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Did you know? City to build WORKFORCE housing at the Emcom lot.

The City seems to have finally decided - without an opportunity for the populace to engage on this topic- that the Emcom yard lot shall be used mostly for workforce housing.

It seems that Rossland will not directly cater to families with school aged kids seeking affordable housing but, instead, will be catering to local businesses, making it easier for them to house their workers in town.

Below, an excerpt from the new "Rossland Council Connects" leaflet, issued monthly by the City.

"In conjunction with our partner, the Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society we are moving forward with the Midtown Transition Project (AKA the Emcon lot) with the help of our project management consultant, City Spaces. We will soon award the design contract. Several fine firms submitted solid proposals based on their experience with WORKFORCE HOUSING and their ability to envision a structure that will fit into our alpine community."

Do you feel that these businesses should provide the housing for their workforce themselves? or do you feel the City should be doing so?

Alas, the regular council meeting just happened 2 days ago, on the 26th.... The next regular council meeting will be on December 10th, 6.00p, at the Miners Union Hall 1765 Columbia Ave.

Be informed, be there, and be heard!!

You have no idea what you're arguing.

"Workforce housing is generally understood to mean affordable housing for households with earned income that is insufficient to secure quality housing in reasonable proximity to the workplace." - https//en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workforce_housing

 

It's affordable housing for residents that are employed but unable to secure affordable housing.

 

tldr: It is intended for families working here that cannot secure an affordable home.

So this is just a matter of semantics? From the same wikipedia page:

"Workforce housing is commonly targeted at "essential workers" in a community i.e. police officers, firemen, teachers, nurses, medical personnel. Some communities define "essential" more broadly to include service workers, as in the case of resort communities where one finds high real estate costs and a high number of low-paying service jobs essential to the local economy."

My argument is that, in my opinion, this will be geared to service workers who won't be necessarily part of a family unit. And my question is who should pay for this.

When we are allowed I'll be curious to check the design and see what kind of units will be built, ie: how many will have a family-appropriate footprint.

Matt, I honestly hope that you are correct and I'm just bitching because it is rainy.

 

As a business owner in this town, I was unable to grow my business and maximize my services to this community. 2 years ago, one staff member (a born and raised local) couldn't find reasonable and affordable housing.. I couldn't recruit more staff due to the lack of affordable housing and lack of housing in general. Am I supposed to fund the build for the people who swing your chair, serve your coffee, bag your groceries, cut your hair, serve your restaurant food??  Our town is also growing with families AND childless couples who have cashed out of the coast and have jobs and healthy income. These people are buying up the fixers or building, because they can... Yes the cost of housing has risen in the last 6 years I have been here and it may not ever be affordable to young and low income families. And not all households are family oriented. 

I'm sure if you simply ask the city they will answer your questions and tell you all about the design. 

I assume that the low-income families that the OP referred to were those locals who might be employed by local smaller business paying lower wages, and who need affordable housing. I don't think he is arguing against those small local businesses.

I have the impression that 'workforce' housing could refer to housing that would benefit the larger businesses employing larger numbers of low-paid seasonal workers, for whom they do not provide housing. I think that is the crux of the issue?

 

Hello all- Just to hopefully add some clarification: Work force housing in this context means people who work in Rossland. It doesn't matter who they work for. They just have to be below a certain income level. Small business or large business isn't relevant. Council has heard for years from many local business owners that their employees cannot find reasonably priced housing. It is intended to help meet that need. This project has been discussed for the last several years.  The project will be located on the old Emcon lot and will consist of one building with permanent rental units on the upper floors. It will have 24 or 36 units. The design has not been created yet. It will only go forward provided it meets the guidelines from BC Housing and CBT as they will be the funders. The City is providing the site but not the capital to build the housing. It will be run by the Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society who will insure that the residents selected work in Rossland and meet certain income limitations. The units will be 1,2 or 3 bedrooms so they could be for singles, couples or small families. It's not funded by our taxpayers. However, at this point, the first floor will be the responsibilty of the City. We anticipate it will be commercial office space or maybe a new City Hall. (It will not be retail, as we want to maintain the core business section of town, downtown.) I hope that settles some concerns.  I think this is going to be a wonderful project for Rossland and I hope you will see the merits of it too. I don't often come onto Bhubble, mostly because I prefer to know who I am speaking with, but if anyone has any questions, feel free to email me: mayor@rossland.ca or ask on my Mayor Kathy Moore fb page. Thanks.

I call BS. I have a long standing relationship with many of the people currently within city hall. I have information on good authority that the housing being put in place is just another one of councils dirty tricks.

I have been told that this "workforce housing" ...lol.. IS going to be 6- 4000 square foot condos and one 6000 square foot condo that will be built with tax money for the use of each individual council member and mayor. The biggest place is Kathy's apparently. Go figure. It will be a gated community area equipped with full time security and a "Border wall". Thats what is shown on the blue prints I saw. The skateboard park was just another big scam to get taxpayer money and donations, How awful these people are, to build what will now be a personal swimming area for our city staff. 

