One property owner wants to see some clarity in the town’s Utility Services Bylaw.
Jim Hamilton, owner of Hamilton’s IGA, questioned council on the town’s bylaw Sept. 27 during the regular meeting’s public forum.
The bylaw, which puts the responsibility of utilities — water, sewer and storm drainage — on the property owner also affects commercial property owners. Hamilton told council he is struggling with explaining to the doctors moving into his new expansion medical centre they will have to have the utilities in their name.
“I’m having it very difficult telling the doctors the Town of Ponoka can’t trust them to pay their water bills. And I have to pay it on their behalf and be involved in their operations,” said Hamilton.
He requested council reconsider the bylaw.
Town getting a new snow blower
Council approved the purchase of a snow blower.
Dave McPhee, director of operations and property services, told council that the cost is expected at $109,060 minus $20,000 to trade in the old snow blower.
“These have a life-expectancy in this part of the country about eight to 10 years,” explained McPhee of the need.
The current snow blower is 10 years old and McPhee said it is becoming too costly to operate. Last year maintenance and repair costs were $29,000 and this year it will cost $25,000, he explained.
Mayor Rick Bonnett asked if it is viable to keep the current snow blower as backup but McPhee replied that the recommended company, Industrial Machine, has a large amount of equipment in its yard.
“As long as they’re going to have another to replace this one, I’m fine,” replied Bonnett.
McPhee said there were three companies that came back with offers for a new snow blower. Industrial Machine at $109,060 with the $20,000 (making the cost at $89,000) trade in, Fort Garry Industries at $100,642 and Falcon Equipment at $94,707.
Council unanimously approved the request.
Rubber mats donation approved
A request from the Morningside Community Hall members to donate 11 specialized rubber mats was approved.
Speaking on the request was Wes Amendt, director of community services, who said the hall users asked for 11 mats, valued at $2,200, be donated to help create a walkway from the community’s skate shack to the outdoor skating rink.
Amendt said the mats came from a grant request in 2012, which helped purchase recycled tire walking mats, now on the old hospital sidewalk. He added there are 50 remaining tiles and the town has no immediate plan to use the mats.
Coun. Loanna Gulka wanted a record showing the town made a donation to the group.
For Coun. Teri Underhill there was a question of making the donation when the mats could be used somewhere else. “Do we not have an opportunity to use these tires somewhere?”
Coun. Marc Yaworski said since the town still has 39 left from the donation he did not take issue with the donation. Council approved the request with Underhill voting against it.
Committee member approved for recreation conference
Council was unanimous in its support to send a committee member to an Alberta Parks and Recreation Association conference.
Set for Oct. 20 to 23 council approved Jessica Kolar to attend the conference. For Coun. Carla Prediger it shows support of residents volunteering their time for committee work. Kolar is a member of the Parks, Recreation and Culture Committee.
“I think it shows consideration to the time volunteers give,” said Prediger.
Council approved the trip for Kolar and for Coun. Tim Falkiner to attend.
MSI funding approvals
Capital projects through the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) have been approved by the province.
The town made an application to the province to amend capital projects for civic building development, at $910,000 and for road rehabilitation, valued at $1.27 million.
Also approved is $135,000 for town hall upgrades.
Judges chosen for bridge naming
Five Ponoka residents have been chosen as judges for the naming of the new North Bridge.
Sandra Smith, communications manager, told council that local groups were called upon to nominate someone in their organization to judge the contest.
Here are the judges:
George Mackenzie nominated by the Drop In Centre.
Grade 8 student Taylee Woytowich nominated by the Ponoka Youth Centre.
Danny Lineham with the Ponoka Economic Development Board.
Alison Rowland-Klimec nominated by the Heritage and Downtown Revitalization Committee.
Sandy Allsop nominated by the Fort Ostell Museum Society.
Proclamations policy passes
Council approved the town’s proposed proclamations policy by a 4-3 vote.
CAO Albert Flootman told council proclamations are used as a way of educating residents on new events and the policy will help provide clarity to how or when proclamations are made.
Criteria for the proclamation require that an organization meet nine areas:
The sponsoring agency is a charitable organization.
The cause is one of local, provincial or national significance.
The cause is one of benefit and/or interest to the majority of the citizens of Ponoka.
The cause is consistent with and supports the values and/or mission set out in the town’s strategic plan.
The cause is an initiative of the Town of Ponoka.
Is not commercial or political in nature.
Does not involve any person or organization that promotes hatred of any person or class of persons, or otherwise involves illegal activity.
Does not commit the town to the expenditure of funds, staff time, or other resources.
Does not contain any inflammatory, obscene or libellous statements.
Coun. Tim Falkiner did not feel the policy was necessary stating he has never seen one for consideration. However, Mayor Rick Bonnett said he has seen quite a few but he has signed off on requests as there is no policy.
Bonnett added he feels this will create more work for the mayor and administration if he has to come back to council for consideration if the request is sensitive in nature. One part of the policy states that the mayor, in discussion with the CAO and other members of council may review sensitive requests.
Flootman offered that if they don’t meet the nine requirements then they won’t be considered and council would not need to make a motion for each proclamation request but just as a blanket motion.
Bonnet, Falkiner and Coun. Teri Underhill voted against the request.