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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Pincher Creek Town Council briefs for January 22, 2018

  • Golf Club delegation airs concerns
  • Revised curling rink site plan received
  • Three monthly council meetings in future
  • Veterans Street land purchase authorized

Jonathan Skrimshire

Golf Club delegation airs concerns

Gordon McMullen, President of Pincher Creek Golf Course, and Golf Club executive member Duane Bond appeared before Pincher Creek Town Council at their meeting of January 22 to address a number of financial issues. McMullen addressed a tax dispute arising from a now terminated contract of the Club's restaurant services to a private operator. He also requested Council reimburse the Club for an equipment rental required to clear access to the facility when Town snow crews left an impassable berm of plowed snow across the street entrance following the recent heavy snowfall. The pair then discussed requirements for the repair and upgrade of the golf course irrigation system, requesting Council provide funding for the replacement of piping and equipment.

McMullen also expressed serious concerns regarding communications between the Golf Club, Council and the Town. Following an exchange between Council members and the presenters, Mayor Don Anderberg suggested they jointly explore placing a member of Council on the Club's board to facilitate better communication.

Council will respond to the Club's presentation and concerns at their next regular Council meeting, February 12. 

Revised curling rink site plan reviewed

Council received the revised site plan for the proposed new curling rink for review and comment. "It's been through the Facilities Committee and they're recommending that they like this", said Anderberg.

Discussion of the plan broke from normal Council meeting protocol with two members of the public in attendance taking active part in the exchange. The couple did not identify themselves, but it was clear from the nature of their questions that they were owners of one of the properties adjacent to the proposed site. They interjected at several points in the discussion to express concerns about noise, traffic and effects on property values.

Councillor Lorne Jackson acknowledged the couple's questions regarding noise from the ice plant. "Your concern is well noted. Perhaps the placement of where the ice plant might go is something we could look at."

Councillor Mark Barber spoke briefly to their concern about the effect of the development on property values. "It will increase property values because we'll have a brand new curling rink in town", he said. "Possibly, not proceeding with a new curling rink might diminish property values."

Responding to a question from the couple about ownership of the proposed facility, Anderberg explained that the existing curling rink building is owned and operated by the Curling Club but is sited on land leased from the Town. "We haven't figured out the ownership model yet of the new one", he said. "It could be the same, or the Town may own it and lease it back. We haven't got that nailed down yet."

The couple expressed particular concern about public input into the siting decision. "That's why we're here", the woman said, asking when a public session was to take place. "Our main concern is the timing, that we didn't miss out on the time for public input", the man said. "That's down the road yet?", he asked.

Anderberg sought to reassure them that an opportunity would be forthcoming. "There's a lot of work been done here, but no decision has been made yet. And before any decision is made we'll have a public consultation meeting", he said. "We haven't set a time for that yet. And I'm not sure we're going to set one tonight either."

Anderberg later spoke briefly to the reasons for delay. "We want to do it a little further down the road. [...] People are going to ask: What does the viewing area look like? What does the lobby look like? We kinda want to get to that stage. And we have to get to that stage anyway, whether that building is here or somewhere else." Barber appeared in alignment on the matter. "We want to make sure we have a full package together before we make a formal presentation on this to the public", he said.

In response to Anderberg's request for further comments from Council, Councillor Scott Korbett stated that "One of the biggest things I've heard as a Councillor from citizens is that there is no way this can be a stand-alone building. It cannot just be a curling rink. It's got to be a multi-use facility, however it gets done."

Councillor Sussanne O'Rourke reiterated her opposition to siting the structure on the Multi-Purpose Facility grounds. "I'm still not with this being downtown - either the arena or the curling rink", she said. Jackson disagreed with her position. "We had a seventy thousand dollar study that said keep the curling rink and the arena downtown. It's a focal point in the community and it brings people into your downtown area", he said. "I don't see how the downtown benefits from it though", O'Rourke replied.

Anderberg summed up his position on the revised site plan. "It's refined to the point where this is probably doable [...] It could fit on the site reasonably. The traffic situation is probably okay [...] It addresses the [concerns raised by the citizen] delegations that were heard here - traffic, spray park issues - and it probably shouldn't impact the neighbours negatively."

Council concluded their discussion with a motion to accept the revised curling rink site plan, dated January 16, as information. No further direction was issued to the Facilities Planning Steering Committee.

Three monthly council meetings in future


Following discussions spanning several months, Council has agreed to upgrade the Committee of the Whole meeting, held on the first Wednesday of each month, to a third regular meeting of Council. Commencing in March there will be three regularly scheduled Council meetings each month - two in the evening and one in the morning. Council passed two motions (full text below) to initiate the required changes to bylaws. The bylaw changes will be addressed at Council's next meeting, February 12.

MOTION 18-023 "That Council for the Town of Pincher Creek direct administration to prepare and present, in accordance with Municipal Government Act section 191(1), a bylaw to repeal the Committee of the Whole Bylaw No. 1608-13 at the next regular Town Council meeting."

MOTION 18-024 "That Council for the Town of Pincher Creek direct administration to prepare and present a revised Procedural Bylaw to change the Committee of the Whole meeting to a Regular Council meeting."

Veterans Street land purchase authorized


Following an in camera discussion, Council authorized the expenditure of up to $125,000 for the purchase of a land parcel, designated Plan 1410447, Block 1, Lot 8, required to accommodate the completion of an intersection under construction as part of the ongoing Veterans Street local improvement.

Related stories

Revised Pincher Creek curling rink site plan drawing released 

Recreation Advisory Board reviews revised Pincher Creek curling rink site plan

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