Welcome to the April edition of the UrbanWorkbench update. In this issue we explore some of the current issues in sustainability, Civil Engineering, and of course the Kootenay region and our lives here.


IMG_2133This month is a busy one for us, with lots of meetings to discuss the big issues in Rossland and the Kootenays, many of them surrounding development in the watershed and the long term picture of Rossland. For those of you who don’t know what I do for a day job, I’m the manager of Engineering for the City of Rossland, and as such, I try to avoid editorializing all that goes on in this small City nestled in the mountains above the Columbia River, just north of the US/Canada border.

Rossland has, over the past couple of years gone through a community engagement and planning process known as Visions to Action, with a Strategic Sustainability Plan looking at a vision of Rossland in 2025. Following this process, (and this is where the City is up to now), the Official Community Plan will be rewritten to take in much of the community input gained through the Visions to Action process.

In addition to this, we have a consultant assisting in the rewriting of the Development Cost Charge Bylaw, a controversial document in many communities, as it has to balance the needs of the community against those of future citizens, and distributing the costs associated with these across the potential future developments.

And if that’s not enough, the development continues, existing infrastructure needs upgrading and it’s an election year!

BCWWA Conference

IMG_2095Robyn and I are happy to be attending the BCWWA (British Columbia Water and Wastewater Association) conference starting next week in Whistler, BC. This conference will focus on many of the issues facing the community of Rossland and others in the Kootenays, with discussions on Climate Change, sustainable water supply, water treatment, water pricing and many other talks.

I’ve never been to Whistler, so I’m excited to see what all the fuss is about. We’re leaving this Friday, heading down to Vancouver for a couple of nights, then up to Whistler. We’ll probably return through the Okanagan.


Meanwhile, all this talk of global warming is pretty confusion when it’s the middle of April and we’ve got a couple of centimetres of snow in our yard.


I’m still waiting on APEGBC to accept my application for Professional Engineer status, but it shouldn’t be too long now.
We’ve undertaken some minor home improvements, the most exciting is the installation of an outdoor clothesline, of course the day after I put it up it rained!

On the UrbanWorkbench blog, it’s been pretty quiet, but here are some recent articles that you might find interesting. If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, drop me an email.

Thanks, Mike and Robyn.

Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.