Council approves library budget proposal

During its regular meeting Sept. 24, town council accepted the Parkland Library Board proposed budget for 2013-2015.

During its regular meeting Sept. 24, town council accepted the Parkland Library Board proposed budget for 2013-2015. With total income for 2012 estimated at $3.11 million, it shows a proposed increase to $3.25 million by 2015.

Coun. Shayne Steffen said the board is not billing for the amortization of capital assets.

Coun. Rick Bonnett wondered if library use is down.

“It’s basically static,” explained Steffen, council’s library board representative.

Some of the cost expense comes from preparing and mailing the board’s agenda and they are considering emailing them, Steffen said.

“We’re looking at going to an E-agenda to save paper and mailing costs. Mailing costs last time were just about $500,” he said.

The requisition amount per capita for the Town of Ponoka and Ponoka County will be $7.28 for 2013, $7.62 for 2014, and $7.87 for 2015.

Policy changes

Council has approved minor changes to two of its policies. The first for employee health and wellness and the second for its recreation project development. Both are what CAO Brad Watson calls minor editorial changes. “They say in essence the same thing.”

The first shows the town supporting health and wellness of its employees stating, “There is a direct correlation between health promotion and productivity in the work environment.”

Employees are given free access to the recreation buildings in town such as the aquaplex, the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex, the racquetball courts and the tennis courts.

The second states the director of community services (rather than the facilities manager) will review proposed projects with the CAO and eventually present them to town council. The job of the director of community services will be to ensure all necessary building and development permits are obtained.

Schedule change

Town council usually meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. except one week in September when councillors attend the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association convention and trade show.

They move the date and change the time to give councillors time for travel, but the meeting was still advertised for a 7 p.m. The convention usually starts Tuesday morning, which is one of the reasons the last meeting was changed to Monday night at 6:30 p.m., explained executive assistant Val Somerville.

It gives councillors a chance to meet with other politicians and bring the interests of the community forward. There are also information sessions for councillors to attend.

Due to a clerical error it was advertised for 7 p.m. and Coun. John Jacobs felt it was important to start the meeting at the advertised time.

Watson said notification was given to Ponoka News and the change was announced on the town electronic sign. Mayor Larry Henkelman said council could conduct their in-camera meeting first, and Coun. Loanna Gulka suggested council could revisit items on the agenda if there was need.

Council discussed information items first and then discussed decision items on the agenda after 7 p.m.

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