Pincher Creek council hosts open house, connecting with residents on top-of-mind issues

Pincher Creek town council hosted its first open house of the year on June 12. According to Mayor Don Anderberg, the town sought to connect with residents on a variety of topics by having each councillor speak to the public at a different station.

The event also highlighted the new Clean Energy Improvement Plan, launched roughly a month ago. This plan provides a low-interest loan to any resident looking to make improvements to their home to increase energy efficiency or sustainability.

This open house also launched a survey that allows residents to offer feedback on how the town communicates information. The survey can be found online at pinchercreek.ca/content.php?n=685 and is open until June 28.

Sarah Nodge, taxes and assessments
Sarah Nodge, taxes and assessments

Coun. Sarah Nodge, left, spoke with residents about taxes and assessments, explaining how mill rates are calculated, the town’s revenue sources, and how that revenue is invested into the community.

Nodge says one recurring concern raised at her station was franchise fees, which are at a maximum in Pincher Creek.

David Green, daycare
David Green, daycare

Coun. David Green spoke about daycare with Pincher Creek Community Early Learning Centre board chairwoman Christy Gustavison, left, and secretary-treasurer Caitlin McKenzie.

Most questions about daycare were related to the Sage facility, which shut down for a few months due to insufficient staffing, but reopened recently. Gustavison says most community feedback was very positive, with residents wondering how Sage is doing now.

The three were happy to share the news that Sage is thriving, though they continue to look for more staff.

Brian Wright, recreation
Brian Wright, recreation

Coun. Brian Wright, left, and recreation manager Adam Grose talked to the community about recreation, upcoming events and programs. They heard questions from residents about plans for the new curling facility, as well as questions about how the hockey rink can be used for more opportunities.

Wayne Oliver, emergency services
Wayne Oliver, emergency services

Coun. Wayne Oliver and fire Chief Pat Neumann talked to citizens about emergency services. Many residents were curious about plans for the new fire hall, for which land has been purchased near the RCMP detachment on Hunter Street, north of Highway 6.

Garry Cleland, housing; CAO Konrad Dunbar and Mayor Don Anderberg, floaters; and Coun. Mark Barber, operations.
Garry Cleland, housing; CAO Konrad Dunbar and Mayor Don Anderberg, floaters; and Coun. Mark Barber, operations.

From left are Coun. Garry Cleland, town CAO Konrad Dunbar, Mayor Don Anderberg and Coun. Mark Barber.

Cleland spoke to the community about housing and development. Many were curious about residential developments. Cleland anticipates seeing 50 new rental units in the next three years.

Dunbar and Anderberg walked around the event, fielding general questions. Anderberg says this event was important as a way to answer questions directly, since “most people come because they don’t have info.”

Barber spoke about operations, including the winter survey results on snow-and-ice management. The survey found that while a slight majority were satisfied with snow removal on priority one roads, few were satisfied with removal on residential streets.

Complete snow removal, unimpeded by another snow event, takes operations about 72 hours. While many survey respondents would like to see greater efficiency, only 18 per cent would support raising taxes to improve these services.

Mia Parker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze