M.D. changing its tune on water line participation

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

The M.D. of Lesser Slave River appears to be reconsidering its decision to not get involved in a Town of Slave Lake water line replacement project in the north end of town. This is the old, malfunctioning line that serves a few M.D. customers along the north end of Main St.
A month or two ago, after a request from the town for the M.D. to pay a proportionate share of a new line, M.D. council voted against it. The town responded by more or less deciding to abandon the line, and serve its three customers on that portion of Main St. from a new line going in on Tamarack Rd. This would have left the M.D. customers high and dry. Since then, apparently, things have developed.
“We’ve been working with the town,” said Winarski. “We’re up against it for water there.”
The town is working on a design, Winarski continued, and will come back to both councils with costs.
“Our citizens out there on pins and needles will know things are going to work out.”

Nursery school okayed for $4,120
Peggy Laing stopped by to inform council that the only applicant for FCSS funding at this point was the nursery school society in Flatbush. It would like $4,120 to cover costs for the September to December period for a ‘Moms and Tots’ addition to its program. Council approved the request.

Kids’ programming in Smith
Council accepted as information a report on the Alberta Health Services program in Smith for young kids and their parents. It’ll be held at the Half Century Plus facility on Mondays, starting in September, Laing reported. There’s no cost to the M.D. for it, but the M.D. will help advertise the program.

Assistance west end seniors
Laing’s report had to do with her research into the need for, and what it would take to provide, services for seniors in the west end of the M.D. Such services as light housekeeping, yard work and snow shoveling are available, funded and used in Smith and Flatbush, but not in the west end. She’d been asked by council to look into it.
Laing said she’d talked to three seniors in the area and found out they would take advantages of such services if they were offered. She said she’d need help finding other people to talk to, so as to better assess the need. As to who could provide the services, Laing said she had talked to somebody who is interested in taking on the contract, but “there’s only so much we can do until a need is identified.”
There is no budget this year for such a program, but there could be next year if council so decides.

Comm. Futures Tawatinaw
Laing’s final report was a rare one on the status of the Community Futures – Tawatinaw (CFT) agency. She’s been chair of the board for the past two years.
CFT has been busy providing workshops and courses on business topics, Laing reported, and was praised by Western Diversification (the federal funding agency) for its work in that area. Less busy was the loans file, with three made so far this year.
Other news: at the recent annual general meeting, the decision was made to keep the board on until the end of the year. Given the municipal election in the fall, this would eliminate the need to make board changes twice in six months. Laing added that her time is up, after eight years on the board.
“Who will replace you?” asked councillor Fulmore.
“I have a plan,” said Laing.

Smoking rooms and waiting lists
Councillor Brad Pearson’s report on the Slave Lake Regional Housing Authority contained the news that the smoking room at the lodge in Slave Lake has determined to be less than ideal. Smoke escapes into other common areas. Some housing authorities have banned smoking altogether in their facilities, Pearson said, but have seen vacancies rise as a result. The SLRLHA board doesn’t want that to happen; instead, it has proposed an outside entrance to the smoking room, which will cost some money.
In other news, Pearson said vacancy rates are a bit higher than the board would like. There is no waiting list in Smith, but there is one in Slave Lake.
Picking up where Pearson left off, councillor Robert Esau said things are looking fairly good in the world of the Homeland Housing Authority. It is under budget and making plans to add housing units in various communities, including Westlock. The vacancy rate across the board is 4.9 per cent, Esau said. Ideal would be two per cent. In an attempt to get it down, small pets will be allowed in some cases.




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