July 11, 2017
Cemetery bylaw gets an update
The town’s bylaw that governs the operation of the cemetery needed updating, council heard. For one thing, the new cemetery needed to be brought into the bylaw. For another, as reported by acting director of operations Calvin Couturier, a general update was in order.
“Interments have changed over the past 14 years,” he said in his written report for council. “There are different methods of interment, different record-keeping and tracking methods and provincial legislation regarding interments.”
Methods of interment include ‘green burial,’ which is intended to reduce the environmental impact. Then there are the interment of ‘cremains,’ i.e. what’s left after cremation.
Further, “The new bylaw explains the roles of the next of kin and the town in the proper maintenance of the cemetery and installation of monuments and memorials.”
There’s also the inevitable set of rules for what can and cannot be done, and penalties for violating them. These are $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for the second.
Council gave all three readings to the bylaw, bringing it into effect. It will be posted on the town’s website.
FCSS cash grants
The town’s Family and Community Support Services department has grant money from the province to give away to approved groups and projects. The latest round of applications was before council, with a recommendation from FCSS coordinator Haylie Millard.
Millard reported that the grant budget had $11,680 left in it, and the applications totalled almost $70,000. Some paring down was obviously in order, and that had been done in the report before council. Of the seven applicants, three received nothing.
Council approved the following: $7,624 to Healthy Choices for Moms and Tots, $2,240 to Victim Services (to send staff to a conference), $1,116 to Ula Nazynske-Spitzer for a ‘Youth Day’ workshop that happened last month, and $700 to Hope Generates Growth Society.
The request for this last one was for $25,000 – apparently to cover the cost of a high-profile guest speaker (Cleveland kidnap victim Lily Rose Lee) to Slave Lake.
Southwest park playground to be rubberized
Council approved an expenditure of $126,000 for improvements to the southwest quadrant park. The contract for a ‘pour-in’ rubberized play surface in the playground area goes to Softline Solutions, for $116,000. Preparation of the gravel base is expected to cost $10,000 and be done by a local contractor.
Most of the money, per an earlier council decision, is to come from the automated traffic enforcement reserve fund.
Grant application for park improvements
Council approved an application for a $14,700 federal grant to help pay for paved trail connections to and from the southwest quadrant park. The program is called ‘Enabling Accessibility,’ and requires a 35 per cent commitment ($10,000) from the town. The idea would be to have the work done in 2018.
Community services director Ruth Rolfe said there’s an opportunity to apply for more from the program, which could be done next year.
Council was updated on the status of various capital projects in the purview of the Community Services department. For example:
Schurter Park bridge – finished.
MRC ice plant upgrade – well underway.
Field house divider curtain – facilities manager Derek Starnes said it had been ordered and he had been expected a six to eight-week delivery time. However he’d just learned from the supplier that it needed to check out the site first, and that the six to eight-weeks would start after that. The site visit was expected to take place last week. The ‘electrical divider system,’ as it’s called, is expected to “increase the use of the field house,” said Starnes in his written report.
Park upgrades – Hilda Eben (southeast) Park is supposed to get new sand in its playground this summer.
Wood rehabilitation – a contractor has been hired to re-finish the exterior wood features at the town office/library. The work is expected to be done in August.
Pumphouse contract gets green light
Council went in camera to discuss the details of the pump station and intake portion of the regional water project. This had been delayed a week to allow ‘cost-saving’ discussion with the prospective contractor. How those went was not revealed, but after the in camera discussion, council made the following resolution:
“Council directs Administration to award the contract for the construction of the Regional Waterline Pump House and (inlet) Lines to PCL Construction Management Inc. for a maximum amount of $5,9999,000 and the TOSL Administration will be managing the project with MDLSR Administration managing the grant funding of $15,540,301 and the shortfall of up to $2,083.197 will be funded by TOSL by a means to be determined in the future, which may include borrow (ing).”
Included in the written report for council on this topic was administration’s commitment to cointinue to look for ways to reduce project costs. One of these could be the reduction of scope by eliminating low-risk, redudant equipment.
Flash flood response
Sitting in for CAO Brian Vance, community services director Ruth Rolfe reported that the big downpour on June 9 “overwhelmed the town’s drainage in some areas.” It came close to flooding one of the sewage lift stations. Brian Vance’s written report added that crews were out out late that night “until everything was under control.”
Pool shut-down could be longer
The annual swimming pool maintenance shut-down could be longer than expected, due to the recent discovery of paint-chipping on the bottom of the pool. What the expected period of closure would have been was not reported, but with this new development, it could be four to six weeks.
Parent Link busy
The Parent Link program is having a garage sale on July 21 to raise funds for renovation to its future home – the former Family Care Clinic on 3rd Ave. NE. The garage sale runs from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., in the parking lot of 612 6th St. SE – which is Parent Link’s current home, otherwise known as the Community Christian Centre. If anyone has lightly-used items they’d like to donate, call Jaime at 780-849-4103.
Subdivision and Development Appeal Board – Mayor Warman said the SDAB heard an appeal from a downtown developer wanting to facilitate apartments above a commercial space. Parking was the issue and there was “a big discussion” on it, Warman said.
“We relaxed the parking so they can move ahead,” he said.
Legacy Corporation – Warman said the discussions there are on ways the board can help the Elks with the management of the facility.
“The Elks are struggling a bit with membership,” he said. “We’re going to work with them to see what we can do. We want to see it succeed.”
Warman had many good things to say about the Chamber of Commerce’s Riverboat Daze event – especially the Friday night ‘Rock the Block’ event downtown. He also praised the town’s operations people for the role they played.
“I’ve never seen so many people out at one time,” he said. “All in all it was a huge hit.”
Warman’s final remark was about the looming municipal election, and the lack of news about who might be running.
“I look forward to hearing about (it) in the coming weeks,” he said.