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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Notes from recent Pincher Creek council meetings


Headlines:
Proposed curling rink location a concern for citizen
Ski Academy/Minor Hockey sponsorships approved
New municipal tax assessor chosen for Town
Town passes fee structure bylaw
Town updates customer contact info
MD increases joint funding contribution
MD's 2018 Capital Budget and 2019-21 Capital Plan approved
No free lunch for MD Council spouses
Megan Metheral appointed to MDSA
Mayor to take Assessment Review Board Training
Town agrees to new 5 year lease for Humane Society/SPCA
MD decides against seat at Chamber table
Napi Pow Wow to receive Town funding
MD changes Facility Committee representation
MD to ask for additional Hwy 3 Open House

Proposed curling rink location a concern for citizen

On December 11, council for the Town of Pincher Creek received as information a November 27 presentation from Tia Doell regarding the proposed location for a new Pincher Creek curling rink on the east portion of the Multi-Purpose Facility grounds. She expressed concern that a building at this location would affect the enjoyment of the park and greenspace and that the planned parking lot could be a safety concern for spray park users.  Doell said she has observed people of all ages using the green space and feels it promotes a healthy family vibe in the community. She added she is not opposed to the construction of a new curling rink, but feels that a building at this location will impact the spray park and what the parents had in mind for it. She requested that a public information meeting be held in the hope that new ideas for the rink location may come forward.

From Doell's presentation to council: "For the safety of our children, we cannot have this set up around our spray park- that is not safety conscious, when we  are talking about having children running around playing... it's not ideal between two buildings and two parking lots.  The idea that a family can come and enjoy the spray park with the younger children while older children are at the  bike/skate park or the bike pump track. The green space promotes healthy living in our community.   I believe we are putting the beautiful green space and community health and safety on the back burner when this idea is  pushed forward.  Friends and I will be putting together a petition against the proposed plan."

Mayor Don Anderberg said "Not much has been said that we're not in agreement with."  According to Anderberg the intent was to support the Curling Club's grant application, which required that a proposed location for a new rink be identified. "This is more of a concept plan... there's probably lots of input that can happen there."

"What were trying to do is get a fairy solid plan," said Anderberg.  He also said the spray park was the first significant expenditure in the town in 20 years.  "We don't change much, we haven't done a bunch."

Anderberg also said the Town has a lot of green space, and the hope is to have more in the future.  Councillor Mark Barber said the Facilities committee has discussed replacing the soccer field at the proposed site for the new curling rink with two new fields in another area of Town, but the current field behing the Multi-Purpose Facility is the preferred one for soccer.

"Work with us a little bit here, let us work through this," said Anderberg to Doell.

Livingstone Ski Academy/Minor Hockey sponsorships approved

On December 11 council for the Town of Pincher Creek accepted as information the November 27th, 2017 presentation from Mark Yagos of the Livingstone Ski Academy, and voted unanimously that Council for the Town of Pincher Creek agree to be a Silver Sponsor in the amount of $300.00.  Pincher Creek Minor Hockey and Livingstone Ski Academy will be cohosting a New Years Eve Casino fundraising event.  Jason Clifton represented the organizations to council for the MD of Pincher Creek in November.  At their December 12 meeting the MD council agreed to a $500 sponsorship of the event.

New municipal tax assessor chosen for Town

The contract for the municipal tax assessor expired on August 31, 2017. Council unanimously voted to change tax assessors. The new assessor is Kevin Lawrence.

Town passes fee structure bylaw

On Deember 11 Town Council accepted the fee structure bylaw after three readings at the regular meeting Monday, December 11 for the cost of various items including recreation fees, cemetery fees, corporate taxes, and licences. Town Recreation administration members Diane Burt-Stuckey and Adam Grose were in attendance to speak to some of the changes in recreation. Grose explained the Recreation Advisory Committee advised free swimming for children 17 and under for 2018 during open and family swims, with a reduced rate of $4.00 for adults for those time frames. "If we go ahead with this, it kind of has a ripple effect with all of our (swimming) passes." During 2017 family and open swimming was free in celebration of Canada 150. 

Other recommendations included the evenings and weekends in the arena be booked as prime time. Pickleball interest is picking up, so more places and times are being offered with a $2.00 drop-in fee. Stuckey explained how they compare to other communities for fee structures and gave stats on the facility usages.

Town of Pincher Creek updates customer contact info

The Town of Pincher Creek is updating their customer contact information. To that end, the Town is requesting that all property owners update their information via this link (click here).  The information may be used to contact you in case of an emergency.

MD increases joint funding contribution

At their October 10 regular meeting council for the MD of Pincher Creek agreed to increase their per capita contribution to Joint Funding with the Town of Pincher Creek from $30.00 to $34.13, totalling $101,200 for next year.

