Council Notes From All Over
VILLAGE OF THORSBY
Special Meeting of Council
December 6, 2012
Discussion regarding the chiller unit replacement—from approved minutes.
Town Manager Bob Payette reviewed the current situation regarding the breakdown of the chiller unit with Council including the potential options and potential cost regarding securing a new unit and rental costs for a chiller in the interim. Alpha Laval will acid wash and dye test all the plates. It will reveal if any other plates have cracks and pinholes. The gaskets will also be properly sealed. Gateway will manually clean and reinstall the plates and pressure test them. Here is a breakdown of the total cost of $20,500: Clean Plates-$7,500; Install & Pressure Test-$4,500; Acid to neutralize the contaminated brine-$5,000; Ammonia-$1,000; Labour for dismantling the chiller-$2,500. The Village will have to pay for the dismantle labour, acid, and ammonia even if it opts not to fix the chiller.
“There is no guarantee that the chiller will function properly or even last the remainder of the season. We are not sure as to why the plates are breaking down,” stated Payette. “It is highly recommended that if the chiller is repaired right now that we still replace it in the off season. The approximate cost of a new, installed chiller is $55,000-$60,000.”
Also, the floor temperature under the ice should be 16 degrees Fahrenheit; it is currently 27 degrees F. “We are trying to keep the ice cold by using natural air but there are challenges…all the boiler pipes run across the roof of the ice rink. So we need to carefully monitor the temperature to ensure that we do not freeze those pipes.” Payette noted any extended period without the ice plant running increases chances that the current ice might degrade and need to be redone.
That administration contact Leduc County as soon as possible to discuss funding support options, and that the Village would require a committee of funding support upfront, as opposed to the current method of the County paying back the Village after the completion of a project, stating that the Village can no longer afford to front all the cost of capital repairs.
It was recommended that this would be an excellent discussion item for the Leduc County Intergovernmental committee in the new year.
It was recommended that administration contact the user groups to discuss potential funding support.
The need to approach the minor hockey association for their support for a new chiller.
Concern was expressed regarding the potential tax increases that may be associated with unbudgeted capital expenses.
Information regarding Bill C4 was discussed as it has ramifications regarding potential grants and job creation.
A recommendation was made that Council consider approaching Leduc County to discuss cost share agreement percentage of funding support for recreation operations. Council requested information from Town Manager regarding the work completed from the summer regarding the ice plant. TM said he is currently reconciling the information for Leduc County and will be able to provide Council with a final report in the next few weeks. Mayor Rasch confirmed that no decisions would be required until the next Council meeting based upon additional research and options from Leduc County.
Regular Council Meeting
December 11, 2012
(from approved minutes)
Ice Rink Chiller Unit:
Thorsby Minor Hockey Association (TMHA) President Jared Probe met with Council to inform Council of the verbal agreement in place that a $40,000 financial commitment was made with the Village of Thorsby with the understanding that the ice plant would be up and running for the 2012-13 season. If Council decides to shut down the rink for the season, T.M.H.A. may also be forced to shut down with enormous ramifications to the Village including: loss of local business income, concession income, job loss, slowdown in tourism/foot traffic and families may move away. “Mr. Probe stated that Leduc County has offered to front the money for a new chiller unit and would like to see the Village make the decision to move forward with the repairs and/or replacement of the faulty equipment.”
Mayor Rasch explained to all present that Council was informed by Administration of the chiller problems around December 4 and a Special Meeting of Council was held on December 6. Leduc County met with Administration to discuss options and cost sharing. Since that meeting, Leduc County has approved funding for repairs on the Thorsby Arena. Administration has been gathering financial information concerning the repairs and other costs that may be involved for discussion in Council. Rasch assured all that while keeping the arena open and operable is of the utmost importance to Council; unfortunately, there are no extra funds available in the budget for this kind of expense. He told the group that Council would do everything in their power to find a way to fund this.
TM Payette discussed the tendering process for the summer capital project at the arena. He brought forward the Memo to Council, concerning chiller Repairs which explained the costs, for information and discussion with members at large as well as Council. Research showed that chiller rental options would not be viable. Payette is confident that the costs incurred up to this point will be covered in this year’s budget. He added that the repair may not last until the new chiller is installed, but it is a risk that should be taken. He also mentioned there is still work that needs to be done on other equipment such as the boilers and condensers.
Council voted to proceed with the temporary repair of the chiller unit and work in conjunction with Leduc County for the ordering and installation of a new chiller unit.
Dump Station Closure:
In a 4 to 1 vote, Council agreed to extend the closure of the Dump Station to Sundance Beach Council for one month, pending a meeting with Sundance Beach in January 2013. Councillor Hart opposed the motion on the grounds that a decision was already made by Council and the costs are too high to risk.
Village of Thorsby Regular Council January 8, 2013
Council held a short discussion on the schedule of fees and charges and future projected increases. Councillor Hart compared Calmar’s water rate of 10 CM @ $63/mo. to Thorsby’s 6 CM @ $18/mo. Councillor Williams asked if this included sewage and suggested when all things are compared, it is close; but that it should be discussed. Council will postpone further discussion until the Committee of the Whole meeting on January 15.
Council received a formal request to form a committee to work to determine the feasibility of the Thorsby Seniors Club “acquiring ownership of the Thorsby community hall.” If the decision is made to acquire ownership of the hall and if approved by Council, the Seniors Club will no longer pay rent. The committee should consist of three members of the Seniors Club, Town Manager Bob Payette, and Councillor Rick Hart, with Councillor Mitch Williams as alternate rep. The work of this committee must be completed by March 31, 2013. Councillor Osness agreed that a Committee needs to be formed to see what grants are available, what the options are—whether it is better that the Seniors lease (a meeting place), own, or none of the above. “Or find another place,” Councillor Hart added. Council placed a moratorium on the Seniors’ rental rate increase of the community hall from $250 to $400/month until April 1, 2013.
