Hunt for the leak continues on troubled regional water line

Town of Slave Lake Council notebook

March 5, 2019 meeting

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

‘Discouraging at best,’ was CAO Brian Vance’s remark to council on efforts by the contractor to locate and fix a leak (or leaks) in the new regional waterline. They’re still digging, he said; still working on it, focusing on an area about nine kilometres west of town.

Cold weather (and other) challenges

The ice plant at the MRC had some problems on a cold Saturday morning recently, Vance reported. It quit working, putting scheduled playoff hockey games in jeopardy. By warming up the plant, staff got it working again so the ice could be made cold enough.
“Ongoing challenges with building systems in the cold temperatures,” said Vance’s written report. “Staff have been able to maintain operations in all facilities.”
On the same day over at the pool, staff rescued two young children in the pool who needed rescuing.
Back to the MRC, Vance reported it has been very busy with birthday party bookings lately.

Public hearings

Council held three public hearings on bylaw changes and nobody showed up. This made it easier to get through the next steps on each of them, which was to give them second and third readings. This was accordingly done.

Downtown bus depot

This bylaw change comes about due to a downtown business wanting to accommodate a bus depot. It was initially opposed by the Municipal Planning Commission. But council wanted to make it work, so planning staff did some tweaks to make it more palatable – mainly creating a new definition for a ‘minor’ bus depot (and a ‘major’ one). This allows the town to limit the size of the buses in the downtown area.
Councillor Julie Brandle, who had been opposed to the idea, changed her mind, but said she’s still concerned about parking implications. An approved parking plan would have to be part of the development permit process.
Mayor Tyler Warman made a point of thanking the planning and development staff for making it work.
“I know this is not where you initially wanted to go,” he said. “I appreciate you went back and found a way. Good job.”

Land Use Bylaw amendments

The second bylaw change that nobody showed up to speak for or against comprised a series of changes to the LUB having to do with updates to the town’s Downtown and Main Street Area Plan. The overall purpose seems to be an effort to promote a certain look or ‘ambience’ to the downtown area, as well as encourage businesses to locate there and stay there. It received second and third reading and goes into effect.

Old fire hall

The third bylaw change nobody showed up to comment on had to do with the re-zoning of the old fire hall site on Caribou Trail. The town has been trying to sell it, and changing the zoning on it from Institutional to Light Industrial is intended to facilitate that. The bylaw got second and third reading and goes into effect.

Renaming a street

Council considered a recommendation from its Naming Committee to name a street (actually an avenue and a street) after community pioneers Leo and Stella Boisvert. Naming Committee member Harry Bartlett told council the suggestion had come to the committee from Allan and Denise Wahlstrom. Suggested was to name 3rd Ave. NE from Main St. (location of the first Boisvert store) east past the hospital and on up 6th St. to Caribou Trail as Leo & Stella Boisvert Way, or something along those lines. Bartlett said members of the Boisvert family had been contacted and are in favour of the idea.
Bartlett cited the Boisverts’ long history of contributions to community improvement.
The proposal got no arguments from councillors. There were questions about how the signs would work. Vance said town staff had talked about it and the preference would be to keep the regular street signs, and add the new name above them. It would not be too expensive, he said.

“A great idea,” said councillor Julie Brandle.
Council voted in favour of the proposal.

Mayor’s corner

Warman finished off the meeting with a report on the past couple of weeks’ activities. He mentioned the Oilmen’s Bonspiel as being “always a good time,” and praised the Petroleum Association for the good work it does in the community.
The latest meeting of the coalition on homelessness had a good turnout, Warman said, with some directives coming out of it.
“I appreciate the work by Garry (Roth, the town’s community services director) and his team,” Warman said.
The annual general meeting of the regional tourism group happened late last month. It has “some passionate board members,” Warman said, and “We’re looking forward to some rejuvenation there.”

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