Apparently...now this could just be a rumor but each staff member is going to have a horse of a different color to travel around Rosslands new name "Emerald City" and meet with The Wizard who is actually Darren Albo but who is also the cowardly lion who is also Aunty Em who is also a winged monkey. 

 

 

Why are my taxes building houses? 

Thanks tucs2 for blowing up the Conspiracy theory with some humour. Unfortunatley many fear progress and are ok with helping one section of Society but not another=Discrimination? If Rossland is actually going to become a Four Season Economy any affordable housing will be beneficial. Workers pay taxes and pay rent and as far as tax Money going to build Housing? Been happening in Canada fir past Hundred Years! Wake up  NIMBYS and Progress Haters 1950’s done!

Kathy Moore says:

'However, at this point, the first floor will be the responsibilty of the City.'

With all due respect, we could use some clarification here. As it stands the statement is near meaningless. Firstly 'at this point'. Does this mean the City has made an agreement provisionally, contractually or just informally? And when does 'this point' end?

And what form does this responsibility take? Are we talking ownership, a lease, or rental, or are we talking 'responsible' in the form of assumed liability, and if so, for what?

Finally, since the City has evidently no clear idea why we want this space, why assume responsibility at all?

('Maybe a new City Hall'? This begs a lot of questions about the 'Old' City Hall and the temporary City offices. Three City Halls may be a bit many for a small town.)

Affordable Housing for Columbia Basin Residents

https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018MAH0046-000801

 

Once again there is frustration, confusion, misdirection and more propaganda. New temporary catch phrases like “ Workforce Housing”. A similar economic term is “Sustainable Development”. The construction cost is only one quarter of the life cycle costs. Who pays the remaining 75%?

Cities were originally created by the private entrepreneurs (employers backed by debt from the illuminated) in order to attract more labour (employees) in order to increase production to generate more private profit. The employers transform into corporations in order to increase control and to also transfer responsibilities onto others.

As costs grow exponentially, as the system is designed, the corporations don't support housing and infrastructure for the employees because there is no profit. Accountability was pushed onto the Bank of Canada in the 50s and 60s. Since the sovereign bank was given away in the 70s by the cultist Trudeau, responsibility has been dropped off at everyone's doorstep, figuratively. So much for a functioning democracy. No wonder voter turned is declining.

Demographics, automation and inequality have the potential to dramatically reshape our world in the 2020s and beyond. These forces are in motion and set to collide very hard with debt.

Until the rules of the game combined with knowing what game is getting played is clear, the serfs will never compete. Have you wondered why all the clear evidence of cultist behaviour is never explained. Why politicians are swearing an oath to the bible. Why the flag is in the court room. Why all the masonic symbols in the coat of arms. Why Canada and BC are separate corporations registered in Washington DC. There are different rules, or laws, for different folks, merchant law, common law and yes, spiritual law. Everything is a contract. The CBT is governed by the Columbia Basin Trust Act, a BC law. This fine print on housing contract might be an interesting read.

Its all a game at you aren't in it. Reality is only a personal perspective. We need to understand there is more than one perspective. Are you going up the stairs or down, that depends how you choose to view reality. Far too many people have been bent over so long they still think they are standing.

In order to stand up, we must differentiate needs from wants and to end the repeating of censored and misinformation. Firstly, social engineering was done by religion. Now we are virtually jailed by social surveillance, technocracy and smart growth. The new era fundamentals of providing bread and circus for the public. Just as designed in Agenda 21 of the UN conference in 1992.

https://www.corbettreport.com/mp3/episode322_agenda21.mp3

A set of rules that can be quickly changed is to start worker self-directed enterprises. Would using technology to eliminate skilled labour and reduce the workforce be an objective? Might sound nice to the present board of directors or share holders in the short term. Bringing democracy into the workplace will allow the public to finally stand up. A place where most of our adult lives are spent.

 

Ok, so here goes: Pronto- The City has not yet finalized plans for the 1st floor. That is why I could not provide more clarity. It is not that we haven't determined good uses for the space. I gave some options that will be considered. Don't fret, we will just have one City Hall. I agree with you 100% - three city halls for a town of 3,729 people would be excessive. lol. We do however, need one and where it is to be located will be determined in 2019. I said the 1st floor is the responsibility of the city at "this point" because our options are open. We have made no agreements with anyone but we could (an open option). We could sell that part of the project to be developed by someone else. We could build it ourselves, and then sell it or lease it or use it ourselves. We could get costs covered by grants, there are a number of options. "At this point", which is another way of saying "right now", we don't know. "At this point" will end when those decisions have been made. There are a lot of factors to be considered. We don't yet even know our final settlement from insurance for the damage to the old city hall. Because the old one is damaged, we moved to the new one (rent is being covered by insurance). It is not a permanent location because it isn't suitable for the long term.

Rob34- Yes, BC Housing is a provincial entity that is funded by tax dollars. CBT is a crown corporation that is not funded by tax dollars and your local Rossland property taxes are not being used for housing.

