Our current city council is halfway through their term.
Council faced an unprecedented past year that saw many meetings moved online and concerns for business well-being grow in the community.
Here are some of the significant issues raised at council meetings this year.
Steven Cross resigns
City council was proposing pay increases for themselves, Steven Cross resigned in protest. Council later backtracked, asking that raises be discussed again at the end of their term for the next set of councillors.
City council approved a project that will see signage replaced and new signs installed over the next six years.
The budget for the entire project would be millions of dollars, with phase 1 set at $550,000, funded with Resort Municipality Initiative funds.
Rehabilitation of the exterior of city hall this year saw the building covered in scaffolding and plastic. The budget for the project was around $1.28 million, part of which came from the Columbia Basin Trust. As of Dec. 22, the project is not yet complete, though it is supposed to be by the end of the year.
Construction started in July.
|City hall wrapped in plastic on July 7, 2020. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)|
Property tax increase
Council approved a six per cent increase to property taxes. Of the increase, 4.5 per cent will cover a $500,000 decrease in revenue due to Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s successful property assessment appeal.
However, council delayed the deadline to pay property taxes to accommodate people during the pandemic. While council expected to borrow money in the short-term to cover cash flow, it was not necessary due to how many people paid their taxes on time.
The $5 million contract was awarded to Eagle Rock Construction in April.
Construction started later that month, which saw an extensive detour down 8th St.
The project was expected to be done by mid-September but opened Oct. 29.
|Mayor Gary Sulz (centre) cuts the ribbon for the new roundabout on Victoria Rd in October. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)|
Steven DeRousie took over from interim fire chief Dave Mohn, who has been in the position since the spring.
The building services department has seen 31 per cent more applications in the first quarter of the year compared to the same time in 2019, also registering a 37 per cent increase in construction value compared to 2019.
The by-election to replace resigned councilor Stephen Cross was delayed due to the pandemic in the spring and again due to Coun. Nicole Cherlet running for Columbia-River Revelstoke MLA seat in the October provincial election.
The by-election is now scheduled for Feb. 13, 2021.
Parking fees halt development
With the possibility of being slapped with an $81,600 charge for a shortage of parking spaces, Mark McKee has shut down his new development at 415 2nd St. West.
City council approved a development permit for the proposed commercial building with the stipulation the developer either secure four more parking spaces within 300 metres of the development, or pay cash-in-lieu for the deficiency at a price of $20,400 each.
Development on Hay Road
Council approved a multi-phase, multi-family development on Hay Road which saw lots of negative community input. The development features units dedicated to long-term rentals as well as passively built homes.
Official Community Plan
Revelstoke city council has approved a new vision for the Official Community Plan. The vision reads: “Revelstoke will pursue a sustainable mountain community by balancing environmental, social economic and cultural values within a local, regional and global context. Our rich heritage and stunning natural environment inspire us to be forward thinking, inclusive, resilient and welcoming. We will create a supportive, vibrant community for those that live, work and visit here today and in the future.”
Worker camp in Johnson Heights
City council approved a two-year Temporary Use Permit for workforce housing in Johnson Heights. The applicant, working with Revelstoke Mountain Resort and the landowner, applied for a three-year permit to place mobile camp units to house workers needed for resort construction projects.