Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Pincher Planters outline agenda to Committee of the Whole

Josh Davis

Noreen Robbins, Rosaline Berger, and Sandy Schwanke represented the Pincher Planters as a delegation during the May 4 meeting of the Town of Pincher Creek’s Committee of the Whole.  The Planters touched on a variety of issues they hope to address, and updated the Town on their upcoming plans. The Planters came in under budget for 2015 up to August, across the board. “That worked out well for everybody,” said Mayor Don Anderberg. “The bottom line is it looks good.”

“We’d like to thank you first for the money you’ve given us,” said Robbins. “We couldn’t do all that without that.” Robbins was glad to see the Planters that the Planters are receiving $4000 again for the 2016 budget.

“On the watering and mowing, originally in 2014 you gave us $8000. We only used $2400 in ’14 and up,” said Robbins. “The watering has been absolutely huge. That’s like a gift from heaven. We don’t have the plants dying. Not having the ask the Town… having somebody who is knowledgeable about the watering is absolutely huge.” Robbins said that the rate for watering remains $20/hour, and that they only used 70 of the 80 hours estimated, and that they are estimating 90 hours this year. “It might be on the high side, but it’s hard to know for sure. We try to spend our money wisely.” In terms of equipment use the Planters estimated they would spend 200 hours, and in reality spent about 115 hours.

“On your watering contract, where do they get water?” asked councillor Doug Thornton. Robbins explained that they get Town water, that doesn’t go through the MD’s pipe. This is important since the MD is marking the water up 100% in 2016. “That’s good. I just don’t want to be paying a profit to the MD.” said Thornton. The money for the Pincher Planters is already in the Town's 2016 budget.

Other issues touched upon during the delegation were the self-planted and volunteered trees that are popping up around town, and the large deer population which has been grazing on flowers. The Planters also mentioned their plans to bring in a weeping juniper shrub and a lilac tree. They also requested space for compost, top soil, and wood chip piles.

The news was good when it comes to watering. “My understanding is that the snow pack in the mountains to the west is normal. Earlier on it wasn’t, like in January it wasn’t, but in February and March they received a lot of snow to the west,” said Mayor Don Anderberg. “The reservoir is just about full right now, but they’ll be drawing that down soon.” Mayor Anderberg also mentioned that Pincher Creek is historically good about conserving water when the reserves get low. “The other thing that you may not be aware of is we have water rates out of the Old Man Dam.” Anderberg said the Town has no access to that water source at the moment, but that they are working on it, and will soon have access to three sources of water.

The Planters also touched on the change in the southern Alberta climate from zone 3 to zone 4. That change means southern Alberta climate is getting warmer, which may result in a longer planting season over the next couple of years.

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