M.D. of Lesser Slave River Council notebook

Oct. 28, 2020 meeting

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Fire chief checks in

Council received a status report from regional fire chief Alex Pavcek. The service had received 413 calls in 2020 “as of today,” he told them, which was about 40 per month on average. In other words, another busy year on the heels of a record-breaking 2019. A lot lately had been “alarm and medical-type calls,” Pavcek said.
Halls 2 and 5 continue to be low in volunteer numbers, Pavcek continued. These are Widewater and Mitsue.
“We’re surviving,” he said, “but it’s very tough.”
Also tough is having to cancel “all the fun things,” Pavcek added, due to COVID.
Councillor Brad Pearson made a point of thanking the chief for the job the department does.
“No matter where we go, we’re going to be looked after,” he said.

Board reports

Slave Lake & District Chamber of Commerce
Councillor Darcie Acton reported on what she’d talked about on behalf of the M.D. at the most recent Chamber meeting. The topics included “our recruitment success for the CAO position,” for which she provided no details.
Other topics: the M.D.’s lobby on behalf of the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation and highway infrastructure. Here she did have some details: “I hear the province has awarded a contract for paving (Hwy. 2) from Hwy. 88 to the new pavement in Big Lakes County. None of it is verified.”
On the BCBC, Acton said the High Prairie School Division board is interested in joining the lobby to keep it open in winter; so is the Chamber, she added.

Lesser Slave Regional Housing
Councillor Pearson said the board approved the CAO (Lindsay Pratt) for another year. Still no cases of COVID in the lodge, he said, and – more good news for the M.D. “no requisition increase is expected.”
On the other hand, revenue is down, because a dozen or so rooms are vacant.
The board is considering what to do with four houses the authority owns in Smith. Lease to own has been proposed, Pearson said.

Legacy Corporation
Reeve Kerik reported that the Wildfire Legacy Corporation (which oversees the Legacy Centre) has a new board member by the name of Brandy Bolianatz. On the budget, Kerik said it is “close to the projected deficit,” in spite of so few bookings due to COVID.
“It didn’t skyrocket out of sight,” he said, as some had apparently feared.

Meeting the MLA
An Oct. 23 meeting with Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn went fairly well, as characterized by Acton and Kerik. Acton said a group out of Athabasca fighting to keep three provincial park areas open presented the MLA with a 1,700-signature petition, which was to be “tabled in the Legislature tomorrow.”
Kerik: “We did refresh his memory. We expressed our disappointment (about the closure of the Boreal Centre in winter). Hopefully some common sense pokes its head up there.”
Acton: “Our MLA did assure us he is going to do his best.”
Kerik: “Cross your fingers.”

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