Village of Thorsby – Council Meeting February 8th, 2011

  • Mar. 1, 2011 6:00 p.m.

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Vol 15. Issue 9, Leduc – Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer

Manager Reports

Recreation:

Laurie Gellert reports the Rec Centre “is definitely a lot busier.” Upcoming events include The Magic of Volunteers Volunteer Appreciation (April 10-16), Spring Clean-Up Garage Sale (May), May Long Weekend Activities (May 21), Rural Yard and Garden Show (June 4).

CAO:

Dr. Wynne has met with Mike Ruhr of Alberta Environmental Resources Ltd. and Ed Sulz of Green Vision Products Inc. to discuss the installation of LED lighting in the Village office. They will provide CAO with a plan and quote for replacing the current florescent office lighting. LED replacements may be installed in other Village facilities if this proves effective.

Councillor Osness inquired about fixing the lighting situation in the library as it’s “gone on way too long. At least half the lights need to be replaced.” CAO agreed, “We have two village offices and the library—two areas of high need for proper lighting.” Mayor Rasch pointed to the need for better outdoor lighting at the Rec Centre.

Election

Council will apply to the Minister of Municipal Affairs to allow Villagers to elect a Mayor-at-Large in the next election. Also, Administration will draft a new bylaw to reflect changes in the election of the mayor.

School Roadway Development

Council wishes to lease back to Black Gold Regional School the portion of 48th Avenue west to the turnaround for $1 per year for the next 20 years.  Council has tasked Administration to contact Alberta Transportation to arrange for a traffic light at the intersection of 48th Ave. and 52nd Street.  Councillor Hart said, “Hopefully, this will slow the traffic on 52nd Street…and reduce speeding.”

2010 Peace Officer Report

“This year,” reports Calmar Community Services Director, Brent Bachman in a letter to Council, “our department worked a total of 463 hours, down from the 521 hours in 2009.  There were 312 calls for service up from the 251 calls for service in 2009.  There were nine violations issued totalling $1533 (19 in 2009).”  CAO Wynne said the 2011 patrol rate will stay the same as 2010.

Communities in Bloom

Thorsby CIB Treasurer, Reg McDougall discussed the 2011 CIB budget with Council seeking to get a sense of their support for the request of $6000 (the same as 2010) because the 2011 summer season planting orders need to go in soon. During the discussion, Councillor Hart said, “I’m totally in favour of CIB.  They deserve plaudits.  But my concern is how deep do we dig the hole before we can’t get out?” Councillor Williams said his concern also was where the budget stands and suggested “a conversation with the Lion’s Club…could be mutually beneficial.” Hart added, “My big concern, if we have to cut taxes, is that a lot of good things may have to be cut back and these shouldn’t reflect badly on any of these fine groups.”

Council voted to defer the CIB donation request to the Council 2011 budget deliberations (Recorded vote: 4 to 1 with Mayor Rasch opposed). Responding to Council discussion and ruling, McDougall said, “It is disappointing that Councillor Hart feels that the CIB group should not receive funding.  We’ve worked hard in the past and any projects go straight back into the community.  It is hard to do future planning if we don’t have an answer as to whether we will have any funds. The CIB Committee is still optimistic that some funding will come through.”

Mayor and CIB President Barry Rasch said since 2009 CIB has saved nearly $4500 to purchase colourful banners.  “A large number of banners looks nicer; $5,000 would do 15 to 20. But now, because we do not know what amount Council will be able to commit to, we must use that money for plants, planters and brackets instead of banners. We will just have to do some creative juggling. Our projects are of significant value to the community, and we are taking a risk not knowing what Council will do. They’re not saying no, but they are not saying yes either so it’s putting us in an awkward position. I do understand where Council is coming from.  We may need to get approval for 2011 for use in 2012.  We might have to do extra fundraisers to cover the banners even though fundraising is difficult in these hard times.” 

Noon fire siren

Council has heard from citizens about their love-hate relationship with the missing noon fire siren. Councillor Osness provided a bit of history. In the past, if a fire fighter did not respond to a radio call, the siren was sounded to call them to a fire. The siren sounded at noon simply to ensure it was working and if it wasn’t working, someone was there to make sure someone pushed it.  Councillor Hart said the siren wail has been reduced from 12 seconds to 8 seconds in duration. He notes if not tested daily, birds get in there and it will not work the next time it is needed.  Furthermore, it is a tradition.

Council agreed to leave the issue with Administration to see why the siren quit working, and to make sure it is operational, and go from there with the testing.

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