Tucs2- Dang, You caught us super-evil-doers in action, you clever dog! But you forgot to mention that my 6k sq ft penthouse suite also comes with my personal heli-pad on the roof for my pink helicopter and a private gondola to take me, and only me, to the top of Red Mtn at my whim. AND a full time butler, chef and maid. Please, please, please, get your facts right! 

Will staff have access to this private Gondola to the top of Red? If so, I would like to apply for the butler position. Thank you. 

Taxes dollars have been building houses for over a Century. Here’s some FACTS. The average cost to taxpayers that a homeless Human Being will cost us in Canada? 90,000 per Year when you factor in average Hospital visits overnite stays,Judicial Costs etc... You who always whine about Tax money going to Deadbeats? Addicts? Single moms? Etc? Are you aware? That it’s actua Cheaoer to house Humans than leave them on Streeto? Not to mention it builds healthier Communities by showing we have Comppassion and empathy for our fellow Sisters and Brothers no matter thier situation. Here’s another one for you Naysayers. Probably think? Send them to the Salvation Army or the many other Charitable organizations that provide nightly Mat programs for the Honeless. Are the same narrow minded types aware? That those Churches and Organzitions receive 80 dollars per person per night? That’s right those place cost us Money! 2400 per Women and Man and Child. As someone who spent a decade Homeless due to undiagnosed and untreated PTSD caused by witnessing one of my infant children being Sexually assaultedI can say this with all Certaintity because I am a Front Line Survivours and without the Roof over my head that BC Housing provided me in 2010 and the year of  PTSD survivor therapy that I received at VGH in Vancouver in 2011? I’d still be catching Pneumonia ever And spending 2 weeks in the hospital I’d still be sleeping at Church mat programs costing taxpayers 2400 a month,still be an active Criminal to support my Opioid addiction... My point? And it’s one not based on who I vote for or on hate, those who Bitch about Costs to Society? It’s actually been researched and it’s far Cheaper to House someone than to leave them out with the Wolves. PS ever slept in a loading bay in Minus 20 weather and woke up frozen to the Ground? Believe me it ain’t Fun. one other thing since a Advocate reached out in 2010 and provided me with a way to get a roof over my head,which is the most crucial thing a person needs especially to get thier life in order,Ive reconnected with my Children volunteered with organizations that help homeless,Worked and payed taxes, had Zero Hospital visits related to being homeless and Most importantly Finally been able to Speak about walking in on my 2 day old daughter being Molested and am no longer haunted by that and no longer bury that pain by self medicating with street drugs. Thank you to thise Who actually have Compassion and or don’t understand Homelessness and addiction but are willing to listen to researchers and in some cases even Front Line Survivours of the War on Drugs such as myself.

 Its really too bad that housing is being built on the Emcon lot at all. Rossland has not had a "gathering place" ever since the Esling Park Lodge was built. This area would be a great spot for the farmers market,  outdoor rink, covered stage, tennis courts,( sell the lots where the courts are now for them for the housing complex) and the already existing skate park. The Emcon lot could be a place that everyone in Rossland could use and a central place for all outdoor events.

Do you think we need a new city hall and also subsidize private businesses by providing housing using tax dollars? Warning...The arena upgrades are going to cost twice the budgeted cost.

Here is the contents of letter recently sent to the Mayor and Councillor. No response yet!



I do not support the proposed zoning bylaw amendment.

The proposed midtown lands development brochure identifies that the City of Rossland is facing Two Challenges; Affordable Housing + City Hall. Are these Challenges considered as needs or wants?

To begin, the construction of subsidized affordable workforce housing will not solve the promoted “Challenge”. The local economic market is able to determine if there is a problem and privately adapt accordingly to resolve the problem. This promoted subsidized activity is not sustainable. What happens when the subsidy gets reduced or even ends?

“When the government makes loans or subsidies to business, what it does is to tax successful private business in order to support unsuccessful private business.”

Currently, the majority of ‘affordable housing’ in the Lower Columbia Region benefits those unable to work. According to the 2015 Housing Needs Assessment, there is a lack of affordable housing in the area. The City or Rossland would like to provide support. Could a simple increase of the allowable density of the long term and short terms rentals create the affordable housing. The availability could adapt to the market demands? It is ironic that this housing development promoted to be for workers when the available jobs are not guaranteed.

Will the construction of a new city hall solve a problem? Has the City considered the potential creation of new problems? In the development brochure, only the start-up costs of the development are identified. No costs of operations, no maintenance, no repairs, and no replacement costs are identified.  The construction cost is only one quarter of the life cycle costs. Who pays the remaining 75%? Please identify the Best Practices that you are using to manage a proposed new city hall constructed at any location. The creation of convenient access to archive storage also creates a new problem. Original archives should not be in a single location. I presume the documents are probably already electronically available. Ask any person who has lost all their archives to fires, floods and other types of similar events.

Is the City upgrading administrative services or is the City not able to currently provide this service? If an upgrade to city hall is constructed, what upgrades to services are proposed? Who requested these service upgrades? What is the cost of these service upgrades? An item for consideration is that a new downtown city hall could be an opportunity for a new public washroom, if needed. The midtown land location removes this opportunity.

