Pincher Creek’s newly elected town council is catching up to speed on what’s going on in the community.
Council held its first committee of the whole meeting Nov. 3 to discuss upcoming events and figure out what projects to tackle first.
Council discussed the creation of a liaison role that would help improve communication between the town and Piikani First Nation and suggested that Coun. Mark Barber’s role as liaison for the curling club and golf course steering committees be redefined.
Barber has acted as a liaison for the curling club steering committee for the past six years and the golf course for the past five. He helped create the business plan to relocate the curling club to the golf course and says he would like to continue in the role this next term.
Some councillors would like to see his position become more structured.
“I think that if we’re going to have councillors functioning in liaison roles we should develop some kind of policy or scope of practice or you know, what that role looks like, just so we’re very clear because it’s a little bit different than sitting on a committee where you’re part of a decision-making body or part of a governance body,” said Coun. Sahra Nodge.
Nodge added that she is concerned about the lack of formal structure of the steering committees, given they have been heavily involved in major infrastructure decisions.
Mayor Don Anderberg said it would be beneficial for council to decide what the relationship between all three committees would look like before redefining the role.
Council postponed further discussion on the matter until December and agreed that Barber would continue to function in his role for now.
Council also discussed creating a liaison role to improve town communication with Piikani First Nation. The carried motion specified that Anderberg would draft and send a letter of invitation to meet with Chief Stanley Grier, the first step in ensuring the communities cultivate a strong relationship.
Recycling plant update
Coun. Wayne Oliver inquired about the new recycling facility and asked when construction on the space could be expected to finish.
Laurie Wilgosh, chief executive officer for the Town of Pincher Creek, said the process is only just beginning and that multiple statements of approval still need to be seen for the project, which might not be obtained until the end of the year.
The proposed recycling station would be located in the MD of Pincher Creek public works yard, an area currently used for the disposal of bagged garbage belonging to MD residents. Although the space is under MD jurisdiction and only MD residents are able to use the garbage area, Wilgosh said the recycling centre would be for everyone.
Referred to as the Eco Station, the future site would be an addition to the garbage disposal area. Upgraded leak-proof recycling bins, placed atop a concrete pad, would house metal, cardboard, plastics, tin cans, paper, furniture, appliances, electronics, household hazardous material, and paint and herbicide jugs.
Nodge said she would like to see some changes made to the design to make it more friendly for children and people with disabilities, so they could access bins at ground level rather than having to raise their arms above their head.
Oliver added the town should publish project details on its website, so town residents don’t have to go to the MD site to get information.
The group passed a motion to set up a joint meeting with the MD to voice concerns.
Wilgosh said she would like to see discussion opened up to Pincher Creek residents to find out whether they would like to see any bins added for additional products not yet included in the plan.
Meetings and events
Nodge, Anderberg, Barber and Wright attended a virtual meeting with Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver on the evening of Nov. 17. The group discussed changes to town council’s code of conduct, financing, provincial downloading of expenses and Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding.
Councillors Wayne Elliott, Sahra Nodge and Brian Wright are attending the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association convention in person alongside La Vonne Rideout, director of community services. The convention takes place in Edmonton from Nov. 17 to 19.
Council will also meet virtually with Health Minister Jason Copping on Nov. 18 to discuss updates on the delivery of the CT scanner to the Pincher Creek hospital and renewal of the local ambulance contract.
A meeting with Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz to discuss $10-per-day daycare and the implementation of Covid policy in daycares is also in the works, as well as a meeting with the RCMP to discuss police funding and issues with the Pincher Creek RCMP facility.
Gillian Francis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze