Thursday, October 30, 2014

Notes from October 27, 2014 Pincher Creek Town Council meeting

Toni Lucas
  • Citizen Hugh Dunham brings several concerns to council
  • Windy Slopes donation request on hold
  • KBPV to get $7,500 toward Turcott/CIBC Building project 
  • Allied Arts Council washroom to be assessed
  • Town representatives to attend FCM
  • Alberta Farm Safety education program directed to Joint Funding
  • Town to send a Representative to AAMDC
  • Westray Act enforcement delegation (link)

Council for the Town of Pincher Creek met on the evening of Monday, October 27, 2014. In attendance were Mayor Don Anderberg and Councillors Adrian Hartman, Mark Barber, Tammy Rubbelke, Lorne Jackson, and Doug Thornton. CAO Laurie Wilgosh was in attendance.  Councillor Wayne Elliott was absent.

Westray Act enforcement delegation

A delegation from the United Steel Workers Local 9346 consisting of Local 9346 president Alex Hanson and Health and Safety Chair Troy Cook to discuss the Westray Act, and to get support from council for more education and enforcement for the act, which holds corporations, directors, and executives criminally accountable for the health and safety of workers during workplace fatalities due to neglect or unsafe work practices or situations. What they would like to see is a letter of support from council for changes to educating police and crown attorneys of this act.

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Citizen Hugh Dunham brings several concerns to council

Hugh Dunham previously approached Town Council during their meeting on October 14. He brought forward several issues at that time.  He said he wanted council to bring back the option of unscheduled delegations.  He was in fact an unscheduled delegation at the time. He had three other issues that he addressed with council at the October 14 meeting. The first was tree debris due to the unusual snowstorms in September, expressing special concern about the clearing of the footpaths in town. The second issue he raised was his wish to see the bylaw for garbage collection to be re-worded so people could legally take their garbage bins to the curb before garbage day. The third issue he had was with the  iWorq interface provided by the Town's website intended to allow citizens to submit complaints and issues to the Town of Pincher Creek.  He said he never had any response when he used the system. All four of these issues were accepted and addressed during council's discussions on October 14 and October 27. Dunham was present on both occasions, sitting in the viewing gallery during the meeting on October 27.

Dunham was told that an unscheduled delegation could present themselves, however the council has at that time the option of listening to the delegation or directing them to speak to a meeting at a later date.

Regarding the issue of tree debris, Dunham was told Operations department crews have been dealing with the situation, and the Town has contracted a third party to assist in the process.

Regarding the bylaw that dealt with garbage collection and containers administration indicated that there has not been any penalties levied for placing a container out early. The bylaw does state that if a collection cart is damaged, stolen or lost the resident is responsible for buying a replacement cart or covering the cost of repairs. Councillor Mark Barber initiated a discussion about the issue of bears in this area and the recommendations by experts not to put out garbage before the time of collection as it acts as an attractant. He previously lived in Fernie, and said there were penalties there for taking your garbage out early, for that reason. Dunham replied "How much of a bear problem did you have in Fernie, compared to Pincher Creek?" Council decided to bring the issue back after further discussion at the upcoming Committee of the Whole meeting.

The iWorq information system is an online system intended to facilitate administration and communication of the concerns of citizens,  and assists in keeping track of the various requests made to all the departments of the Town of Pincher Creek. "To tell you the truth, I have used it five or six times," said Mayor Don Anderberg. "I have never got a call back. When I go to look to see if my problem has been solved, generally, it has been."  CAO Laurie Wilgosh explained that there is a way of looking up the status of your request, as you are given a reference number at the time the request is made.

Dunham said that he has used the system twice. "Neither time have I been acknowledged." He said that neither time were his issues addressed until he took alternate ways of contacting Town staff. "Have you ever gone back and seen how many of these requests have been resolved satisfactorily? I have had an unacceptable response, and I will not use it again." Council decided to bring this concern to the Public Works Committee.

Windy Slopes donation request on hold

Windy Slopes has requested a donation of $50,000 from the town of Pincher Creek toward a Pincher Creek Health Centre emergency room renovation project. "I believe our hospital needs this renovation," said Councillor Doug Thornton. "It does bother me that we are taking $50,000 of our citizens dollars and, for want of a better way of putting this, spending Pincher Creek dollars to bail out the government of Alberta, whose job it is to maintain our health facility up to proper standards." Council has recently received an invitation for the Mayor or another Town representative to attend the next meeting of the Windy Slopes board, when two regional representatives of Alberta Health Services are scheduled be in attendance.  In the letter it was expressed that this would be an excellent opportunity for questions to be addressed.   Council decided to postpone discussion of the issue until after sending a representative that meeting.

KBPV to get $7,500 toward Turcott/CIBC Building project

The Pincher Creek and District Historical Society, which runs Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village  (KBPV), was offered as a donation the historical CIBC/Turcott building earlier this year, provided it would be moved at their expense to the KBPV grounds.  The society says they have received cash donations and in-kind funding to cover a number of aspects of this project. They have expressed that they would like to include a full basement so that the building can be utilized to its full potential, and  made a request to Town Council for $7,500 toward this specific part of the project. The MD of Pincher Creek has already donated $7,500 toward the project. Council voted in favour of the request.

KBPV hopes to add another historic building to collection (update)

Proposed Turcott/Bank of Commerce addition to KBPV discussed again at Town Council meeting

Allied Arts Council washroom to be assessed

Allied Arts Council (AAC) Pincher Creek has made a request for $5,000 to have washroom(s) upgraded, with consideration toward paint, and repairs including new trim, replacement of aging tiles, and resurfacing of the bathtubs in a number of the six bathrooms in the Lebel mansion building. The AAC expressed that the last upgrade in one of the washrooms in the building happened in 2006. The Town owns the building, and it is leased to AAC. AAC would like to see some improvements in the facilities before November 21, as they are scheduled to host an open house in conjunction with the Countdown to Christmas festivities in town.

"I think this is more of a maintenance item," said Mayor Don Anderberg. Councillor Doug Thornton said that the rust stains represented in some of the photos presented could be taken away with appropriate cleaning. Council decided to assess the facilities and see what could be done short term to make the facilities better, and to bring it back as a budget item for 2015.

Town representatives to attend FCM

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities 2015 Annual Conference and Trade Show is being held in Western Canada in June 2015 in Edmonton. This is the largest national municipal conference in Canada with over 2,000 municipal leaders attending. During the event there are workshops, plenary sessions and a trade show. Council directed administration to reserve four hotel rooms and indicated that further discussion will happen at an upcoming budget meeting.

Alberta Farm Safety education program directed to Joint Funding

Alberta Farm Safety Centre has requested funding to help support further programming in 2015. The organization offers free rural safety programming to all rural elementary schools in the province. They are asking for approximately $300. Council directed administration to advise the Centre to put a request in for the Joint Funding Committee for 2015.

Town to send a Representative to AAMDC

The Town of Pincher Creek unanimously voted to send one representative to the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Councils that is scheduled to be held on November 18 - 20. Councillor Doug Thornton volunteered and Councillor Tammy Rubbelke was named as his alternate.

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