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Infrastructure aging, Town staff warns

Irricana’s Chief Administrative Officer Carol White showed council a very corroded water connection that recently required emergency repair and advised council that Irricana’s underground water system is now more than 30-years-old, and water breaks d

Irricana’s Chief Administrative Officer Carol White showed council a very corroded water connection that recently required emergency repair and advised council that Irricana’s underground water system is now more than 30-years-old, and water breaks due to corrosion are becoming more frequent. A rough estimate of $5,000 per repair could begin to tax infrastructure budgets, so council needs to be cognizant of putting more money into the water and sewer maintenance budget over the next few years.

An unknown substance, allegedly dumped in an alley behind Booth and McCulloch Crescents, prompted administration to contact the Fire Department for a possible hazardous materials investigation.

Alberta Environment was immediately informed and the Town is awaiting further direction. The area was cleaned-up and should it be found that a resident dumped dangerous material, all costs associated with the cleanup will be charged back to him or her. Investigation of this problem brought attention to the fact Irricana lacks a bylaw to specifically deal with hazardous waste, therefore administration will compile a bylaw for council’s review.

A piece of commercial land on the northwest corner of 2nd Avenue and 2nd Street will be listed with a real estate agent in the near future. The Town obtained the land through tax forfeiture and any profit made on the sale, over and above amounts owing on the property’s tax roll, must be held for 10 years should the previous owner choose to lay claim. Any potential sale will be accompanied by a building commitment. A realtor will be chosen from among those who are licensed to sell commercial real estate and who hold a valid Irricana business licence.

Anyone who has resided in Irricana for six months, is 18 years or older and is a Canadian citizen may run for council in Irricana. Nomination Day is Sept. 20 and nomination papers must be received before noon that day.

In Irricana, nomination papers must be accompanied by a $100 deposit. The deposit will be returned if the candidate is elected or receives at least 50 per cent as many votes as did the person elected to council with the least amount of votes. This regulation is in line with the Local Authorities Election Act.

Voters, who must be 18 years old or older and live in Irricana on election day, will go to the polls on Oct. 18 to elect five council members who will, at the organizational meeting, choose a mayor from amongst themselves. An advance poll will be held on Oct. 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. On that day, returning officers will also be available to call at the homes of incapacitated voters from 3 to 5 p.m. Information packages and nomination papers will soon be available at Town Office.

Residents and groups will now be able to save $30 off the cost of using the advertising/informational sign on Highway 567 if they are willing to change the wording themselves.

The Irricana Economic Development and Tourism Committee (EDTC) had recommended that the cost be lowered by $30 per month for both commercial and non-profit organizations across the board, with the Town continuing to change and maintain the sign as necessary. Council, however, decided to leave the price as is, but allow individuals or groups to do their own sign maintenance if they choose, thereby saving $30 per month. A deposit will be required to ensure return of the letters.

Cost of the sign is currently $180 per month for individual use and $100 for nonprofit groups. EDTC made the request after hearing that cheaper rates were available elsewhere and the sign has somewhat deteriorated.

Hoping to acknowledge the rural component of life in Irricana, EDTC asked council to reconsider a section of Irricana’s animal control bylaw that deals with horses that are currently only allowed in Town on special occasions such as parades.

Council agreed and gave third and final reading to the bylaw that will now permit horses in town as long as all manure is immediately picked up and disposed of in a sanitary manner.

• Town employee Rob Friesen was congratulated on successfully completing course work and being awarded his water operators licence. Irricana now has two licensed operators on staff.

• Council received a letter from the Sports Day committee thanking Town staff for their outstanding help and cooperation during Sports Day. The committee was also pleased to welcome fireworks to Sports Day after a problem concerning availability of a pyro-technician postponed the Canada Day display until July 10 Sports Day.

• Council accepted the conceptual plan for a new passive park to be established on 1st Avenue and 4th Street, next to the Treasury Branch. The park is a Centennial project and hopefully will be built in time for next year’s celebration.

The next meeting of Irricana Council is Aug. 16, 7 p.m. in council chambers.

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