Currently, the city holds the legal title to the midtown land. Is an agreement that identifies the terms, conditions, and the responsibilities of the parties for the proposed development available for public review? Who are the Grantor(s) and the Trustee(s)? At this stage, one presumes that the City grants the control of the land to others and pays strata fees in exchange for start up construction funding assistance and guaranteed taxation. If taxation revenue is an objective, would a business that pays tax be better suited in the building rather than a new city hall that pays no tax but increases the taxation of others?  What happens when the “guaranteed taxation” ends?

If a new City Hall is constructed in this new midtown development, what will be done with old city hall building? The brochure describes this as high value downtown land. Obviously, not valuable enough to the current City administration. 

Once again, there is deliberate confusion, misdirection and more propaganda. The catch phrases like “Workforce” or “Affordable Housing”. A similar economic term is “Sustainable Development”. The elitist John D. Rockefeller spoke the words, “Competition is a sin”, many times. I am interested in learning why the primary source of energy for similar “affordable housing’ is electricity.  This electricity is supplied by Fortis BC, a subsidiary of a foreign company registered with the UNITED STATES Securities and Exchange Commission  - FORTIS INC CIK#: 0000926230. 

Here the City of Rossland works the residents as they choose while the City representatives are not legally responsible for their actions. There are voters trying to pay the endless increases to the costs of living in Rossland by renting an extra room, suite or house. They will quickly learn that subsidized housing is tough competition.

There are many more questions that still need to be answered by the representatives of the City of Rossland. This bylaw amendment should not be adopted as written.

[end of letter]


Attend the public hearing this Monday at 6m or contact city hall to voice your opinion. Remember, you are allowed to ask questions. But they aren't obligated to answer them.

man i'm glad I don't work in the public sector and don't have to deal with this stuff...like there's no way to win. No matter what you do, there's someone who's not putting in the hours, who thinks you're not contributing.  To our Mayor, Council members, City and Public Works staff - Thank you for keeping us afloat while planning for the future of our town. Thank you for finding grant sources and lobbying for our interests so we can fund more local projects. Thank you for looking into the future and making decisions that keep it healthy and prosperious. Thank you for waking up before me on a pow day and keeping the roads clear so I can get to the hill. Thank you for repairing watermain breaks at any hour of the night so I can have a glass of water when I wake up. Thank you for paying attention to the details. I know that there are two sides to every story and that members of our community will always be split on certain topics or decisions...but thank you for constantly looking out for what's in our best interest.

Well Put OrthoM

Oh Buy the way right now, the plan is a clear as this.... and thats ok

https://digg.com/video/ames-window-optical-illusion?fbclid=IwAR0efEatK9j...

 

Thanks OrthoM. It's a pretty great town and mostly the way it is run and the choices made are positive, to the credit of the people who we elect to run the show. It's easy to hate everything and lament how much better things were and how bleak the future is now, but I don't buy it. Issues are complex and that's why we have a council to work through them.

Well put OrthoM. 

Ortho M, I wholeheartedly agree BUT as a newcomer to town( a few years now) I am struck by the full blown nepotism prevalent all over the Kootenays and the City of Rossland is no different. City labourers get paid $30/hour plus very good benefits. Here in a Rossland more than anywhere it’s who you know, not what you know that gets you a job. The moment anybody dares to criticize any service in town they are immediately vilified by the hordes who are so thankful for the city workers.......give me a break!

i agree with bluesboer as i had felt like that since i have been here

Hello all, I often don't comment on this site as I really appreciate knowing with whom I am speaking. The ability for people to hide behind an alias makes their comments much less interesting to me. But, I will make a few comments here to address some of the points. Firstly, no surprise, I appreciate OrthoM's comments. I have to say in my going on 12 years of local government public service, the vast majority of comments I have gotten to my face are appreciative and civil; even when offering criticizm it's been constructive, not nasty or destructive or just plain malarky. Online, when people can disguise their true identity, they are emboldened and the % of civility goes down. No surprise there but it is too bad. I was raised in a family where people were taught to be polite and base their comments on fact. That doesn't mean there weren't disagreements but it was always about the issue, never about the person or based on rumours. This brings me to Bluesboer's comments which I find particularly offensive. I agree there were some questionable local ethics in the past but the City of Rossland has worked hard to be a fair place to work, providing good service to all of our residents and visitors. For a fairly recent resident to claim there is "full blown nepotism" is insulting to the hard working employees of the city. Yes, we offer good well paying union jobs with excellent benefits. We get a lot of very qualified people apply for the jobs. Selection is made by a team. We chose the person who will be the best fit for our workforce with the best skills. Obviously lots of people, even very qualified ones, are not successful candidates for the limited positions we are trying to fill. We have hired a lot of people who are not connected with the city in any way. Your assertion is false. But, also, believe me, we take any legitimate complaints and criticisms very seriously. However,spewing on social media is not the way to effect change. If you have some particular issue, the proper way to address it is to send me an email and let's set up a date to meet and discuss your concerns. Making accusations from the safety of your alias is just cowardly. mayor@rossland.ca

 

So, in an effort not to make these posts gigantic, I will break them up a bit.

