Setting up a campsite involves more than putting up a sign and inviting people to stay, Greenwood council has been told.
At their March 10 meeting, council received a letter from Cheryl Unger, public health nurse with Interior Health, regarding the city campsite.
The Greenwood Board of Trade (BOT) had asked the city to allow up to three nights’ free camping at the site beside O’Hairi Park; however, the site is undeveloped. Council had referred the BOT request to their budget discussions before giving the go ahead.
Unger said in her letter that while there is no regulation specific to campgrounds, there are requirements for washrooms in the Regulated Activities Regulation.
“I believe that where overnight accommodation is offered it would be reasonable to expect that washroom be provided,” she said. “The operation of a campground without a washroom facility could lead to a public health hazard. If there is no plan to provide washrooms for the camping area, the use of it should be discontinued.”
The letter also listed eight points “in the interest of promoting good public health,” including access to potable water.
Council referred the letter to the budget file.
Council voted to support a New Westminster resolution to maintain the current system of residential door-to-door mail delivery in Canada.
Councillor Colleen Lang spoke in favour of supporting the city of New Westminster citing cutbacks and reductions in services. “We have to be vigilant and support this,” she said.
“One of the nice things about our post office, and I hope it is our saving grace, is that Canada Post owns the building,” noted Mayor Nipper Kettle.
Council has gained some ground with Canada Post (CP) on their request that local government notices pertaining to the safety and protection of residents be given priority and placed in the mailboxes of all residents.
According to CP, the Consumer’s Choice program was implemented over 15 years ago in response to requests from consumers who did not wish to receive unaddressed advertising by mail.
Greenwood had sent resolutions to the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Government and the Union of BC Municipalities last year asking that mail pertaining to public safety issues no longer be considered undeliverable for those who opt for the Consumer’s Choice program.
CP’s response is encouraging, asking for specific details and examples of items that municipalities should be able to mail. “We will review your request to determine if there is a solution available to support the interest of public safety balanced against the discrete choices of individuals.”
Council directed staff to inform CP that of public safety notices and health advisories are what they are concerned with.
It took less than a minute for council to introduce and pass a motion to make public a press release regarding their reasons for voting to remove Councillor Barry Noll as the representative on the regional district table. That story was covered by the Times in the March 13 edition and is available online at boundarycreektimes.com.
Councillor Darla Ashton reported that adjustments have been made to the concession stand specifications and that bid packages have been delivered to contractors. According to Administrator Robin Dalziel, four contractors have expressed an interest to date.
Ashton said the ballpark committee will meet soon to discuss other plans for the multi-use park grant so that work can be advertised as well.
Kettle reported that a final report on the Anaconda water system would be ready soon and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary will meet with city council to discuss options. “He (CAO John McLean) did say it was a big number they are dealing with in terms of a regional district service but there might be phases that can be looked at,” Kettle told council.
Dalziel reported that receipt of a Towns for Tomorrow reimbursement cheque “ensures a good cash flow for the city prior to property taxes going out in May.” At their last meeting it was reported that the city had paid only payroll accounts in January because of a shortage of cash.
MLA Linda Larson is taking an idea put forward by Ashton of a flag crossing system for pedestrians to the Ministry of Highways to suggest it be a pilot project for the province.
Council voted in favour of establishing a community heritage register. Council backed Dalziel’s recommendation that the register begin with the Greenwood Courthouse, a site already recognized as a significant heritage site, and then work on registering one city-owned building at a time. It was also agreed that the post office be the second building to be added to the registry.
The city will send a letter to the Greenwood Heritage Society (museum) to see if they would be willing to act as the official community heritage commission.
The city will not be changing its bylaws to allow the raising of chickens.
Acting on a letter from a resident asking to be permitted to keep hens on residential property, Dalziel asked council to decide whether they want to modify city bylaws to allow the raising of chickens.
Councillor Lee Cudworth said he didn’t agree with the proposal, citing issues of health, predators and animals at large.
Ashton said she was not opposed to establishing a specific set of rules, but should council not change the zoning bylaw to allow chickens to be kept legally, those now keeping them illegally should be brought into conformity with the bylaw. “It has to be fair to everybody,” she said.
Lang cautioned that if they allowed chickens they might wind up with three-quarters of the town having chickens, resulting in a stench if they don’t clean their pens. She also said that at one time chickens were allowed and some properties may be grandfathered. Lang was also concerned about creek-side properties. “If you allow chickens in backyards along the creek, it all washes down and then you have problems.”
Dalziel suggested that if council did not amend the zoning bylaw, those currently keeping chickens would be added to the notification process the city is currently following regarding unsightly premises.
In the end a motion was made to receive and file the resident’s letter and the zoning bylaw will remain unchanged in regard to keeping chickens.
Kettle introduced a code of conduct that would apply to council and city employees. “I wanted to have it on council’s agenda,” he said. “We need a code of conduct. This is getting a little carried away.” He said the 12-page document could be condensed.
The draft presented to council was one of four that he had looked at, Kettle added. “I got this from the City of Vancouver. It was 14 pages and I cut it to 12.”
Council voted to instruct staff to report back to council with recommendations for a code of conduct bylaw for the city.