M.D. of Lesser Slave River
(Notes from the May 9 meeting in Smith that didn’t make it into last week’s Leader)
A question arose about street addresses. “They don’t legally exist,” said a member of the public, who added he’d been getting hassled by the federal government about his address.
M.D. transportation director Bill Klassen said he’s still working on it.
“All the signs that need to be changed will be changed,” he said.
Petra de Vaan, speaking on behalf of the Smith Community Development Council, presented an idea about having more seniors’ housing, located in the centre of the hamlet. It would help people stay in the community, she said, and perhaps bring some back who would like to return.
“Is there a possibility? Are you willing to help?”
Councillor Brad Pearson, who sits on the board of the regional housing authority, suggested she contact SLRHA manager Lindsay Pratt. If he doesn’t bring it forward to the board, “I will,” he said.
Councillor Jeff Commins, who also sits on that board, cautioned that “there is no public money available at all right now. Unless there’s a real need I don’t see how.”
Beach at Canyon Creek
Pearson had added this item to the agenda. He asked his colleagues to support the idea of cleaning up the small public beach at Canyon Creek. What with willows and grass, “there’s hardly any public beach at all.”
A separate but related issue is the neighbouring ‘private’ beach. CAO Allan Winarski said a surveying company has been engaged “to determine where private land ends and the beach begins.”
Also separate but related: infrastructure left in the water from the days when what is now the Canyon Creek Hotel was a federal fish hatchery. It’s high time the federal government removed it, Pearson said, mentioning “creosoted timbers.”
Species at risk
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is reaching out to its members in caribou country, asking them to support a lobby effort by Mackenzie County. The county is urging the federal government to involve affected municipalities in discussions on caribou conservation.
Council passed a Sandra Melzer motion to provide a letter of endorsement.
Councillor Brian Rosche then made a motion to send a letter urging the federal government – if it wants to save the woodland caribou – to “put a hunting ban on caribou by Indigenous people.”
Chamber of Commerce
Reporting on the latest meeting of the Slave Lake & District Chamber of Commerce, Reeve Kerik said the group is having “a hard time with volunteers for Riverboat Daze.”
Sponsors are needed for the sandcastle competition, and for some reason the Chamber will not be getting the $10,000 from the midway it is accustomed to getting.
Also learned at the meeting: the Legacy Centre has lowered its rental prices.
Councillor Becky Peiffer reported that the regional library board elected a new chair – Angela Wright. The Flatbush library is now advertised on a highway sign. The Scouts helped clean up the Smith library, where librarian Ruth Reay “needs more money.”
Movie night at the Smith library has been successful.
Community Assistance Board
The M.D.’s Community Assistance Board, which consists of all the members of the M.D. council, convened its second meeting of the year on May 9 in Smith. Board chair Brad Pearson said there were four requests for funding this time around, totaling $19,602.80. This followed an outlay of $10,000 to three applicants earlier in the year. The CAB has $40,000 to give away this year.
This time around, Flatbush Help Services requested $2,000 to cover mileage for those taking seniors to medical appointments; Smith Community Development Council requested $6,576 to buy new Christmas lights; Smith Traildusters requested $9,876.80 to replace wooden fences with pipe fences; Flatbush Silver Threads Society requested $1,150 for repairs to a concrete pad in front of the new door.
To discuss the applications, council went into closed session. Coming out of that, they approved the following motions:
Flatbush Help Services – $2,000; Smith Community Development Council – $4,800; Smith Traildusters – defer a decision pending a reapplication with “solid numbers.”; Flatbush Silver Threads Society – $1,150.