Downtown clock tower put on pause, funds set aside

Spring and summer, the proposed start of Phases 3 and 4 of Wetaskiwin’s Main Street project is approaching...

Spring and summer, the proposed start of Phases 3 and 4 of the City of Wetaskiwin’s Main Street project is approaching, and council is still making last minute changes to the final plan.

At it’s March 14 meeting council decided to take the money designated for the traffic roundabout clock tower centerpiece and take it out of the tender package to set aside for a yet-to-be-determined centerpiece.

The vote was 6-1 with Mayor Bill Elliot opposed to the motion.

Before the motion was approved Coun. Joe Branco said the idea of the clock tower should be put on hold but the funds should be left where they are so contractors looking to take on the project know how much money total is available.

Coun. Patricia MacQuarrie says she feels at a October 2015 council meeting, when the idea of the clock tower was approved, council was too emotional and wrung-out, and the clock tower was lumped in with the roundabout without it having its own proper conversation. “That was an excruciating meeting and this decision came at the end of a very long, very emotionally charged meeting.”

“I left that meeting not understanding that we were 100 per cent for sure saying yes to the clock tower,” she added. MacQuarrie explained her confusion came from the fact when the decision was made there were still design factors of the clock up in the air, leading her to believe it was not yet a done deal.

Phase 3 sidewalk

Council also made some changes on how the final sidewalk design would look for Phase 3 of the project Bakers Funeral Home to the water tower.

Branco said by trimming the edge of the sidewalk with unsealed, patterned red concrete a portion of the sidewalk is being made redundant because hardly any people are willing to walk along the uneven pattern. “Just go straight (broom finished). You save more money and it’s practical for snow removal.”

Elliot and Coun. Bert Horvey agreed they do not walk on the patterned concrete that is already downtown and Coun. Tyler Gandam voiced his agreement with Branco.

“I think we can save a quarter of a million dollars in stamped concrete,” said Coun. Wayne Neilson.

Ultimately council approved nixing the stamped, patterned concrete and trimming the sidewalks down from 10 feet to eight feet in Phase 3.