The following are brief items of interest from the town council’s regular meeting Sept. 10. Coun. Teri Underhill was absent.
Civic centre parking lot and trail development
Town council accepted as information, without any discussion, the report from administration advising the awarding of a contract to construct the Ponoka Civic Centre’s parking lot and trail development to DB Bobcat Services in Lacombe for $261,000 (not including GST).
The project includes constructing a parking lot of the civic centre on the east side of 50 St. and additional trails to the Town of Ponoka Trail Network.
The town felt the current parking available is insufficient for future needs once the Campus Alberta Central is fully operational.
At the Aug. 13 regular meeting, CAO Albert Flootman had asked council to waive the town’s purchasing policy’s procedure based on tendering deadlines in the case of three projects: the civic centre, trail improvements and the southwest industrial park road reconstruction project.
The town’s current purchasing policy states that council must approve capital expenditures over $100,000 or greater for goods and services and $250,000 or greater for construction.
The earliest administration could have brought the items before council would have been Sept. 10, which would be late in the season to start the work, says Flootman.
The civic centre parking lot and trail improvements were tendered together and closed on Aug. 15.
Rather than opening up the purchasing policy then, administration asked council to waive the purchasing policy in the case of the three projects.
The policy was changed in 2015 based on concerns at the time, says Bonnett, adding the only other option was to a call a special meeting in order to get construction started. All three projects were budgeted items.
All councillors voted on Aug. 13 to waive the purchasing policy for the three projects.
Southwest Industrial Road Reconstruction
Council received as information that the contract for the Southwest Industrial Road Reconstruction at 64 St. was awarded to TBL Construction Ltd. in Red Deer.
The contract is for $375,000 for work in 2019 with a possible extension of work in the remaining contract price of $233,259 for work in 2020.
Three bids were received and TBL was the low bid.
Proposed partial road closure
To make it possible for Ponoka Fertilizer to potentially purchase and develop a portion of road adjacent to their current location, Ponoka town council passed a motion to declare the land as surplus to the town’s needs, and a second motion to allow administration to have the land appraised.
Once the market value of the land is determined, the town can then sell the land to Ponoka Fertilizer.
Ponoka Fertilizer plans to fence off the area and use it as storage.
Council voted to proclaim Oct. 1 International Day of Older Persons and Oct. 6 as World Cerebral Palsy Day.
Public hearing date change
The public hearing for the land use bylaw for the Calnash Ag Event Centre will be held on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m.
Business awards sponsorship
Council approved a contribution of $600 from the Legislative Administration Promotions budget to the 2019 Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce Business Awards Gala event as a platinum sponsor.
2020 municipal intern
After some discussion, town council directed administration to apply to Municipal Affairs for a finance intern for 2020 and approve budget funding for the amount of $27,000 to cover the town’s portion of that cost.
Coun. Kevin Ferguson spoke in support of the intern program, saying he believed that regardless of retention, the town derives a benefit from having an intern.
All councillors voted in favour of the motion.