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.
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
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