Town of Ponoka council approved the purchase of a new Zamboni valued at $120,000. Delivery is expected in six to nine months. Photo from Zamboni website

Ponoka council approves new Zamboni purchase

Delivery of the $120,000 machine is expected in six to nine months

Council approved the purchase of a new Zamboni valued at $120,000.

The request for purchase came April 10 during the regular meeting of town council with two options available. One option was the Zamboni Model 526 from Industrial Machine with a delivery date of six to nine months from now. The other option was an Olympia Model H from Big Hill Services with a price of $119,000 with delivery for one year to 13 months.

Both prices are before GST.

Wes Amendt, director of community services, said that staff are more familiar with the Zamboni model and that the purchase is part of the town’s 10-year capital plan.

With this purchase, the town will replace the 1999 Zamboni, which is mainly used for the outside rink. The current 2009 Zamboni will then move to flood the outdoor rink while the new one will take over arena flooding, said Amendt.

“If an Olympia is purchased the operators would have to learn two different systems as we will have two different machines in use,” added Amendt.

Coun. Teri Underhill asked about the potential of leasing.

Amendt pointed out that it’s about $36,000 a year for a 60-month lease but it becomes an operating expense as opposed to a capital purchase. Council voted in favour of the Zamboni.

Speeding issues on Highway 53

Town residents who live on the west end of town — on the annexed land — on Highway 53 hope to see a speed limit reduction.

Randy and Carol Hoffman spoke during council’s public forum asking to see the 100 km/h limit reduced.

“We’re requesting a moderate speed reduction on this road, approximately 80 km/h,” said Mr. Hoffman.

He also asked about placing the town’s engine retarder brakes restriction sign to be closer to the corporate limits. Mr. Hoffman pointed out that they and their neighbours enjoyed seeing the reduction in noise when there was construction in that area.

CAO Albert Flootman said he would like to meet with the Hoffmans and says it’s an issue town planners are grappling with.

“You do have to understand that this is a provincial highway,” added Flootman, explaining that minister approval is needed to make the change.

No decisions were made from the request but Flootman did speak with the Hoffmans after the meeting.

Notices motion

Mayor Rick Bonnett made two notices of motion to administration.

The first was for the Ponoka Golf Club, which would like to see a tax break on its lands. The ask, said Bonnett, is to split the commercial side of things from the golf property.

He said the club asks that a recreation or agricultural rate be approved for that split. In 2008 when the land was annexed to the town, the club was told that there would be no increase in taxes, said Bonnett, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

His second notice of motion relates to looking at councillor remuneration.

Bonnett said other Alberta councils — including Edmonton and Calgary — have been given a raise but Ponoka’s hasn’t. He also wants severance for councillors who’ve worked more than six years.

Elected officials’ salaries are no longer tax-free, and Bonnett would like to see them increase to make up for the difference.

He spoke on this issue after being re-elected saying he feels paying councillors appropriately will bring qualified candidates to the table.

Deputy Mayor Ted Dillon officiated the meeting as part of council’s succession planning.

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