Town-owned houses need reparations

“I think whoever we’re paying, we’re overpaying.” Coun. Tim Falkiner

A new roof is needed for one of the town-owned properties behind Town Hall.

Councillors were asked during the June 10 regular meeting to approve an estimated $10,000 roof replacement cost of a property at 5111 49 avenue.

They were also asked to approve approximately $8,000 to demolish a home on 5109 49 Avenue. Four homes were purchased on 49 Avenue in conjunction with a plan called the Avi Friedman Report, which planned to develop a civic square in downtown Ponoka.

Coun. Tim Falkiner wondered why these homes needed reparations. “How did the manager of these properties let these houses come to such a state of disrepair?”

He suggested that it might be better to demolish the homes rather than repair them, but acting CAO Betty Quinlan feels the renter of the first property has stated they would like to stay there for some years.

She added that the second property did not have much use left but Falkiner still took issue with how the properties are managed.

“I think whoever we’re paying, we’re overpaying,” stated Falkiner.

Quinlan said each home generates approximately $8,500 net income per year. Mayor Rick Bonnett believes there are few options for renters in Ponoka and suggested the roof of the first property be replaced to ensure people can stay in Ponoka.

Council approved both requests but amended the first request to state that staff with operations inspect the building first. Coun. Gulka asked that the inspection be conducted soon since the roof is leaking.

Greig Holdings is the company managing the town’s rental buildings and owner Ernie Anderson declined to comment on the issue.

Summer council meetings changed

Due to slower summer months council approved date changes for their regular meetings. Typically, council has one meeting per month in the summer, explained Quinlan.

Meetings set for July 22 and Aug. 12 were cancelled and the Aug. 26 meeting was rescheduled to Aug. 19. The July 8 meeting remains unchanged.

Bylaws approved

There was little discussion over two of the three new bylaws from a previous town council meeting.

Councillors approved the Storm Sewer and Storm Drainage Services bylaw and the Hydrants and Private Fire Lines bylaw with little discussion.