Fire Chief Chad Schopf and Deputy Fire Chief Dan Martin approached council to discuss the acquisition of a refurbished rescue truck. Schopf informed council the department has received $20,000 from Encana and has $7,000 in its own reserves to put toward the truck. Council unanimously agreed to contribute $15,000 and indicated the Village’s complete support for the purchase, given the ambulance system is currently undergoing its transition to the Province.
• Village Foreman Bill Hnybida told council the drainage repair at the condominiums is working, as runoff is being channeled away from the buildings. The Village will continue to monitor this situation.
• Hnybida expressed concern there are still residents who use sump pumps to move rainwater into the sanitary sewer system. This is illegal in Beiseker, and a recent rainfall caused the lift station to fill up in only 20 minutes. Any discharge from sump pumps must be moved onto the property of the homeowner, and cooperation of residents is needed to avoid costly pumping of the sanitary lift station. Lowering spouts during rainfall also helps, Hnybida said.
• Village staff members have stripped the area where the community garden is being established. Loam will be hauled to the area, and it will then be turned over to a group of citizens who can begin growing produce. Councillor Dave Fegan has volunteered to till the garden after the loam is spread.
A new policy will restrict use of municipally-owned vehicles to employees only. It is expected this will make vehicle use more accountable. Councillor Fred Walters, who uses Village vehicles when processing and hauling recyclables for the municipality, pointed out that having to take an employee from other work to drive a vehicle would cost money. After discussion, the motion to accept the policy was approved by a vote of 4-1.
Beiseker council is joining a bid to force higher levels of government to pay attention to high water rates being charged by the Kneehill Water Commission. A letter inviting all seven municipal members of the Commission, the region’s councillors, provincial and federal officials, media and the general public to a meeting will be sent out in the near future.
Beiseker council believes the 40,000 residents served by the water commission are not only facing hardship in paying the cost associated with the water rates, but development in the area is being compromised as prospective home buyers shy away after considering the cost of water.
According to the Commission, it is forced to charge more for water due to its high debt load. Much of this debt remains from the installation of the system.
The Province funded less than one-third of the installation, while other regional systems in Alberta were funded by as much as 82 per cent, according to the Commission.
The next meeting of Beiseker council will be June 14 at 7:30 p.m. in council chambers. The public is welcome. There will also be an open house for the proposed Main Street beautification project, to be held June 21, 7 p.m. at the community hall.