Council to review business hours bylaw comments

Information from the Coffee With Council session was not on town council’s agenda last week Mayor Larry Henkelman said

Information from the Coffee With Council session was not on town council’s agenda last week Mayor Larry Henkelman said during the regular meeting Jan. 22. Feedback from the meeting is still coming in.

“We wanted to make sure that all council has had a good opportunity to review the minutes that were taken at that public meeting and also there still seems to be feedback coming…Rather than make a rapid decision, we’d like to discuss it as a whole.”

Coun. John Jacobs was unable to attend the council meeting.

Councillors will discuss it during their committee of the whole meeting to see, “whether we need to make some amendments to the bylaw, and there were certainly some good comments that came out from some of the businesses and the citizens,” Henkelman explained.

Gold Eagle business application denied

An application from Gold Eagle to develop a bar at the former location of Fountain Tire on Highway 2A has been denied by town administration.

“The notice of refusal was issued Jan. 16 because there were 74 objections received,” said CAO Brad Watson.

Bob Rechlo has until Jan. 31 to appeal. He also applied to locate on Chipman Avenue but businesses on the street opposed that application.

Administration has suggested other locations to Rechlo but Watson believes he wants to own his building rather than rent.

Increase to Rimoka requisition

Councillors were told the Rimoka Housing Foundation requisition will see an increase of five per cent this year, said Henkelman. “The town’s portion of that will go from $84,670 to $89,803.”

There was some discussion from the foundation to the Bethany Group that manages Rimoka, the mayor said but it was explained to the board that lodge assistance programming grants from the provincial government have dropped in recent years; $562,836 in 2011 compared to $426,000 budgeted for 2013. “That was the big change.”

Many of the costs to residents at Reid Manor have stayed relatively low but it has created a gap in how much residents at other locations are paying. Residents at Reid Manor pay approximately $575 a month while the Bethany Group recommends $975 a month, said Henkelman.

He feels Ponoka County is getting hit with the lion’s share of the requisition. “The county’s contribution to this is $300,000.”

Cutting night security at Reid Manor is also being considered to help with budget.

Replacing arena speakers

The speakers at the Ponoka and Culture Recreation Complex will be replaced at a cost of $3,000 as they work only intermittently, explained Watson.

Coun. Izak van der Westhuizen suggested they consider updating the entire sound system as he feels it is out of date and users must access music, mike and amplifier at the same time. “Maybe an integration of some kind.”

Score clock plans

Ponoka Minor Hockey (PMH) is considering updating the score clock at the arena and has a first proposal of $150,000 to the town for the “Mercedes Benz” of score clocks, said Watson. Wes Amendt, director of community services, has given the proposal back to PMH for reconsideration.

Henkelman asked if there is an opportunity for corporate sponsorship. Watson said companies are going away from this policy as it can restrict what can be sold in the building. An example used was if a company such as Coca-Cola was a sponsor then only its products could be sold in the building.

Thousands attended ag event centre

A conservative estimate of people who attended events at the ag event centre in 2012 suggests more than 11,000 people came to Ponoka, explained Sarah Olson, director of economic development.

She received the information from general manager Chas Lambert and believes it is a conservative estimate as it is difficult to track. “The average per event was about 176 individuals who come into the community.”

Sixty-four events were logged in 52 weeks.

Good deal on a truck

Councillors budgeted $160,000 for a new boom truck for the electrical department but Mike Lewis, director of operations and property services said they were able to purchase one for just $149,200. It was the lowest of three bids received. “The foreman believes we got the best truck of them all.”

New streetlights

The electrical department has also installed street lighting in the back alley behind the Leland Hotel, said Lewis. Additional lights have been ordered for installation on a portion of 39 Avenue eastbound of Highway 2A.

Mayor Henkelman wondered about lights lit up in the southwest industrial park. “There’s nothing out there. Do they have to remain on all the time?”

Lewis said there “are two schools of thought there.” Some say to turn them on right away whether or not there are any buildings in the area and some wait until there is development, he explained.

“What we’ve found in other municipalities if we don’t turn those on when they’re installed it becomes a high crime area,” said Lewis.

He believes the cost is negligible compared to the safety factor.

More PAECS meetings

It was a busy week for Coun. Doug Gill, who is also the president of the Ponoka Ag Event Centre Society.

The board had meetings Jan. 16 and 18 and one more meeting with the auditor. “And following that we had a special meeting and that went from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.”

“The audit looks good. The budget did balance for the first year,” he added. “In the first year of operations (GM Chas Lambert) is to be commended because he did make money.”

Despite being in the black, Gill feels assistance might still be needed from the four partners — Ponoka County, the Town of Ponoka, the Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association and the Ponoka Agricultural Society. “Just to give them some operating room.”

New appointment

Town councillors have appointed Dennis Jones to the economic development board for a one-year term expiring Dec. 31 2013.

Library board appointment

Councillors also appointed Diane Laflamme-Betteridge to the library board for a three-year term expiring Dec. 31 2015.

