Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pincher Creek Town Council notes from May 26, 2014 meeting

Toni Lucas, Pincher Creek Voice

Council for the Town of Pincher Creek met on the evening of Monday, May 26, 2014. In attendance were Mayor Don Anderberg and councillors Adrian Hartman, Mark Barber, Tammy Rubbelke, Lorne Jackson, and Doug Thornton. CFO Wendy Catonio and Operations Manager Al Roth were also in attendance. Councillor Wayne Elliott was not in attendance.

Council for the Town of Pincher Creek agreed to support the McMan Agency's proposal to operate the Pincher Creek Food Bank.  Click here for the full story.

The Lebel Mansion is in the process of being re-designated as a Municipal Historic Resource.  Click here for the full story.

Citizen airs sidewalk issues

Kevin Webster appeared before council with sidewalk concerns. He owns a property on Kettles Street, approximately one block from Matthew Halton High School. Webster has concerns about an two sections of sidewalk in front of his property, one replaced about 6 years ago by the town of Pincher Creek and the older an adjacent area that he says cracked since the newer installation happened, with both causing safety issues. His other issue is that he plans to put in an driveway where the older area of sidewalk is located. He said it  has been cracked as a result of  frost damage since the repair.

Webster said that when the Town of Pincher Creek replaced the one section of sidewalk and curb the road surface was not repaired, allowing water to drain under the surface of the road. Webster said he has brought this to the attention of town administration repeatedly over the years when road repairs were being done elsewhere in town.

He said that due to the road surface damage and water drainage he believes that is what is causing extreme frost heaving during the winter and spring. He  had photos that illustrated cracking of the sidewalk in the replaced area, and in an adjacent 20 feet of sidewalk. The photos showed how water pools and sits on the sidewalk without draining from the newer area of the sidewalk, and showed how the heights of the two sidewalk surfaces do not match, causing a possible tripping hazard. In his document presentation Webster stated "While Town Bylaws put responsibility on the homeowner to keep the sidewalk clear of snow and ice, the homeowner cannot be held responsible for a situation caused by an incorrect installation of a sidewalk carried out on town property under contract by the Town of Pincher Creek." Webster said that he is concerned about safety, living so close to the school. "I don't need kids falling outside of my house, getting hurt." He added "I've gone down hard there a couple of times, myself," because of water that pooled then froze on the sidewalk.

Webster said that both the previously replaced section and the extended cracked section of the sidewalk and curb need to be replaced, and the roadway repaired and sealed. He proposed a cost sharing plan to the council. He wants to put in a driveway through the older area of the sidewalk, but is concerned  the damage that has happened in that section could possibly occur again with his driveway. He would like to see both areas of the sidewalk replaced at the same time, when he installs his driveway.

Webster was the second of two delegations that appeared before Council on the 26. The first was Eric Davies, who spoke to a retaining wall issue on Dundas Street.

Council listened to the information from both delegations and council said that they would discuss both issues at a meeting of the Committee of the Whole on June 4.

Sewage issue to be reviewed in June by Town Council

On March 24, 2014 Pincher Creek business owner Celeste Fouillard appeared before council for the Town of Pincher Creek and requested compensation for a sewer line back up that affected her Kettles Street business, Celestial Sweets, on October 28, 2013.

Town Operations Manager Al Roth was on hand to answer a lot of questions about the incident. Roth reported to council that sewage did in fact flood the basement of the building, and that there was no one else on the block that reported sewage issues. According to Roth there were no other buildings that would be using that part of the sewage line at the time of the incident.

Roth said he believed that there is no documented history of previous sewer line issues at the location. Town Operations had Roto-Rooter do a camera inspection of the main line that revealed no deficiencies or cause for the backup. Roth said an inspection of the service line indicated some grease build up from the property to the connection with the main sewer. There was a blockage that affected the main line, but it is unclear what the blockage was, where exactly it happened, or how it was caused. Damages to the business were estimated by the owner to be approximately $32,000. Fouillard holds insurance but says that her insurance company told her that this incident will not be covered by them.

Council members in attendance decided to review the documentation from the town's insurance company and bring the issue back to the council meeting scheduled for June 9.

Press to be invited to Elected Officials Meeting

Council voted to allow a sum of up to $2,000 to be allotted for the upcoming Elected Officials Meeting, and to invite local press to attend. Participating districts and municipalities take turns hosting a regional Elected Officials Meeting. Participating partners include the Regional District of East Kootenay, the District of Elkford, the District of Sparwood, the City of Fernie, the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass, the Municipal District of Pincher Creek, and the Town of Pincher Creek.

The event is scheduled to be held in Pincher Creek on September 11, 2014 at the Heritage Inn.

Fee Structure Bylaw 1584-14 given first reading

Council gave first reading to Fee Structure Bylaw 1584-14. This bylaw outlines the fees to use the recreational facilities owned by the town of Pincher Creek.

Other fees included within the document include taxes and assessments, business licenses, dog licenses, cemetery rates, and operational service fees including equipment service fees, water meter installation fees, garbage and sewer fees.

First reading passed unanimously.

Contract with Superior Safety Codes Inc. extended

Council voted to approve a three year contract extension between the Town of Pincher Creek and Superior Safety Codes Inc. to provide building permit and inspection services. This extension is to start June 1, 2014 and run until May 31, 2017.

Town donates to Wear the Gear Program

Council voted to donate $250.00 to the 'Wear the Gear' program, a joint initiative that has local RCMP, Emergency Services staff and Town of Pincher Creek Bylaw Officers giving tickets to children wearing safety equipment while using bicycles, skates, skateboards and other non-motorized wheels devices, including wearing their helmets. The funding is to be used to buy prizes for the winners, to be drawn for on June 19.

Related story:  Wearing your helmet could help you win a bike

Letter of inquiry sent to Provincial government

A letter from MLA Jeff Wilson Wildrose Municipal Affairs Critic informed Town Council that the agreements for two major federal grants have not been finalized on the Provincial level: The New Building Canada Fund and the new Federal Gas Tax Fund.

Council directed administration to send a letter of inquiry to the Government of Alberta as to the status of the funds.

Dandelion issues discussed

Councillor Mark Barber said that he has been approached by citizens concerned or curious about the policy for dandelions on Town-owned properties.

Operations Al Roth was on hand to answer questions from council. "We definitely have a policy at the operations department, we actively budget, and try our best to control dandelions. In this particular circumstance, I would appreciate it if people become aware of the Citizens Request Program. I need dates, times, and exact locations. A lot of people assume that it is public property, but it may not be 'our' public property, or it could actually be private property. I would really appreciate it if circumstances have details to it, then I can address it appropriately."

There was some discussion among the councillors about weeds, and the use of herbicides. "Under the Province, we are mandated to control noxious weeds," said Roth. "Dandelions are not under the noxious weed criteria. We actually go above and beyond that, and actively control dandelions."

To access the Town's Citizens Request Program click here.

In camera from May 12

Land - Community Housing Committee directed administration to proceed with negotiations regarding the Community Housing Committee's development proposal.

Land - Council for the Town of Pincher Creek received information regarding the proposed Performing Arts Theatre as presented.

Labour - Council for the Town of Pincher Creek received information regarding the Emergency Management Agency as presented.

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