Council notebook Town of Slave Lake

May 7, 2024 meeting

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

2023 Fire Season Annual Report

Lesser Slave Regional Fire Services Chief Alex Pavcek called 2023 “a milestone year,” in his annual report to council.

One milestone was the introduction of the primary care paramedic/firefighter program which LSRFS runs with Northern Lakes College.

Once again, the number of calls increased in 2023 compared to previous years. Across the region – Slave Lake, Widewater, Smith, Flatbush, and Mitsue, the fire service responded to 698 emergency calls.

Part of this was the record setting wildfire season in 2023. LSRFS helped with fires in 13 other communities including Big Lakes, High Prairie, Whitefish Lake First Natino, and the Northwest Territories. Other increases were to medical calls and motor vehicle collisions.

Councillor Shaw Gramlich mentioned that in a conversation with Todd Loewen, Alberta Minister of Forestry and Parks, council learned that local firefighters have the right to do controlled burns up to the railway tracks.

Wildland Urban Interface trailer equipment

Chief Pavcek asked council to approve up to $130,000 to buy the best quality firefighting equipment from various vendors to equip a new Wildland Urban Interface trailer.

Since the 2011 Slave Lake wildfire, LSRFS has been a leader in this type of firefighting protects buildings and other urban infrastructure from wildfires, while Alberta Wildfire or other agencies fight the wildfires. One of the useful tools for this is a fully equipped trailer. Council previously approved the purchase of a new trailer.

This money is for “basically the nuts and bolts,” said Chief Pavcek.

The fire service received bids from various vendors, but none had everything they wanted. All are willing to sell piecemeal. The motion gives the fire service permission to purchase different parts from different companies.

Councillor Andrew Achoba made the motion. It was carried.

Year to date vs. budget

Roland Schmidt, director of finance, said that the year to date verse the budget for January 1 to April 23, 2024 looked good.

“Not a lot of surprises in the first quarter,” he said.

One was that with so little snow, the town didn’t spend any money on snow removal in the first quarter.

That’s the first time this has happened since I’ve been in Slave Lake, he said.

On the revenue end, traffic tickets were down, both radar and those issued by the RCMP or peace officers.

Councillor Steve Adams asked if the number of RCMP issued tickets would increase, since council told the RCMP traffic enforcement along with property crime were priorities.

“There’s never an expectation,” said Jeff Simpson, CAO. Having more visible presence, doesn’t mean more tickets. People might not be breaking traffic laws when the police are around.

Councillor Kimberly Hughes made a motion to accept the report as information. This was carried.

Downtown revitalization

During the question period, Councillor Gramlich asked Kush Patel, project manager, about the status of the downtown revitalization project. He asked when the benches, picnic tables, and art would be installed.

The staff were waiting to install the benches until the picnic tables arrived, answered Patel, but the plan has changed, so these will be installed soon. The art has been designed and will be sent for fabrication soon, which will take four weeks. Picnic tables are expected after the May long weekend.

Seniors Week

Council voted to proclaim June 3 to 9 Seniors Week. This was in response to a letter from Jason Nixon, Alberta Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services.

Lemonade Day

Council voted to proclaim June 15 as Lemonade Day. This is a project to teach kids about entrepreneurship, managing money, and community involvement. On that day, kids will have lemonade stands in Slave Lake and Canyon Creek or Widewater. It is run in Slave Lake by Community Futures Lesser Slave Lake.

State of the Lake

State of the Lake is a chance for councillors to talk about anything they want. Topics included Mother’s Day, Mental Health Week (May 6 to 12), and Red Dress Day – May 5.

Mayor Francesca Ward attending two Red Dress Day events to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women. In Canada, 63 per cent of Indigenous women have been the victim of some type of violence, she said.

Share this post

Post Comment