Bluegrass festival allowed use of park

Bluegrass is less than two months away and Greenwood council gives three readings to Revitalization Bylaw.

For the record: The Greenwood council report in our June 26 issue reported that camping fees of about $250 are collected from bluegrass earlybirds who camp in the ball field during the week preceding the festival weekend. Bluegrass festival organizers want it clarified that the camping fee money is turned over to City Hall. All the proceeds from the festival itself are returned to the community by way of donations to local groups.

The Greenwood Bluegrass Festival will be returning to Greenwood again this year. Organizers Randy and Roland Berg came to council on Monday, June 23 to request use of the ball field for the week from Monday, Aug. 18 through Sunday, Aug. 24.

Roland explained there is a sister bluegrass event in Midway on the preceding weekend and many who participate there then move to Greenwood on Monday and camp in the park through the week. He said it generates about $250 and all of the money collected is returned to the community by way of donations to local groups. Council approved their request for use of the park for the entire week.

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Council voted to send two delegates to the September Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention. Mayor Nipper said it would be a good opportunity to meet with ministers to discuss their plans for Hwy 3 upgrades and to press for grant funding for sewer plant upgrades.

When both Kettle and Councillor Darla Ashton expressed interest in attending, Councillor Colleen Lang suggested that Administrator Robin Dalziel should go.

When the 2014 budget was finalized last month council had agreed to send only two representatives. A motion was passed to send two delegates; the question of which two, will be decided later.

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Councillor Lee Cudworth complained about the speed of an RCMP vehicle on Hwy 3 through the city.

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Council accepted the 2013 City of Greenwood Annual Report and they gave three readings to Revitalization Bylaw No. 882. The bylaw will allow commercial property owners to claim a permissive tax exemption on value that their property has increased in value as a result of investment that adds value to the property.

Because Mayor Kettle owns a commercial building, he excused himself from the meeting during the discussion and vote.

To be eligible for the tax exemption, the property owner would need to invest a minimum of $200,000 in the case of new building construction, $50,000 for additions to an existing building, or $25,000 if renovating (either interior or exterior) existing buildings.

Property tax increases resulting from the improvements would be 100 per cent forgiven for the first five years following the improvements, falling to 80 per cent for year six, 60 per cent in year seven, then 40, 20 and finally in year 10, 10 per cent of the tax increase would be waived.

It was decided that the bylaw would apply specifically to any business with frontage along Hwy 3 within the city. A clause in the bylaw would bring it back before council in two years for reconsideration.

But during question period at the end of the meeting, city resident Byron Goch asked, “How many commercial properties are there not on frontage? Would it not be fair and save time to add some wording to that bylaw to attend to properties that are not on Hwy 3?”

Kettle remained in the room for this conversation and when it was suggested that there are a number of commercial properties not on the highway, he observed that the revitalization bylaw might be a good fit for the former elementary school property, the owners of which have stated an interest in applying for a medical marijuana production facility licence. “I think council needs to keep in mind other things that are happening as well,” Kettle said.

Administrator Robin Dalziel told council the city could define any area they feel is appropriate for the revitalization to take place. The bylaw will be back before council for revision or final adoption at their next meeting scheduled for July 28 (the July 14 meeting has been cancelled).

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Roegen Lloyd suggested from the gallery during question period that city lots be advertised. She mentioned the success of an economic development program in Tumbler Ridge, which had a focus on attracting investment in the community.

 

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