Communication request confuses town council

A request to support communication with the town and Canada Post over changes to the Ponoka post office

A request to support communication with the town and Canada Post over changes to the Ponoka post office has left some councillors confused.

Councillors were asked to speak with Canada Post at their May 28 meeting over fears the post office would be closed. No decision was made as CAO Brad Watson did not believe the post office was going to be closed, yet at their June 11 meeting councillors were asked to direct administration to remain in contact with a Canada Post representative.

“I don’t understand the request for decision,” said Coun. Izak van der Westhuizen.

Mayor Larry Henkelman believes keeping up communication is a positive action. “It makes everyone aware of the possibilities.”

The main reason the item was on the agenda is that it came as a request from the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) at the last meeting, explained Watson.

“If for nothing else, it’s on the record that we’ve done what we can do,” suggested Coun. Loanna Gulka.

She feels even though council has no control over Canada Post they did show their support. “It’s a tangible action.”

Councillors approved the request.

County request for the gym club

Councillors approved a request by Ponoka County to connect town services to the planned Ponoka Gymnastics and Trampoline Club property, which is on county land.

A portion of county land was donated to the gym club in the Southwest Industrial Park but the Town of Ponoka’s policy is not to install services outside of its boundaries. The letter states if services are an issue then the county has resolved to support an application for annexation of the land.

Henkelman has an issue with allowing the services since the club’s property is on county land and annexation may not be approved. “I just do not feel we should be breaking the town policy on services outside the Town of Ponoka.”

Henkelman feels annexation first is a more prudent decision.

“Who’s paying for it is my concern,” added Coun. John Jacobs.

Coun. Rick Bonnett suggests the request is only to allow the services to be installed, not for the actual costs.

“If they’re looking to build something and it’s a hook up to (town services), it’s a win-win for us down the road,” said Bonnett.

He feels the gym club brings town and county residents together as a community.

Service installation is estimated at $125,275 but falls on the club to pay.

New mini golf operator

Wes Amendt, director of community services, announced a new operator has been found for the mini golf, in Centennial Park. “They’re in there today. The water is connected.”

He feels the opening of the splash park will help drive business to the mini golf. Van der Westhuizen asked how the contract will work with the operator.

The operator will look at a monthly rent contract for the mini golf and is willing to share her financials with the town, he explained. “Ultimately we’re happy that someone stepped forward.”

Amendt did not release the name as contracts had not yet been signed.

Protective services

The Ponoka Fire Department had to go back to 2008 to find a busier time of year. This year they had 83 calls from January to the end of May compared to 92 in 2008. The years of 2012 and 2011 had 72 and 70 calls.