Town councillors had a firsthand look at a new addition to the Ponoka Ag Event Centre Society (PAECS) website during a regular meeting Oct. 9.
Coun. Doug Gill showed some of the functions of the feature and it’s 360-degree interactive program. Found on the home page, users can click on the icon to begin their virtual tour, which begins outside in the parking lot.
He feels it is a useful tool for prospective clients. “It can be a potential marketing tool.”
“What we want to do is add to these and put in a text box or voice-over, so it tells you about what you’re looking at,” explained Gill.
Users can get close ups of certain parts of the arena, stables and barn. They can also view the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and view the floor area from the balcony.
Lift station proposals
Council was asked to make a decision on two proposals received to make Lift Station A flood proof. The station is located along the Battle River on the northeast side of Ponoka. CAO Brad Watson said both were “far in excess of budget.”
Council has a budget of $150,000 for flood proofing; Timcon Construction had a proposal of $339,695, and Pearl Rose Construction submitted a proposal of $574,350.
The option for the town is to speak with both companies to bring the price down and if they are unable to reach an agreement, will tender again in the spring.
Councillors declined both proposals and will renegotiate with the companies on the cost.
• Watson has met with three parties interested in renting hangars at Ponoka Industrial Airport, two of whom rent space at the Edmonton City Airport.
• There has been interest in land in the Hudson Green area from a company, but Watson said the offer was lower than the assessed value.
Smoke tests in town
A smoke test was recently conducted along a 25-block area near downtown Ponoka; some residents might have seen smoke emanating from some of the sanitary lines underground. The purpose was to find the reason for rainwater in the system, explained Mike Lewis, director of operations and property services.
“We were trying to locate possible misconnections in the sanitary systems. Our flow records are showing us that we’re getting too much rainwater,” said Lewis.
The storm sewer and sanitary systems are supposed to be separate but during rainfall there is an increase in water. “Within 20 minutes of rainfall the flow is almost double.”
A smoke test in the sanitary system is used to find catch basins that might be connected to the storm system. They may have inadvertently been attached to the storm system years ago. This is not uncommon for communities using an older system where both were connected, he said.
“Alberta Environment regulations years ago said, ‘No, we think you should split those two systems apart.’” Lewis explained.
A specialized nontoxic machine was used closer to the Battle River but not many catch basins and roof drains were attached to sanitary system. “Maybe next year we’ll do another 25 blocks and work our way out.”
Since not much was found Lewis feels there may be a possibility of a line break underground where the two systems are close together.
The Town of Ponoka hired a company to check the quality of the roads above and below. Lewis told councillors most of the structural integrity of the roads — the underground portion — was in a positive state. There were a few areas in need of maintenance, he noted. Lewis said he will submit a pavement management plan for councillors to consider with the data gathered from the tests. They will most likely have three 10-year scenarios at three possible budgets; $200,000, $400,000 and $600,000.