City council at it's Nov. 23 meeting.

Lack of bylaw means curbside recycling will be voluntary at first

News from the Nov. 22 meeting of Revelstoke city council.

There won’t be any bylaw enforcing curbside recycling when the program starts at the start of the new year. That’s because city council chose to not pass the new solid waste and recycling bylaw in one shot.

The new solid waste and recycling bylaw, which will replace the existing garbage collection bylaw, went before council at its meeting last week. Staff recommended giving the bylaw all three required readings to pass it at once, but council chose to slow down the process, meaning it won’t be in place until after curbside recycling starts up on Jan. 1, 2012.

The bylaw adds the recycling program into the existing bylaw, and makes a few changes to it.

“There hasn’t been any authorization of the recycling program that starts in January,” Brian Mallett, the director of engineering and public works, told council.

The bylaw was given first and second reading and will now go out for review before it receive final reading.

“It won’t prohibit us from embarking on the recycling program but we would have no authority to implement any correctional aspects if there were any problems,” Chief Administrative Officer Tim Palmer explained to council.

Council also asked staff to highlight the changes to the garbage portion of the new bylaw.

Curbside recycling is set to start on Jan 1, 2012. The program will be run by Bresco Industries.

Loan for new fire truck passes

Revelstoke will be getting a new aerial fire truck after the counter-petition against the loan failed to garner enough signatures to be stopped.

147 people signed the petition at city hall against the $915,000 city loan – short of the 375 signatures required to stop the city from borrowing the funds.

According to municipal regulations, 10 per cent of the city’s 3,752 electors had to sign the petition to stop the loan.

Council voted on the loan once more, with couns. Tony Scarcella and Chris Johnston remaining in the minority by voting against it.

Budget deliberations underway

City council was scheduled to hold its first official budget meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 29, after press time.

Meanwhile, the city’s Chief Administrative Officer Tim Palmer provided council with a brief update last week.

“We just this week managed to get a potential balanced budget with a two per cent increase [in taxes],” he said.

He said council would be presented with three different options, all of which include balanced budgets.

“It’s been quite a bit of work for staff but I was not prepared to bring a budget that wasn’t balanced and didn’t have a 25 per cent tax increase,” he said. “Just for clarification, that was a little bit tongue-in-cheek but there was a challenge getting the numbers down to two per cent.”

Council renews tourism co-ordinator funding

The City of Revelstoke will once again be contributing $25,000 to help fund the Chamber of Commerce’s tourism co-ordinator position.

“I feel that $25,000 is a lot of money but with all the jobs and people who come to town for the restaurants, hotels and shops ñ it’s good money spent,” said Coun. Tony Scarcella.

Couns. Peter Frew and Chris Johnston voted against the funding, not because they were opposed to it, but because they wanted it to be part of the full budget process.