Mayor looks back at tumultuous year

Mayor Rick Bonnett feels much has been accomplished in the last year of council.

Mayor Rick Bonnett

Mayor Rick Bonnett feels much has been accomplished in the last year of council.

He spoke Oct. 25 after council finalized its organizational meeting in what is now a tradition of what has been called a year in review.

Along with busy committees in town this past year a few others have been developed including the Utilities/Environmental committee and the downtown revitalization committee. Add to that council continues to update its strategic plan and goals to stay current with the needs of the town.

And now the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Master Plan is starting to take shape; building a new arena will come with a cost though.

“I will be very clear on that, that building design and everything that comes along with recreation has to come along with significant government grants,” said Bonnett.

He feels the town will be ready in February with a concrete plan that may help Ponoka in terms of federal grants.

Last fall the town went through some turbulent times, added Bonnett, referring to the transition to a new CAO as well as the creation of two separate fire departments.

“We got Mr. (CAO Albert) Flootman up to speed and hopefully he’s starting to get his legs underneath him,” said Bonnett.

At the end of April, after much discussion with the town and county CAOs, Bonnett said the town has since created its own standalone fire department.

January also saw the start of the town’s new recycle and waste management program and while there was some uncertainty for residents he feels the majority have settled into operations.

Also the north bridge started to take shape and in the summer it was completed during a busy Ponoka Stampede week. “We got through Stampede and opened the bridge in August.”

Other accomplishments were the second annual budget survey plus an open house for residents. “We’re at least giving people the discussion and the platform to tell us how we’re budgeting.”

Add to that the town hired a new Community Peace Officer and the town is waiting for approval from the Solicitor General to have a program under the Town of Ponoka’s umbrella.

Prior to the meeting council agreed on committee appointments and the deputy mayor schedule.

Council committees

Finance and Human Resources Coun. Teri Underhill

Finance and HR Committee Underhill/Mayor Rick Bonnett

Planning, Promotion and Economic Development Underhill

Economic Development Board Underhill/Coun. Loanna Gulka

Heritage and Downtown Revitalization Committee Underhill/Coun. Carla Prediger

Subdivision and Development Appeal Board Bonnett/Coun. Sandra Lyon

Parkland Community Planning Services AGM Underhill/Bonnett

Central Alberta Economic Partnership (CAEP) AGM Coun. Marc Yaworski/Underhill

Protection and Safety Services Yaworski/Prediger

Police Advisory Committee, Ponoka Victim Services Yaworski/Prediger

Ponoka Victim Services Yaworski/Prediger

Emergency Advisory Committee Yaworski/Prediger

Community Services Gulka/Lyon

Ponoka Jubilee Library Board Gulka/Lyon

Parkland Regional Library Board Gulka/Lyon

Fort Ostell Museum Gulka/Lyon

Recreation, Parks and Trails Prediger/Coun. Tim Falkiner

Recreation Advisory Committee Prediger/Falkiner

Ponoka Ag Events Centre Society Yaworski/Bonnett

Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association (Liaison) Bonnett/Underhill

Social and Health Services Gulka

Family and Community Support Services Board Lyon/Gulka

Rimoka Housing Foundation Prediger/Gulka

Transportation, Utilities, Cemetery and Environmental Services Bonnett

Utilities/Environmental Committee Mayor Bonnett/Coun. Lyon

Airport Development Board Coun. Underhill/Yaworski

North Red Deer River Water Services Commission Bonnett

Sub-Committees

Recreation Bonnett/Predger/Falkiner

Canada Day Underhill/Gulka

Day in the Park Prediger/Underhill

2016-17 Deputy Mayor schedule

November to December 2016 Underhill

January to February 2017 Sandra Lyon

March to April Prediger

May to June Yaworski

July to August Gulka

September to October Falkiner

 

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