Kaslo Village Hall. File photo

Kaslo Village Hall. File photo

Kaslo council roundup: Youth council makes requests for Kaslo Pride Day

All the news from the May 10 meeting

by John Boivin

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice

The Kaslo and Area Youth Council is bringing back Kaslo Pride Day, after cancelling the event last year due to the pandemic.

The group came to ask council on May 10 for permissions to close the corner at Centre and Fourth Street on June 3 while a rainbow crosswalk is painted, and to hold a small parade and raise the Pride flag at City Hall on June 4. They were also looking to rent Legacy Park to hold their event and for the Village to proclaim June as Kaslo Pride Celebration Month.

Council will have a response for the next meeting of council, in time to move forward with planning for the event.

Golf course trees

Work is going to begin to remove dangerous trees from the fairways on the golf course.

Council approved removal of about a dozen trees identified by an arborist last October as a danger to the public. And it’s going to send out notices for about another half-dozen trees that don’t constitute an immediate threat, but will likely have to be removed at some point.

Council approval is required before the trees can be removed, and residents living within 60 metres of the less dangerous trees have to be notified under the Village’s Tree Policy.

The Kaslo Golf Club has offered to pay for the removal or pruning of all the recommended trees. Council will get five per cent from the sale of any of the logs.

Patio policy

After hearing from council in April that they wanted to see a review of the outdoor patio policy, staff prepared a draft of a refurbished policy governing the look and style of outdoor facilities that businesses will be able to put on Kaslo streets.

The Village allows restaurants to set up outdoor patios on boulevards, sidewalks, road allowances and street parking spaces. The policy sets standards for the size, location, style, and length of time businesses can lease the space.

“There really haven’t been that many changes to the policy,” said Village corporate officer Catherine Allaway. “But there has been a change to prohibit, rather than discourage, roofs over the structures.”

She also said council might want to consider regulating non-patio commercial use of sidewalk space, like when businesses put display racks outside their business doors.

Councillors are reviewing the new draft policy and any input they have will be incorporated into a new version of the policy, which was to be brought to the table at the May 24 council meeting.

Budget and taxes finalized

Kaslo’s 2022 budget and tax rate bylaws have been adopted.

The Village will collect $682,500 in taxes from properties in the Village this year, about five per cent more than last year. This works out to about a four per cent tax increase for residential property owners. There was no increase to water and sewer charges this year.

However, when you include the other government levies the Village is required to collect – from the Regional District of Central Kootenay, School District 8, the hospital board, RCMP and others, the total increase facing the average property owner is about seven per cent.

Much depends on how much your tax assessment increased this year, noted staff.

“A property with an assessment increase below the average may see a lower tax increase, or even a reduction,” they note. “A property with a higher assessment increase may pay higher taxes.”

The residential tax, however, is only a small part of Village revenues. With grants from higher levels of government, service charges, water and sewer charges, etc., the Village will take in more than $5.7 million this year.

The Village budget includes money for the Kaslo River dike and bank repairs, the A Ave. watermain replacement, a two per cent wage increase for staff, upgrades to Village historic buildings, water plant upgrades, and other projects.

The tax notices will be going out shortly.