Meeting of Oct. 3, 2017
Crossing the line
The announced 10-day closure of Main St. for the railway crossing upgrade had turned into something much less inconvenient by the time of council’s first meeting in October. The downgrade from full closure happened as a result of discussions between town staff and CN Rail, town manager Brian Vance told council. This was after CN had told the town the street would have to be fully closed for at least 10 days and perhaps for as long as 14.
“We came up with a solution,” he said.
On a related note, Vance stuck by his earlier remarks on not wanting to put up a set of second-hand crossing lights at the Caribou Trail crossing.
“We definitely want new lights at Caribou,” he said.
However, that upgrade is not in CN’s plans for this year.
Sludge movement at the sewage lagoons
Phase I construction on the town’s big sewage lagoon upgrade project will begin this fall. Asked for details, town project manager Doug Baird said it mainly will consist of the “drying cell” being cleared of “composted sludge material,” so as to prepare it to become an “active cell.” This entails the transport of up to 200 truckloads of the material to the old landfill site, where it is to be used as cover. What isn’t used there will go to the other landfill at Widewater.
ATCO fees to stay the same
Council made quick work of the annual review of ATCO Electric and ATCO Gas franchise fees, which is what the town charges the utility companies for the right to operate on town land. The decision; keep them the same as they are. Not that council wouldn’t like to increase revenue, but it’s understood that any hike in the fees is passed directly on to ATCO customers.
Gerry Allarie recognition
On council’s agenda was a suggestion that the town do some sort of formal recognition of the contributions of former mayor Gerry Allarie, who passed away recently. One idea, said mayor Warman, was to name all or part of the community trail system for him. Warman said he’d talked to Allarie not long ago about that very topic.
“It was the thing he felt would be his legacy,” he said.
Councillor Brice Ferguson was all for it.
“I’m in favour of the whole system being named for him,” he said.
Council was pretty much unanimous in approving the general idea; most of the discussion revolved around the question of what form the dedication ought to take. The possibility of vandalism loomed large in their considerations, given what has happened to other signs and donated benches along the trail system in past years.
Councillor Mark Missal suggested something along the lines of the big rock at the Hilda Eben Park skating rink, installed by the Rotary Club years ago. Somebody else suggested a ‘street sign’ type of monument, similar to ‘Stu Lafoy Way.’
Whatever the method, councillor Joy McGregor hoped the trail system all the way to Devonshire Beach would bear the Allarie name. That would require co-operation from the M.D. of Lesser Slave River, which mayor Warman expressed confidence in securing.
“I’m sure our M.D. friends would be okay with it,” he said.
With that, Warman made a motion to have administration come up with a plan, looking at feasibility and cost. He said he would consult the Allarie family on the concept.
“Quite busy,” Warman said, beginning his usual report on his activities as mayor in the past week or two. He did not go into much detail, but said some of his time had been taken up, “dealing with inter-municipal things,” likely referring to the M.D.’s recent broadside on cost-sharing agreements. “We will be preparing a response,” Warman said.
Mentioning the candidates’ forum of the previous evening, Warman said it was a good group of candidates, who made “good responses,” to “good questions.”
Finally, council (probably only one or two members) would be taking part in another ‘physician tour,’ later in the week. These are laid on when a new doctor is contemplating which community in which to accept employment. Given that several towns are in the running, the better show you can put on, the better your chances of landing the doctor. The Slave Lake tours usually involve a helicopter ride, courtesy of a local company.