Jan. 16, 2018 meeting
Trailer parks aren’t town property
The town’s operations department continues to get calls for help in Westside Village trailer court. CAO Brian Vance informed council that frozen pipes are the reason, and “people are desperate.”
It’s a dilemma, because the town is not supposed to operate in trailer parks, which are private property.
“We’re not supposed to look after their roads or water systems,” Vance said.
On the other hand, in a few cases town people have helped out, shutting off water.
However, there are risks to the town for operating in such circumstances.
“We’re facing one lawsuit,” said Vance. “We don’t want to get in that situation again trying to help people.”
The CN crossing upgrade on Main St. is “pretty much at a standstill until the spring,” said Vance. That’s the signal upgrade. The track upgrade that upgraded the track so much it is now above the level of the road at a couple of locations remains unresolved. CN told the town it would provide temporary fixes, but that hasn’t happened. As for permanent fixes, “the tricky thing is negotiating who’s going to pay for those things,” Vance said.
Council approved an updated version of the town’s Naming Bylaw. The Naming Committee had reviewed the bylaw and recommended some minor changes, council heard.
The bylaw first of all provides for the establishment of a naming advisory committee, “to recommend names for development areas, roads, parks, trails and municipal facilities.”
With that done, council approved more or less the same changes in the associated naming policy, which had the item ‘trails’ added to the list of things to be named.
Trail system named
With that out of the way, council moved on to meat and potatoes, approving a recommended name for Slave Lake’s trail system. It is now named ‘Allarie Trails,’ in honour of the late Gerry Allarie. When Allarie was mayor in the second half of the 1990s, Slave Lake’s paved community trail system was conceived and carried out. Allarie had a lot to do with the success of the project and council had earlier expressed the wish to name the trail system after him. That was a month or two ago.
However, it was noted at the time that town policy called for such matters to be referred to the Naming Advisory Committee, which was more or less defunct. Efforts were made to revive it, appointments were made and it held its first meeting a few weeks ago. Its recommendation on the trails: name them after Gerry Allarie, “while leaving options available for the naming of individual sections of the trails.” Howevr, the latter part did not form part of council’s motion.
As for signs indicating the new name of the trail system, that will come up in a future report for council.
Council also rubber-stamped an update of the town’s community sponsorship policy. This lays out the principles and responsibilities regarding recognition for those who make substantial contributions. An example would be a sponsor’s name on an arena, or a library.
Or the entire multi recreation centre, for that matter, which council was reminded has room for a sponsor’s name.
Water line work
Work continues on the new water line up Main St. and Tamarack Rd in the industrial area on the north end of town.
“We have one more tie-in to do before we can start filling it with water and pressure testing,” Vance reported.
The last tie-in was scheduled for last week.
“We have had requests from some of the MD. businesses for additional capacity on the Main St. North water line,” Vance added. “These have been referred to the MD.”
Regional Housing Authority – Councillor Julie Brandle reported that the RHA is “exploring possibilities,” of investing what’s left of disaster recovery money it holds on a 40-unit, affordable housing apartment building. ‘Affordable’ in this case meaning “below market rent,” she added.
Brandle said the town has offered project manager Doug Baird to help the RHA work out a scope, budget and timeline for the project.
Tri-council health – Councillor Joy McGregor said the report from the Family Care Clinic manager was that it is short-staffed due to illness and vacancies, “resulting in long wait times.”
On the plus side, three more nurse practitioners are being hired, and two or three doctors have signed contracts and are expected to start by September of this year.
Regional library board – McGregor reported some impressive numbers of participants in kids’ programs held by the library over the past year. Most were in the hundreds. The new library manager, she said, “is doing a wonderful job for us.”
Municipal Planning Commission – Councillor Brice Ferguson said the commission had reviewed two development applications at its last meeting. One was for signs for a downtown business. The other was for an industrial repair shop and storage yard. No further details were provided.
FireSmart – “We’re doing a lot of work with community engagement,” said mayor Warman. Some of that is with the community of Summerwood, which he said is being recognized in the spring by FireSmart Canada for its fuel-reduction efforts.
Some residents on Bayer Road are also very interested in such a program, Warman said.
The FireSmart group worked with the communities of Wabasca, Driftpile and Alexander First Nation last year, Warman said. More such requests for information on how to do FireSmart are coming in. Instructional materials are being developed.
The president of FireSmart Canada is coming to talk to the group, Warman said, hopefully to answer the question: “What exactly do you want from us?”
Economic Development Committee – Funding for this initiative will run out roughly at the end of this year, Warman said.
“Do we want to keep going? We need to know that.”
Warman said the group has been lobbying the provincial government for funding, but it’ll come down to the regional partners kicking in funds if they want it to continue. Along with that is the question of whether the group wants to operate the visitor information centre or contract it out.
Northern Alberta Elected Leaders – 40 mayors and reeves from the northwest part of the province would be gathering in Slave Lake on Jan. 19, Warman said, at the Legacy Centre.