Today’s Poll

City Council Notes - $184k for NDCC to stay - for now; City to review corporate safety plan; Electrical rate hike gets final nod

Colin Payne
By Colin Payne
March 17th, 2015

Nelson city council convened early on Monday, at 1 p.m., to allow councilors and the mayor to attend a talk by author and climate activist, Tom Rand at the Capitol Theatre.

The hot item on Monday’s special meeting agenda was the matter of the $184,000 grant for the Nelson and District Community Complex, which council contemplated leaving on the table last week – as they plan discussions with the RDCK over the future of funding distribution for the complex.

Council voted in favour of a motion to deal with the funding that would see the city ask the RDCK to hold the $184,000 in reserve funds, so that it could be paid to the City of Nelson in the event that a full review and a new funding model for recreation service isn’t realized by Sept. 30, 2015.

The RDCK will still need to agree with this plan in order for discussions to proceed. (Related story coming soon)

Also on the agenda was a decision to authorize $25,000 in funding to hire a part-time administrative assistant for the human resources department for a two-year project that would see a review the city’s corporate safety program.

The project would identify gaps in the safety program and assist in the development of policies consistent with the requirements of the Workers Compensation Act and Regulations.

Human Resources Manager, Joanna Markin told council that Worksafe rates at the city have been increasing since 2009, and a GAP analysis of the safety program was done in 2011 that outlined areas that needed attention. But since that point, not much has been done, while new requirements under the Worksafe Act were added. So practices have not remained current and up to date.

Markin said there have been a number of head injuries recently, and Kevin Cormack added that there were a number of slip and fall injuries of late as well.

Councilor Cherbo asked why the city wouldn’t just hire a safety officer to look into on the job safety, but Markin responded that there would be better buy-in to the program if staff work working with each other to make improvements, as opposed to someone else.

The administrative assistant would help human resources do a full and comprehensive review of occupational health and safety issues facing the City of Nelson.

Council voted unanimously in favour of the motion to allocate these funds.

The final item on the agenda was the passing of a motion to pass the bylaw that will see a 2.02 percent increase to Nelson Hydro’s electricity rates.

The rate increase, made public in February, will come into effect as of April 1 of this year and is intended to cover the cost of inflation for running the utility along with increased power purchase costs.

Council passed the motion unanimously.

Before the special council meeting, at a Committee of the Whole meeting, councilors heard delegations from several community groups that provided updates and information about what they do in the community.

Delegations included: Kootenay School of the Arts Jewelry Program; Nelson Poverty Reduction Strategy; Interior Health Authority; Healthy Communities BC; Touchstones Nelson; West Kootenay EcoSociety.

Categories: Politics

Other News Stories