(File photo)

(File photo)

Ponoka town council reviewing problematic road after disallowed petition

The Town of Ponoka council received a community petition regarding a problematic section of road during their June 21 meeting.

Community members presented the petition to the town’s chief administrative officer (CAO) on June 1 requesting that 46 Avenue between 65 Street and 67 Street be paved.

“It is up to the Town of Ponoka to ensure the safety of all citizens who drive on their roadways,” stated the petitioner in the document submitted to council.

“In Ponoka, 46 Avenue is an absolute disaster to drive on after every winter or every rain fall.”

The document further states that grading or adding gravel is insufficient to keep the road safe and as a major industrial road it should be a priority.

While CAO Sandra Lund did bring the petition to council for their information, she did note multiple problems with the document.

First, according to the Municipal Government Act (MGA), the document which guides all municipal decisions stipulates that only electors can sign a petition destined for the municipality and the submitted petition had signatures from people living outside of the community on it.

Second, the MGA requires 10 per cent of a municipality to sign a petition in order for it to be sufficient and the provided document only had 209 eligible signatures. Based on Ponoka’s population of 7,326, the petition would have required at least 732 signatures to be valid.

Third, under the MGA, a petition is required to collect all the demographic information of a signatory as well as have a spot for a witness to sign, which the petition was missing.

Based on these reasons, Lund determined that the petition was insufficient and that council was not required to do anything with it.

However, according to Town of Ponoka communications officer Sandra Smith this petition is not the first time council has received feedback about this particular section of road and regardless of the status of the petition, the “town is reviewing the matter.”

Director of emergency management

The Town of Ponoka has a new director of emergency management (DEM).

Because the position was previously held by a town staff member unable to fulfill the requirements of the position due to other duties, administration recommended the appointment of Donna Tona to the position.

Tona is a consultant who specializes in emergency management.

Having a DEM is a requirement under the MGA and the position is responsible for establishing the Emergency Coordination Centre and overseeing its operations while providing support to incident commanders and first responders in the field.

The recommendation was carried.

Bylaw officer

Ponoka’s new Community Peace Officer (CPO) has been granted additional powers.

In the June 21 meeting, council approved the appointment of Wesley Allison as Bylaw Enforcement Officer for the municipality.

This appointment will allow him to serve the community until the Town of Ponoka’s application to the Solicitor General for Wesley to provide full CPO services is approved.

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