Patio proposal: The Thorsby Hotel is interested in expanding the premises up to and including the alleyway between the hotel and the Village Office. The proposal is to create a relaxing, refreshing garden patio setting featuring the sale of hard ice cream. While Council thought it was a “great idea,” they want to see if potential access and emergency access issues exist.
EDA: The Village of Thorsby will no longer be a contributor to Leduc/Nisku EDA. Mayor Rasch shared a letter sent to the Leduc/Nisku Economic Development Authority thanking them for their economic development support and promotion of the Region over the past few years. Because the demographics of Thorsby and its surrounding partners is quickly evolving, Thorsby is looking forward to more directly supporting efforts with its local partners.
Do Not Park Here:
Council reminds residents and guests not to park on the SE corner of the Arena. The SE Arena gate has been left open, and vehicles have been coming through and parking on the sports field at the SE corner of the Arena which will cause the grass to winter-kill. While Council understands this is inconvenient, it has directed that the gate be closed and locked. Parking is available in the south and north parking lots.
Councillor Hart attended the Leduc Foundation Christmas dinner at Plainview Manor. He noted they did something very nice this year—each Board Member was seated at a table with residents. “It was a wonderful evening and I really enjoyed that!” He also reports that Happy Haven has secured a maintenance person.
The Mayor noted the 2012 Christmas Gala was “very well planned” and was “the talk of the town for weeks!” The gala was the first large gala event to be held in the field house. The mayor said some were concerned that the floor might not hold up. To everyone’s delight, the floor held up! Rasch gave kudos to Community Fit Ltd. for the amazing field house transformation.
The Mayor met recently with MP Blaine Calkins. While Calkins could not confirm Thorsby’s Western Diversification grant standings at this time, he said he would help find corporate sponsors. He also encouraged Council to look to future funding for aging structures. Councillor Hart added that Calkins also mentioned using novel fundraisers for broad- based community support. New grant programs and Western Diversification grants will be announced in April.
Arena Ice Update: January 21, 2013:
Thorsby Minor Hockey Association (TMHA) is back on the ice in the Thorsby Arena. “The chiller unit has been temporarily repaired and the new chiller ordered. It will be put in this summer,” said TMHA President Jared Probe. “Leduc County has put forward money—a 60/40 split—with Thorsby spreading 20% over the course of the 2013 year. TMHA will pitch in where we can.” Probe said although TMHA was without home ice for two to three weeks following the chiller breakdown, “we were able to have our home games rescheduled and we also worked with neighboring communities to get ice time. Warburg and Calmar were really great about making ice time available for us.”
VILLAGE OF CALMAR
Council was called to order at 6:58 pm with Councillor Borodawka absent.
There was one in camera addition to the agenda and no public commentary.
Fire Department Report And Overview:
The new Calmar Fire Chief, David Brooks, was officially introduced and welcomed by Council, then he stepped forward to bring Council up to date on the happenings in the firehall over the holiday season.
Currently there are two vacant Captain's positions in the department and they are advertising for new members. They have already held one training meeting, have a second planned for February and are working on a new training plan and format.
There were only three call outs in the last two weeks; a medical emergency, a false fire alarm, and a vehicle accident.
The spare police vehicle has been brought over for use by the fire department since one of the fire department vehicles is out of service.
In conclusion, Chief Brooks told Council that he is looking forward to meeting with Town staff and discovering the needs for Disaster Services.
2013 Traffic Enforcement Initiatives:
The Town's new CPO, Matthew Weavell, came before Council with an overview of the coming year's initiatives, and outlining some upcoming goals.
When CPO Weavell finished speaking Council was in agreement when Mayor Faulkner said that they would like to see Bylaw enforcement in town become more proactive as opposed to waiting for complaints to be called in.
CPO Weavell assured Council that this was something he would work to achieve, and also informed Council that he was looking forward to beginning bicycle mounted patrols of the Town over the spring/summer months.
Request To Rename Calmar Public Library:
A Facebook comment was received by the Town from Ms. Deborah Hochachka, suggesting that a fitting tribute to the late Neil McKerracher would be to rename the library after him.
Mayor Faulkner made a statement to Council that he believes it is time for the Town to have a dedicated place to honour Calmar's community builders.
Councillor Yachimetz made a motion to form a committee that would create a concept to honour those who came before and made Calmar the place it is today. Council voted unanimously to create this committee.
It was also determined to send a letter to Ms. Hochachka explaining what Council had decided upon.
The Leduc-Nisku EDA sent a letter to Council requesting a commitment in writing as to whether they would become members of the LNEDA for the year of 2013.
Council actively discussed the pros and cons of whether the Town should join. It was pointed out that Thorsby and Devon declined membership.
Councillor Yachimetz questioned as to whether there was actually a benefit to the Town by joining, and Mayor Faulkner stated that he was not sure if the Town had gotten very much value over the previous years that Calmar had belonged.
Councillor Yachimetz motioned for Calmar to take out membership with the EDA and the motion was defeated by a unanimous "no" vote.
Council voted unanimously to allow the borrowing of $2,806,000.00 from the ATB to cover the Town budget requirements until such time as the taxes are levied and collected. This is a yearly item placed before Council where the only change is the amount borrowed.
Council was adjourned at 8:13 pm to go in camera.
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