Sunday, December 20, 2015

MD of Pincher Creek council discusses Bobby Burns Fish Park expenses

Josh Davis

The Bobby Burns Fish Park has gone over budget for the second year in a row, a fact which came up at Pincher Creek’s MD Council meeting on Tuesday October 8. According to Director of Finance and Administration Mathew Bonertz the MD budgeted $2500 in 2015 towards the expense. “The cost came in at just a little over a thousand dollars higher than that,” explained Bonertz. The Royal Canadian Legion manages and operates the Bobby Burns Fish Park for the MD of Pincher Creek. Council voted unanimously to pay the total of the bill, and then to approach the Town of Pincher Creek to request a contribution equal to the amount the park has gone over budget.

The Town of Pincher Creek has not contributed to fund the park in the past, as it’s owned by the MD. “But the town seniors use it,” said Councillor Gary Marchuk . “I think it’s only fair that we ask the Town to make up that difference of $1000.”

“Matt, if I read through all the bills correctly, other than buying the odd lunch, the Legions donates all their time to this, right?” asked Councillor Quentin Stevick, which Bonertz confirmed. “We’re getting a pretty good deal,” continued Councillor Stevick. “They’re doing the labour. We provide some of the money, give them the pieces of the puzzle, and they put the puzzle together. So, we’ve got a good working relationship with the Legion there.”

“Matt, was this extra $1000 kind of a one-off, or are we looking at costs kind of going up and up?” asked Councillor Stevick. “Is it going to be more than $2500 going forward? Your best guess.”

“Last year is was about the same overage, maybe a little bit more,” replied Bonertz. “Prior to that it had been coming in under the $2500. But they’ve also had a change in the people responsible for it on their part, and I think that they’ve been putting a little more effort into things that will give better long term upkeep of the facility. Hopefully cheaper long term upkeep of the facility.” Bonertz said he felt the park is gaining value.

“Where does this money come from?” asked Reeve Brian Hammond.

“We take it from the Public Reserve Traces Account, because it’s being spent on a public park,” answered Bonertz.

“This is our park. The Town doesn’t ask for help with looking after their parks,” said Councillor Terry Yagos. “And we get a good deal from the Legion. It doesn’t matter that there are people in the Town using it, it’s our park.”

Councillor Marchuk made a motion that they pay the Legion the budgeted amount, and then approach the Town asking for a contribution, and pay the excess if the Town denies that request. “But I think we should approach the Town and ask them,” said Councillor Marchuk.

“I agree with Councillor Marchuk, I believe that we probably should ask the Town if they’d like to contribute. But I believe in the meantime that we should pay the Legion the total of their bill,” weighed in Councillor Fred Shoening. “But we ask the Town to pay the overage, because we feel it’s a joint use facility.”

Reeve Hammond asked Councillor Marchuk if he would accept councillor Schoening’s suggestion as a friendly amendment. Marchuk agree that it was. Council then carried the resolution unanimously.

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