MD Council also agreed to Joint Funding for the following organizations for 2018:
Pincher Creek High School Rodeo Club
Pincher Creek Community Center
Oldman River Antique Equipment & Threshing Club
Pincher Creek District Citizens on Patrol
Beaver Mines Community Association
Pincher Creek Handi Bus Society
Lundbreck Gardeners Club
Pincher Creek Skating Club
Bobby Burns Fish Pond Committee
Twin Butte Community Society
Syncline Castle Trails Association
Pincher Planters
Napi Friendship Association
Allied Arts Council of Pincher Creek
Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village
Pincher Creek and District Chamber of Commerce

MD's 2018 Capital Budget and 2019-21 Capital Plan approved

At their October 10 meeting council accepted the recommendations of Director of Finance Janene Felker regarding the 2018 Capital Budget and the 2019-2021 capital plan. A total expenditure in 2018 of $2,705,100 is to be financed with $2,084,100 from Municipal capital reserves, $431,000 from provincial grants and $190,000 from the 2018 operating budget.

No free lunch for MD Council spouses

At their November 7 meeting Council for the MD of Pincher Creek agreed to Director of Finance Janene Felker's recommendation to amend Policy C-CO-001 to make it clear that the MD will not cover the cost of meals for spouses attending public events.

Megan Metheral appointed to MDSA

At their November 27 meeting Council for the Town of Pincher Creek agreed to appoint citizen Megan Metheral to the Municipal Development and Subdivision Authority for a one-year term.

Mayor to take Assessment Review Board Training

At their November 27 meetin council for the Town of Pincher Creek approved the attendance, participation and travel expenses of Mayor Don Anderberg for 2018 Assessment Review Board Member Training. Council currently has one trained Assessment Review board member, councillor Lorne Jackson. His qualification expires in 2019. Councillor Wayne Elliott was trained but his qualification expired in March of this year. The Town also has two employees qualified as Assessment Review Board Clerks. Training takes four days. There is no attendance cost but their will be travel expenses for the Mayor because the courses "are offered in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton on various date from February to May".

Town agrees to new 5 year lease for Humane Society/SPCA

After an in camera discussion at their November 14 meeting, council for the Town of Pincher Creek agreed to a new five year lease agreement for the Pincher Creek Humane Society/SPCA.

MD decides against seat at Chamber table

At their November 28 meeting council for the MD of Pincher Creek decided to not pursue the idea of having an MD representative sit on the Chamber's board, with Reeve Stevick and others citing time constraints as a primary concern.  Chamber President Sam Schofield appeared before council as a delegation at an earlier meeting.  In an email, Schofield clarified some questions council had about their participation in the Chamber.  According to Schofield, "The MD as a member of the Chamber has no obligation to attend or participate."  Schofield also said there was no current opportunity for a councillor to attend Chamber meetings. "Our bylaws state that because we have the potential to be lobbying the government on behalf of business we do not accept current councillors to sit on our board. As a request of (Town councillor) Scott Korbett this will be reviewed at our next meeting. However we would welcome an employee of the MD (similar capacity to Marie Everts) to join our board and communicate to council."  Councillor Everts spoke in favour of having an MD employee attend, and councillor Yagos suggested that a voice at the Chamber table might be helpful, but council ultimately decided to have no MD representative attend the Chamber meetings.

Council did not publicly comment on a request by Schofield in the same email to consider having the MD use the services of his company Mountain Drift Photography. "I have recently received a request from the Town to quote and design business cards. I was wondering where the MD gets this service and if there was a potential to quote for the job, being a local company and fellow member of the Chamber we encourage members to shop local."

Napi Pow Wow to receive Town funding

At their November 14meeting council for the Town of Pincher Creek agreed to a request to provide a donation to the 2018 Napi Competition Pow Wow. $375 will be funded from the community contingency grant.

MD changes Facility Committee representation

At their November 28 meetin council for the MD of Pincher Creek removed councillor Bev Everts from the Facilities Committee at her request, due to the potential for a perceived conflict of interest. Councillor Rick Lemire was appointed as her replacement and councillor Terry Yagos as Alternate.

MD to ask for additional Hwy 3 Open House

At their December 12 meeting council for the MD of Pincher Creek agreed to a recommendation by DIrector of Operations Leo Reedyk that a letter to Alberta Minister of Transportation Brian Mason "requesting an additional open house, when information is available for the portion of Highway 3 within the municipality, to brief Council and the residents of the Municipal District, as well as to provide an opportunity for input".

According to Reedyk's report to council, "As part of the study, at open house # 1 in June 2017, it was noted that 4 open houses would be held. Two open houses were held in the Crowsnest Pass to allow Councils and Residents an opportunity to provide input on the work done to date, exclusively in the Crowsnest Pass. Additional open houses have been removed from the work plan.  Information on the intersections of Highway 3 and Highways 507, 22 and 510 has not been brought forward. Council and residents have not had the opportunity to provide comments on access to the Hamlets of Lundbreck and Pincher Station, the Village of Cowley, the Landfill access, or impediments to agricultural producers who have land on both sides of the proposed highway. The study of the area from the Crowsnest Pass to Pincher Station is ongoing, and will impact residents and travellers in the area."

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