon, and asked council to contribute to it.

Nelson Cares runs Services for Community Living, Supported Employment, The Advocacy Centre, Affordable Housing, Ward Street Place, and Stepping Stones. It has a $4.8 million budget and about 100 employees.

They explained best practices in reducing poverty are first the provision of housing along with related supports.

The title of their fundraising campaign will be Room to Live: Affordable Housing, One Room at a Time. The fundraising goal is $2,934,000 with $2,244,000 already raised for a balance of $690,000.

The funding will provide exterior upgrades, health and safety upgrades, relocating and adding rooms to Stepping Stones, seven new rooms in the former Stepping Stones space, renovation of three units, energy efficiency retrofitting, and streetscape upgrading.

Robinson and Little said the building improvements will combine to improve Nelson heritage values with a culture of caring.

They asked council to become a partner, and suggested council could cover the cost of the renovation of three units at $6-8000 per unit over three years. The also suggested that council, because it owns Nelson Hydro, is in a position to give the group a break on its annual electricity bill of $60,000. It was also suggested that some of the funding in the city’s affordable housing fund, which Councillor Macdonald pointed out is not a large amount, could be contributed as a support.

Council asked the city manager to have staff investigate ways to contribute, and report back. Nelson Cares’ officical kick-off for the fundraising campaign will begin in the fall.

The presentation is attached below.


Hall Street upgrades move forward

Rob Fershau and Jim Roe with MMM Consulting Group presented their latest proposal for the Hall Street upgrades.

The project to refurbish Hall Street from IODE Park to the waterfront has been divided into segments, the first being the top end from the Baker and Hall intersection south.  It is expected that construction will start this summer, beginning with re-building the bottom end of IODE Park.

The basic design of the project has already been commented on by the public and approved by council. The subject of this presentation provided details: seating, lighting, trees, signage, and street materials.

The cost of the upgrades do not come from tax money but from various grants from senior levels of government.

Fershau and Roe also gave council two options regarding traffic changes to the intersection at Vernon and Cedar because changes on Hall street will affect traffic patterns in other parts of the downtown.

*Related stories in The Nelson Daily:

Changes in the works for traffic flow in key downtown intersections (September 2013)

City unveils plans for transformation of Hall Street (June 2013)

There will be a separate story on this presentation in The Nelson Daily in the near future.

Kaoma Alliance gives an update on sister city in Zambia

The city of Nelson has a sister city relationship with Kaoma, Zambia.

Nelson and Area Kaoma Alliance Project Coordinator, Isabelle Herzig, along with has Susan Merz-Anderson and Tracey Kikals, presented an update on educational project there in women’s issues and gender equality. They showed a video of municipal councilors there greeting Nelson councilors, and discussed a possible reciprocating video or phone call in the future.

*Related story in The Nelson Daily:

Nelson establishes sister city relationship with Kaoma, Zambia (November 2012)

The Kaoma Alliance presentation is attached below.

Brain Injury Awareness Month

Executive Director of the West Kootenay Brain Injury Association, Kelly Johnson, presented material in support of Brain Injury Awareness Month. Her presentation is attached below.


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