Truman is opposed to the project on the Emcon lot and would prefer a social gathering place, which I agree would be completely wonderful but in local government, (as in life come to think of it) we have to make hard choices. Rossland already has lots of parks- some of which have been used as terrific gathering spaces- I'm thinking of a fundraising concert in Nickelplate Park a few years ago and wonderful Canada Day celebrations held annually on the musuem grounds. We hear from some people that their taxes are too high. Because we have no big industry in town and a small business core, we rely primarily on residential taxpayers to fund all the services we provide. Funny thing, most people do not want any reduction is service. That puts us in a bind. One way to help keep taxes affordable is to have other things that can generate revenue. By creating a housing project on the site we will eventually get tax revenue from the project. Not at first, because to help the Lower Columbia Affordable Housing society get the units off the ground there will be some tax relief initially through our existing Permissive Tax Exemption policy. I imagine I will hear a few howls over that, so let me quickly add that the Revitalization Tax Exemption policy that we used to stimulate business during the recession has been retired. Hopefully that will quell some howls. By selling the old city hall site on Columbia we will generate cash and then additional tax revenue. While I appreciate the intent of Truman's comments, Council decided that a better use of the property, to meet the needs of our growing community, was to create the project now under consideration. I do realize Truman's comment is old, but worth a comment.

ok, now to tackle some of Howser's concerns. I'm not sure when or how his letter was sent to City Hall as I have not seen it yet. First let me say, voicing opposition to anything the City proposes is welcome and I try to address concerns when they are brought to me as best I can. However, I do have to qualify that to say, I often don't look at this site due to the alias issue. I try to respond pretty regularly on Rossland Talks on Fb, my mayor's page on FB and I always answer any email that is sent to me when the person communicating has the courage of their convictions to actually use their own name.

Spoiler alert: The City is not subsidizing private businesses or using taxpayer money to build housing. The housing is being funded through grants and low income loans from CBT and BC Housing. This is not a "subsidy that will end". A grant is a grant (no repayment requried) and a loan is a mortgage (repayment required over the long term but from BC Housing at a lower interest rate. The debt is secured by the property) The payments will be made by the Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society, not the City.

The 37 permanent rental units will be managed by the Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society (LCAHS) who will hold a mortgage on the portion of the housing project not covered by grants. The rents collected will cover the expense of the loan and the ongoing operating and lifecycle costs. These things have all been examined by the development team. Obviously for a project like this, a feasibility study was required. LCAHS is local non-profit that owns and manages other multi-family units in our area. Eligibility requirements have not been finalized yet but will include the stipulation that applicants are under a certain household income level and that they are employed in Rossland or retired from work in town. There will be 1,2 and 3 bedroom units, open to singles, families, seniors and persons with disabilities. Based on current enviromental reports, housing is not permitted on the first floor, but offices are. That is one of several reasons the partnership with the City and LCAHS was created. For the project to be viable, both partners need each other.

Rossland is a vibrant, growing community- City Hall had outgrown our old space on Columbia prior to the roof collapse in 2018. Selling that site will mean the City will receive the sales proceeds as well as future tax revenue. I  don't follow Howsers concern about lifecycle costs in regards to the City Hall portion of the project either. As I am sure most people are aware, we have an existing City Hall (and have had for 100+ years) there are lifecycle costs that are already accounted for in our Asset Management Plan. I am pleased to say that plan has become much more comprehensive and robust in the last few years. 

The existing buidling on Columbia, aside from needng substantial upgrades and improvements if it was to be remotely suitable is estimated to cost in excess of $2m. Even then its debatable if we can upgrade it to our needs. The cost to build on the Emcon lot, a purpose-built facility that will last for the next 100 years, is estimated to be $3m.  The intent is that this will be funded from the sale of other city owned property and reserves. It's Council's job to plan for the future of our community, not just what is expedient for the next 5 years. 

Howser brings up a good point about density as a means to increase affordable housing through short-term and long-term rentals. We have some of the most progressive density policies around. To mention a couple: we allow carriage houses, secondary suites and small lot duplexes. Short-term rentals do not increase the availablity of affordable housing. In fact, just the opposite- housing units that might have been offered as long-term rentals, which do help provide affordable housing, are put into service as short-term rentals (STRs) instead. We have rules about STRs that try to balance the homeowners desire for extra income from short-term rentals with the goal of maintaining neighbourhood integrity and long-term rental options. It's a delicate dance for sure and as with many of decisions, some folks are happy and others are not. Personally I feel we have struck a fair balance.

