Town of Slave Lake Council notebook

April 11, 2017 meeting
Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Missed amounts on bills
The recent town utility bills were higher than usual. Two reasons, Town CAO Brian Vance explained to council. The billing period was longer (by six days) is one; the other is that the $15 solid waste fee was missed on the previous bill. So that charge was doubled on the current bill.
The reason for the billing glitch, it appears, was a shortage of staff.
“We are in the process of making a job offer to a temporary person to cover this,” Vance said.

Broadband session coming up
Vance reported that Community Futures is holding a session on broadband Internet on April 20, at town council chambers. Telus and Sniper will be there, but that’s it.
“I’m very surprised the other providers won’t be there,” said Vance. However, he added he expects it will be interesting to find out about recent developments, and what’s coming.

Lagoon project inching along
For those of you interested in sewage treatment, a multi-million-dollar refurbishment job on the town’s lagoons is in early planning stages. Vance said Alberta Environment reviewed the plans and agreed in principle, but needs a bit more information. Once the green light goes on, the town has to figure out how to pay for the project.
Project manager Doug Baird said he hoped for final approval within a couple of months, and first phase construction to begin in the fall.

‘Interesting’ response to RV park proposal
Mayor Tyler Warman said response to an online survey on a proposal for an RV park at the Sunset Place location in southwest Slave Lake has been “interesting.” Council will have a report on it – and related issues – at an upcoming meeting.

MRC closed for three days
Slave Lake’s multi-rec centre (MRC) is scheduled for electrical work April 18 – 20, and will be closed. This is to fix the burnt-out underground cable from the transformer in the parking lot.
In other MRC news, old compressors and ammonia have been removed. The next step is to upgrade the compressor room to meet fire codes. Once that’s done, new compressors (for the ice plant) will be installed.

Taxi program looking for sponsors
Council heard that a program of providing taxi vouchers to people in need has no money and is in need of a sponsor. It used to be funded through the town’s FCSS budget, but that was cut this year. Asked about it, community services director Ruth Rolfe said the procedure has been to hand out the vouchers to agencies in town that deal with people in need, for them to give out as they see fit.
“It worked really well,” she said.

Meet with your tax assessor
Vance told council a session with the tax assessor is being arranged, “so people can meet with him to discuss any questions they have on their assessment.” This would presumably refer to the assessed value of their property, which is what their property taxes are based on. Vance said one-on-one meetings will be possible. As to the date, it hasn’t been set.

First steps toward a rec, parks and culture board
Last fall, council had asked admin to look into the formation of a recreation, parks and culture advisory board for Slave Lake. The report on it proposed a board made up of council members and members of the public, to serve in an advisory capacity to town council. As proposed, it would have two town council members, one M.D. council member, six members at large including one youth member, and one member at large from the M.D. The board would hear presentations from the public and make recommendations to council.
Councillor Mark Missal said he liked the idea, but worried whole sections of town might end up under-represented. He suggested a ward system for appointing members.
Councillor Joy McGregor made the motion to go ahead and prepare a bylaw on it. “If it doesn’t work we’ll fix it,” she said. “Let’s give it a start.”

Trailers on the move
Councillor Julie Brandle reported that 35 of the emergency trailers at Sunset Place would be going to Wabasca, and another 15 have been claimed by “Forestry.” Thirty more, she said, have yet to be determined.

FireSmart at Summerwood
Mayor Tyler Warman said the FireSmart committee is getting a lot of requests from other jurisdictions for information on the program. How that should be handled is a matter of discussion at recent meetings. Should they be charging for it is one of the questions needing an answer, for example.
Following the example of the community of Marten Beach, the committee is trying to organize something similar for the Summerwood neighbourhood, located near the golf course. However, since it is surrounded by provincial park and that department’s cooperation has been required, it has been hard to nail down a suitable date, Warman said. But he said there’s been a breakthrough, and a date in August is anticipated.

Doctor tour goes well
Warman said he and councillor Joy McGregor did another of what is becoming a familiar routine of showing the best side of the community to a physician who is looking for a place to work.
“We pulled out all the stops,” he said.
The helicopter ride (courtesy of Remote) made a particularly big impression, Warman said, and by the time it was over, the doc was pretty much ready to sign up. There’s more to it than that, but “we did our job,” he said.

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