Town of Slave Lake Council notebook

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

This week’s town council notes come second-hand. The Leader was unable to attend the June 20 meeting, so we followed up with mayor Tyler Warman and got the highlights.

Sidewalk repair contract awarded
Council accepted the recommendation from town project manager Doug Baird to award this year’s sidewalk repair contract to a company called Raiders Site Services, for $256,765. This is well under the $400,000 budgeted for the item.Providing background on the project, Baird told council the sidewalk program had been more or less dormant for the past four years. That’s why council decided to go bigger with it this year. Helping to keep costs down is the decision for town staff to supervise the project – a task that would normally be given to an engineering firm. Baird said the contract calls for the contractor to fix 46 sites around town that were identified last year. The work is expected to start on July 17 and last for 15 days, weather permitting.And there’s more:“Since the RFP was sent out, we have added another 10 sections to the list and will try to address these as well at the end of the work if the budget allows for this additional work.”The budget probably will allow for it. Mayor Warman told The Leader last week that the estimate is the added work will cost around $45,000, leaving the entire project $100,000 under budget.The idea, according to Baird’s report, is that the town hopes to use local contractors to get it done.

One of the bad spots slated for improvement in the sidewalk remediation project.

Cleaning sidewalks: onus to fall more on property owners
Council also considered a proposal to put more responsibility on property owners for keeping sidewalks clear. This only got as far as first reading and may or may not go ahead. But as proposed, it would see the town pulling back from some of the ‘designated sidewalks’ it currently maintains and saving taxpayers a few bucks.Warman, in his post-meeting summary for The Leader last week, said in some cases, the current practice isn’t really fair. For example, the loop formed by 6th St, 11th Ave and 12th  St. SE is ‘designated,’ meaning the town regularly plows or sweeps a sidewalk on one side, all the way around. “So the town does one side and the people on the other side have to shovel theirs,” he said. “That’s not really fair.”Another area that might be problematic is Main St. south of the railway tracks. The proposal is to turn responsibility for snow-clearing there over to the property owners. That would include the long stretches in front of the Travelodge and Northern Lakes College.Anticipating difficulties, councillor Brice Ferguson made a motion to notify all affected property owners for feedback before proceeding on the bylaw change. Council voted in favour of his motion. “It’ll come back in July or August,” Warman says.

Council compensation
Council unanimously approved the recommendations of the Council Compensation Committee for what the next group of elected officials should be paid. It calls for the mayor’s salary to go up from $18,000 per year to $20,000 and other councillors’ base compensation to go to $11,000 from $9,000. The per-hour compensation rate for attending committee meetings will increase from $35 to $45.

Various projects
Other town project updates, courtesy of CAO Brian Vance:Work was expected to start last week on the installation of dehumidifiers for the rec centreSewage Lift Station E was expected to be operational in late JunePreliminary design for the sewage lagoon upgrade is underwayBids are in for the regional raw waterline and pumphouse. Regional Tri-Council will discuss it this weekEngineering is in progress for the Main St. north waterline projectRequest for proposals for the paving and sidewalk work on 5th and 5th NE expected to be out by the end of this monthRepairs on the leaky roof at the water treatment plant are to go ahead soon. The leaks had been damaging electrical equipmentThe Main St. rail crossing upgrade has been approved. Approval on the Caribou Trail crossing is pending.

Lift station E: improving sewage movement in northeast Slave Lake.

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