City Council Notes: $184,000 for NDCC stays on the table for discussions with RDCK
Despite the stormy weather outside, it was relatively calm inside City Hall on Monday night. Mayor Kozak and council moved swiftly though a small agenda filled largely with housekeeping items.
The only significant discussion point of the evening came through in the late items at the end of the agenda, when council discussed the planned waiving of the $184,000 annual payment the city has been making to the Nelson and District Community Complex (NDCC) – after being approached recently by a Regional District of Central Kootenay director seeking a dialogue about the issue before the city pulls the funding.
Before approving the $5 million budget for the NDCC renovation in January, the city asked that the annual payment, which has been in place since the 1970s, be waived. Mayor Deb Kozak told MyKootenayNow in January that it’s time to find a more equitable taxation agreement with the surrounding Regional Districts to fund the complex and its operations.
After recently being approached by RDCK Area F Director, Tom Newell about discussing the possibility of keeping the grant on the table, council decided establish talks with the RDCK and keep the grant on the table while those meetings are taking place.
“In conversations with Director Newell, he indicated his willingness to continue the conversation and open discussions around modifying this old agreement,” Kozak said.
All councilors spoke in favour of keeping the money in play while discussion the matter with the RDCK, to ensure discussions with the RDCK are kept positive.
“We need to have all parties in the room,” said Councilor Morrison.
“I don’t want this $184,000 to poison this before we have a discussion,” added Councilor Dailly. “I would like to see staff come up with options to keep that $184,000 in some kind of abeyance while discussions are going on.”
Councilors Morrison and Cherbo said there might not be a lot of knowledge about the history around the agreement, so some information should be collected and provided before the discussions.
They referred staff to put together an historical summary of the grant for information purposes, and also hold the $184,000 aside until discussions were had.
Keep local jobs at the KLH laundry
Also of note from Monday night’s meeting was a notice of motion served by Councilor Dailly, asking that the city petition the Interior Health Authority (IHA) to keep the 17 jobs currently on the chopping block in the regional laundry service at Kootenay Lake Hospital.
Dailly asked council to consider the economic impact of the loss of local jobs to privatization, and added that the petition should also be presented to the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments, the Union of BC Municipalities and other organizations.
Mayor Kozak said she had spoke with staff at the IHA about the matter and took note but no action as of yet. She added her voice to the list of those concerned about keeping the service and jobs in the community.