Coun. Shayne Steffen said there were two applicants for the position and the library board did not make the decision lightly. “I look forward to working with her.”

 during the regular meeting Jan. 22. Feedback from the meeting is still coming in.

“We wanted to make sure that all council has had a good opportunity to review the minutes that were taken at that public meeting and also there still seems to be feedback coming…Rather than make a rapid decision, we’d like to discuss it as a whole.”

Coun. John Jacobs was unable to attend the council meeting.

Councillors will discuss it during their committee of the whole meeting to see, “whether we need to make some amendments to the bylaw, and there were certainly some good comments that came out from some of the businesses and the citizens,” Henkelman explained.

Gold Eagle business application denied

An application from Gold Eagle to develop a bar at the former location of Fountain Tire on Highway 2A has been denied by town administration.

“The notice of refusal was issued Jan. 16 because there were 74 objections received,” said CAO Brad Watson.

Bob Rechlo has until Jan. 31 to appeal. He also applied to locate on Chipman Avenue but businesses on the street opposed that application.

Administration has suggested other locations to Rechlo but Watson believes he wants to own his building rather than rent.

Increase to Rimoka requisition

Councillors were told the Rimoka Housing Foundation requisition will see an increase of five per cent this year, said Henkelman. “The town’s portion of that will go from $84,670 to $89,803.”

There was some discussion from the foundation to the Bethany Group that manages Rimoka, the mayor said but it was explained to the board that lodge assistance programming grants from the provincial government have dropped in recent years; $562,836 in 2011 compared to $426,000 budgeted for 2013. “That was the big change.”

Many of the costs to residents at Reid Manor have stayed relatively low but it has created a gap in how much residents at other locations are paying. Residents at Reid Manor pay approximately $575 a month while the Bethany Group recommends $975 a month, said Henkelman.

He feels Ponoka County is getting hit with the lion’s share of the requisition. “The county’s contribution to this is $300,000.”

Cutting night security at Reid Manor is also being considered to help with budget.

Replacing arena speakers

The speakers at the Ponoka and Culture Recreation Complex will be replaced at a cost of $3,000 as they work only intermittently, explained Watson.

Coun. Izak van der Westhuizen suggested they consider updating the entire sound system as he feels it is out of date and users must access music, mike and amplifier at the same time. “Maybe an integration of some kind.”

Score clock plans

Ponoka Minor Hockey (PMH) is considering updating the score clock at the arena and has a first proposal of $150,000 to the town for the “Mercedes Benz” of score clocks, said Watson. Wes Amendt, director of community services, has given the proposal back to PMH for reconsideration.

Henkelman asked if there is an opportunity for corporate sponsorship. Watson said companies are going away from this policy as it can restrict what can be sold in the building. An example used was if a company such as Coca-Cola was a sponsor then only its products could be sold in the building.

Thousands attended ag event centre

A conservative estimate of people who attended events at the ag event centre in 2012 suggests more than 11,000 people came to Ponoka, explained Sarah Olson, director of economic development.

She received the information from general manager Chas Lambert and believes it is a conservative estimate as it is difficult to track. “The average per event was about 176 individuals who come into the community.”

Sixty-four events were logged in 52 weeks.

Good deal on a truck

Councillors budgeted $160,000 for a new boom truck for the electrical department but Mike Lewis, director of operations and property services said they were able to purchase one for just $149,200. It was the lowest of three bids received. “The foreman believes we got the best truck of them all.”

New streetlights

The electrical department has also installed street lighting in the back alley behind the Leland Hotel, said Lewis. Additional lights have been ordered for installation on a portion of 39 Avenue eastbound of Highway 2A.

Mayor Henkelman wondered about lights lit up in the southwest industrial park. “There’s nothing out there. Do they have to remain on all the time?”

Lewis said there “are two schools of thought there.” Some say to turn them on right away whether or not there are any buildings in the area and some wait until there is development, he explained.

“What we’ve found in other municipalities if we don’t turn those on when they’re installed it becomes a high crime area,” said Lewis.

He believes the cost is negligible compared to the safety factor.

More PAECS meetings

It was a busy week for Coun. Doug Gill, who is also the president of the Ponoka Ag Event Centre Society.

The board had meetings Jan. 16 and 18 and one more meeting with the auditor. “And following that we had a special meeting and that went from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.”

“The audit looks good. The budget did balance for the first year,” he added. “In the first year of operations (GM Chas Lambert) is to be commended because he did make money.”

Despite being in the black, Gill feels assistance might still be needed from the four partners — Ponoka County, the Town of Ponoka, the Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association and the Ponoka Agricultural Society. “Just to give them some operating room.”

New appointment

Town councillors have appointed Dennis Jones to the economic development board for a one-year term expiring Dec. 31 2013.

Library board appointment

Councillors also appointed Diane Laflamme-Betteridge to the library board for a three-year term expiring Dec. 31 2015.

Coun. Shayne Steffen said there were two applicants for the position and the library board did not make the decision lightly. “I look forward to working with her.”