The concept of a downtown washroom was brought up. This is something we are currently considering, with the help of outside funding (grants). However, the experience of ongoing vandalism at the skatepark facility has given us pause. I don't see it as a compelling reason to locate City Hall on Columbia since City Hall public hours are limited to 9-4pm

Ok, well, that is about all I want to say here. I encourage everyone to come to the Miners Hall on Monday Feb 6th at 6pm. Because we have no council chambers in City Hall, this is where council meetings are held. The acoustics aren't great so come early to get a seat up close. The public hearing on this project is first up. The architect, our project consultant and LCAHS will make a presentation. Then you will have a chance to speak as well. Do your best to be informed and think about what is best for the community in the long run. That is what Council has to do. AND, a final plug for local government, we have a by election coming up. Show the courage of your convictions and run for Council. Then you can make a difference! And please believe me, you don't have to put up with as much negative feedback as you might think. :)

Very informative letter. Thanks Kathy.

Kathy, excellent information and respectful response to these alarmist comments.

I have reviewed the information provided by the city and I support this inititive. Information is posted here: https://www.rossland.ca/sites/default/files/city-hall_public-notice_bylaw-2717-public-hearing-information_2020-01-17.pdf

 

I can't make the public meeting - can we submit our support via email?

Michelle

Kathy, Monday is not Feb. 6. do you mean Feb.3rd?? (smoke another one. lol) :)

 

Hi Kathy, I have reached out to you in the past and we’ve had a few very pleasant interactions. Seeing that you called me out over here I will respond to your comments here too. I am sorry you found my assessment of local(Kootenay wide) hiring practices offensive. I stand by that statement though and I’ve talked to many long term residents who share that sentimen. I am glad to hear the City of Rossland is making efforts to get rid of the nepotism because that’s all that I’m asking, a fair chance on a level playing field. If you say it is then I’ll take your word for it. What could aid in maybe changing that perception is for the hiring committees to at least acknowledge applicants. I’ve applied twice for a  job with the city without hearing anything back. I know other people who’ve experienced the same. I find that offensive, not even getting a courtesy email after applying for a job.

I’ve also, as you suggested, contacted the city manager directly with my resume and asked him for advice on how to better position myself( i.e what certifications/qualifications to get)to be in contention the next time a job with the city becomes available. He never emailed me back.

The city isn’t the only employer doing this though. I’ve applied for jobs with almost all businesses in town and very seldomly got a courtesy” sorry you didn’t make the cut” email, the reason I’m a bit negative about making a living over here.

The fact is my family and I love Rossland, it’s beautiful and safe, it’s our home now. I’m not going to listen to the “ go back to Australia “ comments I’ve heard twice since we arrived( lol, we’re not even Australian). I will keep on shoveling snow and do odd jobs and live in a tiny apartment with the hope a better job will someday be on the horizon.

Lastly, you can call my a stupid South African but I’m not a coward. Bluesboer is in reference to my heritage( South African Afrikaner-boer) and my love of the blues. My name is Johann Grove, I live at 1751B Leroi Ave. My wife works at Kootenay Gateway and my boys both attend RSS. 

Have a nice day!

Johann

 

 

sure wish there was a like button  Bluesboer gone through the same with trying to get a postion with  the town.only i found out i would never get it because of my age  .have a good weekend

Wow people are arrogant.

Bluesboer, how about instead of whining on here with your "no one gets back to me when I apply for jobs"you take your time to go meet those people in person. Maybe a handshake and introduction would go further then sitting on your computer whining about how no one will hire you?

I'm so sick of people complaining about the City. I think OrthoM nailed it- thank you city workers for waking up extremely early and spending your day making the roads safe so my family and I can get to the mountain (or wherever I need to go)

Thank you for attending the thousands of call outs you get. One that stands out is a water main breaking in the middle of winter and two guys that worked on it, outside in approx -15 weather for FIFTEEN hours. Their clothing literally turned to ice.

People need to stop being so shady and hiding behind their screen names. If you have a problem go address it instead of blasting people on here.

 

 

Johann, 

It is standard business practice in Canada (not just Rossland) to only contact those applicants that are being offered an interview. I struggled with this as a local employer myself, but when you have upwards of 100 applicants for a job, it's simply not feasible to respond to each and every applicant. With that said, it helps to make it clear within the application procedure description that only those applicants chosen for an interview will be contacted. Good luck with your job search, hope the info above is helpful. Jen. 

the workers are doing a great job but i think things that are being said are directed at the hire up people from what i read and my name is right there and also as you read things and dont like it i would say dont read it and move on as they say. 

Okay to tackle the Kathy Moore thread. To write that you don’t look at this site because of the alias issue is very naive and even ironic. Have you been following Geta Thunbergs’s comments on FB. They appear very authentic and trustworthy, but that's not her. Do you think that is air you're breathing? Regardless, I have submitted many written questions to the City that have not been answered. The methods of public communications must adapt when the current model is legally designed to ignore public comments as one chooses. The people are not represented in anyway, as evidenced in this Alberta court case, The People vs J. Wilton Littlechild, MP. 1990.

Whether the incorporated City or a public sector corporation is subsidizing the housing is not the question. Do think it is a fair that locals trying rent must now compete with a subsidized housing corporation with extremely deep pockets? I’m not debating grants or mortgages. Both are exchanged with something deemed valuable to the Granter and Trustee. No such thing as a free lunch. Not everything is measured by the dollar. I think there is a trust law maxim that sates that if a person holds the legal title, the same person can not hold the equity, to use the equity the person must hold a license. How the license or permit is granted can vary. There are many layers kept hidden. Is this agreement available for public viewing?

