Gym Club requests town assist with service installation costs

Although construction hasn’t yet started for the gym club’s new building, discussion on funding for the provision of basic services

Although construction hasn’t yet started for the gym club’s new building, discussion on funding for the provision of basic services to the building is already underway.

The estimated cost to install services for the building last year was $125,000 and the Ponoka Gymnastics and Trampoline Club is looking for assistance from town council.

But that estimate was given before the proposed location of the building was changed to the south corner of a lot provided by Ponoka County last year. Originally the building was intended for the north portion of a four-acre property donated by the county in the southwest industrial area, a spot seen to be too close to a heavy industrial area.

“It’s a last ditch effort to see if we can be hooked up to the town’s sewer and water,” said club president Faron Leclerc at a council meeting Nov. 12, “to pay for it at least help pay for it.”

Coun. Mark Yaworski asked how much the installation is expected to cost. CAO Brad Watson replied the original estimate last year expected the cost at approximately $125,000. He said a proper study has not yet been conducted on the land to determine what the actual cost will be. “We would need that first.”

“Once we know where the building is going to be located, we can do all the measurements,” explained Watson.

Leclerc said construction has not yet started but that he hoped it would begin next month. “All the plans and permits are in place.”

“The actual spot is not surveyed for the building,” he added. “But the contractor will be probably doing that right away.”

No decisions were made at the meeting.

“We have to deliberate at budget time,” said Mayor Rick Bonnett.

$80,000 added to Hudson’s Green storm extension

A 2012 project at the Hudson’s Green Nature and Activity Centre — to allow proper storm water drainage in the area — is in need of additional funds.

Administration budgeted $116,000 for the project and so far $5,000 has been spent, said Watson. Tenders sent to the Town of Ponoka last year were submitted in excess of $300,000.

Since Cat Brothers Oilfield Construction was already doing some work in the community the town successfully dropped Cat Brothers’ tender to $180,000.

When asked by Bonnett why the original tender was so high, Watson replied. “It was also a peak period for them (Cat Brothers).”

Council approved the request for another $80,000 to come from the Federal Gas Tax Grant with the extra $11,000 to be saved in case of any construction issues.

“We hope that it comes in under that,” said Betty Quinlan, director of corporate services.

The project is intended to drain water away from residential areas into a field near the Hudson Green property. Watson feels the project will be completed before the New Year.

Nick Kohlman will speak on 38 Street

Council has granted Nick Kohlman’s request to speak on 38 Street at the next session.

After Gulka and Bonnett left the meeting over conflict of interest, as they both live on the street, Falkiner stood in as deputy mayor and council discussed the merits of meeting with Kohlman.

Watson said the last council already denied the town’s offer to pay residents on the street and he did not want to touch the file. He told council it will take some time to get all the details. “This isn’t something that you learn in an hour.”

“This isn’t something you do in one meeting. It’ll take hours,” he added.

Council wants to see more information on the issue but invited Kohlman to meet with council during a public meeting Nov. 26.

Town’s finances appear stable

A quarterly report to council shows the Town of Ponoka’s revenue and expenditures are tracking well, explained Quinlan. “I find this organization to be extremely stable.”

The statements show numbers until the end of September and while there is a projected surplus of $825,000, that number may drop.

“That typically shrinks as we go to the end of the year,” she said.

There has been $10.5 million in expenditures year-to-date with $14.6 million budgeted; last year the town had spent $10 million by this time of the year. Expenditures show $8.9 million with $13.4 million budgeted by the end of the year.

Of the $14 million budget Quinlan believes the town spends approximately $4 million on wages and benefits.

There are 73 capital projects for the Town of Ponoka, 37 are new and 36 are carry forward. The 2013 capital budget is $6.6 million and only $1.7 million has been spent. Quinlan said she expects to see invoices come in soon as projects are just finishing up. Invoices are usually sent to the town in November and December, she explained.

Board appointments

After little discussion councillors have made three new board appointments. Tamara Armitage-Cline was appointed to the Ponoka Jubilee Library Board for a three-year term starting Nov. 1, 2013 to Oct. 31, 2016.

Danny Lineham has been reappointed for a one-year term to the Economic Development Board. He was initially appointed to fulfill the remainder of one term for a member who retired last year.

Justin Graham has also been appointed to the Economic Development Board for a oneyear term from November 2013 to October 2014. Members who are appointed to the board for the first time are expected to serve a one-year term.  Thereafter, the terms are two years for the second term and three years for the third.

In-camera

Council had only one in-camera discussion for a land matter. After the session, council approved additional funds of $70,000 be put into the Cemetery Expansion Project. Money will come from the development reserve.