Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Clearwater County Council Meeting Notes

by Helge Nome

Four delegations presented their cases at the regular meeting on November 22. County involvement in internet service to local residents was also discussed.

Members of an Agriculture Recreation Committee made a case for a recreational complex to be constructed on the newly acquired county lands near the Rocky airport. The total cost of the project is estimated at $22 million with approximately one half of the money potentially coming from municipal sources. Art Terpsma presented the case for a facility with a number of other people interested in the project in attendance. Reeve Alexander responded by advising the committee to broaden its base of community support for the complex before the County would become actively involved. Council did, however, carry a motion to make its airport  lands available as a potential site.

David Gummer, Wildlife Biologist with Parks Canada, made a presentation on the planned re-introduction of bison into the Banff National Park. 16 animals will be moved from Elk Island National Park into a controlled area on the eastern slopes of the Rockies in the Banff park for a trial period of 5 years.

Don Livingston and Ed Van Heeren made the case for County support for the Rocky Mountain House Search and Rescue group in its upcoming 2017 budget.
The group is a registered society and has entered into a cooperative relationship with the municipally controlled Clearwater Regional Emergency Management Agency. It has a broad volunteer base and is looking to replace capital equipment and upgrade skills and equipment to be able to participate in helicopter rescue operations.

The County is increasingly being asked to give financial support to local volunteer groups. This trend was affirmed by a delegation from the Prairie Creek Memorial Cemetery Association who asked for some $7,000 to $10,000 to replace a gate and fencing around the cemetery. Reeve Alexander said that the request would be considered during the 2017 budget deliberations. A related issue came up shortly afterwards in regards to the costs of demolishing the Taimi Hall which came in at $73,405; 33,405 over budget due to the need to dispose of asbestos in the debris.

The County’s electronic information system is in very poor health. This became evident during a presentation by Corporate Services Manager Rodney Boyko when he requested an amount of $50,000 over and above budgeted costs to deal with ongoing problems. The request was granted.

The broadband internet issue was back on the agenda with Community and Protective Services Manager Ted Hickey resubmitting a previously tabled item:
 “Broadband Request for Proposal - Focused Study Area”. After a good amount of discussion where previously held positions and beliefs were restated, it was resolved to release the full text of the TaylorWarwick Broadband Internet Study to the public. The agenda item under discussion was re-tabled until the next regular meeting.

Finally, on a positive note, Public Works Manager Marshall Morton reported that a tender for asphalt overlay of 22 km of the Prairie Creek Road  came in  $1 million below the estimated cost of $3.9 million. Good deal!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Caroline Elks donate to local library

Friends of the Caroline Library, Allison Hewitt and Barbara Lee received a cheque for $500 from the Caroline Elks represented by Richard Foesier, on Wednesday, November 16. The money will be used for non-budget items needed by the library. A silent auction of donated items to support the library is currently underway at ATB Financial in Caroline until November 25.

Caroline School Principal's Award for 2015/16

Award is presented to Mallory Westergaard by Caroline School Principal Dean Pilipchuk at the school's annual awards night on October 28, 2016. Mallory excelled in all areas of student achievement, including academics, sports, citizenship and leadership. This award is the highest recognition given by Caroline School.