The city council meeting this week covered a lot of ground

Nelson city council supports housing proposal

Voter challenge also endorsed

Nelson city council has agreed to write a letter of support for Pastor Jim Reimer’s proposed affordable housing project that would be built in the parking lot behind the Kootenay Christian Fellowship’s current building on Falls St. Reimer requested the letter last month.

The first floor of the proposed building would provide rented commercial space and house SHARE Nelson, whose current lease on Lakeside Dr. expires next year. The upper two floors would provide 40 housing units with monthly rents ranging from $600 to $800.

Council’s letter of support does not involve contributing any money to the project, but Reimer said it will help him raise money elsewhere.

Thumbs up for Kootenay Voter Challenge

Council agreed to support the Kootenay Voter Challenge which was first brought to council by a community group last month. The initiative would see Mayor Deb Kozak challenge other Kootenay-Boundary communities to a friendly contest to see which municipality can most increase the percentage of its voter turnout in the next federal election over 2011.

Kootenay Carshare requests free parking space

The Kootenay Carshare has asked council to support it by becoming  a member, giving the group increased presence on the city’s website, and providing a free parking space for the carshare on the street outside its office at 525 Josephine St.

Council directed staff to come back to a future meeting with a report and recommendation on these requests.

This followed a presentation to council last month at which executive director Colleen Doyle explained why the Kootenay Carshare is the world’s most successful rural carshare.

Alpine Lake Suites rezoned

Following a public hearing earlier in the day and an open house in May, council agreed to re-zone 0.51 hectares of land located in Fairview at 1102 Gordon St. — the Alpine Lake Suites.

The existing multi-unit residential apartment building and parking lot is currently zoned R2, medium density residential. It will be rezoned to a comprehensive development zone R4A, medium-high density residential to allow the owner to carry out renovations.

Kootenay Lake Partnership granted funds

Council agreed to give $2,000 to the Kootenay Lake Partnership without a presentation by that group. The Kootenay Lake Partnership is creating a shoreline guidance document that would help guide environmental decision-making on the lake. The group’s letter said the grant would unlock another $12,500 from the Columbia Basin Trust.

Council agreed it needs to clarify its policy on giving money to groups that didn’t apply through the annual community initiatives grant process.

The Kootenay Lake Partnership was formed in 2010 to address the increasing growth and development pressures on the lake.

National pharmacare program backed

Council agreed to write an expression of support for a national pharmacare program. The letter will be written to the Union of BC Municipalities, asking it to urge the provincial government to work with the other provinces and federal government.

“People might think this is not a municipal issue,” said Councillor Janice Morrison, “but it is a health care issue. We have a large employee group that requires it.

“It would save employers a lot of money. It’s time to get moving on this. It first came up in 1964 and here we are in 2015 and we have not moved one inch on it.”

Morrison said Canada is the only country with a national medicare program that doesn’t have a national pharmacare program.

 

This story was updated at 3:00 pm on August 11. The original story erroneously reported that council had agreed to the requests from Kootenay Carshare.

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