This housing development could be considered an equivalent of Golden City Manor, just without the over 55 eligibility requirement. I’m fine with that. That said, how can the city promote this mid town land for local Workforce Housing when the subsidized housing program is primarily created for those are not able to work? A requirement is that a tenant must have a source of Income, not a local job. Income is defined as: Payments you receive from work, social assistance, pensions, interest, assets and other earnings. BTW, “Affordable (Subsidized) Rental Housing” is considered affordable when 30 per cent or less of your household's gross income goes towards paying for your housing costs.

Forget the historic costs of old City Hall. This proposed new City Hall is also described as an asset providing a level of service. Kind of like getting new car. The new one might have the gadgets and conveniences, like heated seats, which aren’t needed but costs more. Ultimately, all that is needed is to get from point A to B. With any new asset, the life cycle costs begin all over again. Could you explain why there is a “need” for the upgrade? The population has been consistent over the half century. Any evidence of when, who or how this upgrade was requested? In order to fund the upgraded level of service, taxation must be increased or a level of service must be reduced. This could be in form of reduced snow removal or reduced arena hours.

I am asking questions, the information has not been made available. It is either censored or isn’t known. No one is answering.

Hence, why I do not support the bylaw amendment as written.

Hi Jen,

Thanks for the heads up. I definitely don’t expect big companies to show that level of courtesy but I do think it’s good business practice in a small town like Rossland. The person applying for the job is quite possibly a customer who spent time and effort to apply.

Cheers

oh my!! YES the meeting is TONIGHT Feb 3rd. Thanks DW for catching that. Sorry folks. brain freeze.

For clarity - Kathy asked me to post that the above reference is to a public hearing at tonights council meeting - 6 pm at the miners hall.

ok- see, I'm back again! Thanks Scott for adding some clarity about the meeting tonight. So, to add a bit more clarity- the alias thing is not the only reason I don't visit here very often, though it is important to me. Call me naive, I've been called worse! :) Another reason is that as most people can probably surmise, I spend a lot of time at this mayor job. Obviously I don't do it for the money, I certainly don't make anywhere near minimum wage. I do it because I love our community and I view this as community service. Now,that said, there have to be some limits. I am not a huge fan of social media because it can turn into a rabbit's hole of rubbish (no offense meant to rabbits). I have to be selective about where I spend my time. I choose to spend more of it with people who use their own names. Call it triage, call it time management. Especially when I find myself repeating some of the same info in a number of places on social media.

Now, I am puzzled by some of what Howes has to say. Communication is always tricky but we've tried to make it abundantly clear that the funding for the housing project is not funded by Rossland taxpayers. The estimated $12m is coming from grants from CBT and BCHousing. (Now you can argue that as a crown corp those organizations are funded by taxpayers and the proceeds of the Columbia Trust assets but the pool is much larger). The balance of the housing project will be handled via a mortgage which is the responsibility of the Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Soceity. Not the city of Rossland.

Because the project is partially funded by grants the rents will be slightly below market rates, thus enabling some folks who struggle with affordability the opportunity to live near where they work. Right now, we have very very low rental availability. Over the last few years that is true not just in the winter but the summer too. Market conditions apply: scarce rentals translates into increased rental rates, pretty soon lots of our friends and neighbours can't afford to live here. 

We have excellent staff and excellent development consultants who are helping us with this project. During the analysis it became clear that this project is actually the most fiscally responsible way to address the situation we face with city hall. There has been information shared about this already and I really can't summarize here. We take the long term view of major projects. The gist of it is this: Investing $3m in a project that will earn future tax revenue is a better deal for taxpayers than investing $850k in one that doesn't. This building will be standing for a very long time, it will contribute taxes to the city for a very long time. After 35 years the city will have netted over $2.4m. Net Present Value must be taken into consideration. This was presented to council in a report along with other info upon which we are making our decisions.

Ok sorry but I am out of time for the moment. I will continue this a bit later. 

Actually, I just re-read my comments above and I misspoke. The estimated $12m for the housing portion of the project coming from BC Housing and CBT is a mix of grants and loans. Grants represent nearly $5.6m at this point. The statement about it not coming from taxpayers is true. The mortgage will be held by the LCAHS. Sorry, I was in a hurry yesterday. 

Thanks to all who came out to the public hearing. I thought the architects and the Lower Columbia Affordable Housing folks did an excellent job presenting the project. LCAHS made the point that the feasibility of the project depends on the partnership with the City. By sharing costs it saves both entities money. It's unique partnership that will benefit Rossland. I know there are some who will be disappointed that I didn't have all the answers at my fingertips and I will probalby get a whipping here in social media. No suprise there. But please remember, this was a re-zoning application and this is a work in progress. The decision to be made was should we change the zoning from Light Industrial to Mixed Use. Some questions couldn't be answered because final decisions haven't been made yet and didn't need to be at this stage of the project. However, we do have environmental assessments, we do have operating costs for the housing portion, city hall operating costs will be extrapolated from our existing operations, we do have the value of our existing city hall repaired and "as is", there is likely to be a graduated tax exemption but without it being finalized I was hesitant to go into much detail without actual numbers in front of me. While perhaps I should have been prepared for questions that had little to do with changing the zoning from Light Industrial to Mixed Use, I did not anticipate the full range of questions. My bad. That said, I hope what I did say was helpful to those who were there to learn more and will motivate them to watch for more info on our website.

 What I find in this job is that people like certainty and when I say " X is what we are considering but we haven't made a final decision" what some hear is "X is what we are doing" and take that as rock solid fact. I'm trying to avoid that particular trap. But then I fall into the trap of "this is not a well-thought out plan". There has been a lot of work put into this project already but as I said, it continues to be a work in  progress. We do have a lot of info on our website and based on the meeting last night, we need to put up more and we will. Of course, that puts the burden on people to actually look at the website and become more informed. Please don't rely on social media. That just isn't fair.

In any case, it was great to see such a strong turn out of folks.Your questions are legitimate and will be answered. I appreciate those folks willing to stand up and support the project too as well as the emails that have been sent to Council in support as well. 

Oops, just saw another thing that should be expanded upon: Our city operating costs can be estimated from our existing facilities as well as looking at the specifics of the new project. We won't just be transferring existing, historical numbers over to the new project. These figures have been considered and are being refined, but weren't required at the re-zoning stage.

Also the idea of a referendum was brought up last night. We are only required to ask the public for permission (ie a referendum) when we are borrowing money for over 5 years. We do not need to do that for this project. A referendum, or alternative approval process, would take time, and added expense. Plus it would delay the project thus adding to it's expense. This project has been talked about for a couple of years and we have heard a lot from the community over this time. Council was elected to make decisions on behalf of the community. We spend alot of time looking at reports and considering options and opportunities. Needless to say, this is very complex issue. I also worry that a good project like this one could fail, not on the merits but because many people do not have the time (or the interest) to fully inform themselves.  I recognize that for pretty much every decision we make, there will be happy people and unhappy people but the good news is that there is always another election on the horizon and the public is always invited to "throw the bums out!"

My personal opinion.... open for discussion.  Colleen Derrick live on the corner of the emcon lot since 2007.  Almost the entirety of town is two storey buildings, why over developed in the middle of a residential area.  Two storey complex ok, but four is over kill.  Most towns build accordingly.  Build a 2 story or build bigger in the downtown core or on the outskirts like the centennial trail head. Lot.  You say the city needs revenue, but will the revenue from this be put back into the city?  Tax breaks for our rising taxes for the town and the home owners the build affects.  Since the development is way beyond the needs of the tax payers and purposed to create income why not throw them a bone?  Also kathy... why not take it to referendum?  What are you scared of?  If you truly believe what you are doing is right you will have no fear of the outcome.  Why shouldn't a town as small as rossland not have a collective say?  It's easy you get votes and your support is shown or you don't.  Dont hide behind the vote of council.  Weak.  Please give me insite,  all discussions welcomed

Maybe I'm shouting into the void here but has anyone checked AirBNB recently? 60-odd rentals available, granted not all are suites in people's homes: the shovel advertises their rooms using the platform.. Perhaps regulating short-term rentals would be a smarter way to go about this? Understanding completely that people may be reluctant to withdraw themselves from the short-term rental gravy train; it's common knowledge that AirBNB eviscerates urban centres, displacing the minimum-wage labour force by removing affordable housing from the market and driving long-term rental prices up. Studies/recaps:

https://upgo.lab.mcgill.ca/publication/short-term-cities/

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-airbnb-likely-removed-310...

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318281320_Airbnb_and_the_Rent_G...

I am now a property owner in town, but I was looking for a place to rent in the area five years ago and the increase in rental rates since 2014 is shocking.. well in excess of inflation to say the least. I totally understand and it makes economic sense: why rent your one-bedroom basement suite at $900.00 a month to someone working a minimum-wage job at the coffee shop when you could be pulling in $120 a night renting to tourists? It's even worth your while to leave the place vacant during the summer with the kind of revenue you can generate during peak season. 

 

 

No one is asking what proportion of income spent towards renting a room in a 100 yr old former brothel left over from the gold rush is considered reasonable.  50 percent?  75 percent? Does that include the $200+/mo hydro bill in winter?  Wifi? Is living there reasonable at all if there is another option?   Is it difficult for slum lords to poverty profiteer if people have housing options?  Is that the real tax issue here?  

Just over 8 years ago before I bought this place I was paying $450 for a 2 bdr apt. WTF happened that made things skyrocket so fast and insanely?!? Everyone keeps saying "we don't want another Whistler" but it sure looks like it's going that way. My other concern is the weather. Whens the last time the bobsled races were cancelled due to warm weather? What if Winters, like this year, keep getting milder and shorter?Just my opinion, but I see a lot of uncertainty in the near future...