M.D. of Lesser Slave River Council notebook

June 9, 2021 meeting

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Ag services

Council approved an amended policy on agricultural services administration. The changes were few, but apparently important.

As presented by ag fieldman Russ Jassman, the new policy met with no opposition, or even any questions, from council and was quickly approved.

One change, Jassman advised, was necessitated by the appointment of the M.D.’s director of field services as ag fieldman. This happened in March of last year. The old policy had one of those positions supervising the other. With both being handed by the same person, it created the untenable situation of a person supervising himself.

Smith lagoon lining awarded

Council accepted a recommendation to award the Smith sewage lagoon lining project to a company called MCL. The contracted amount is $1.26 million.

As it turned out, MCL was the only bidder on the job, although far from the only interested party. M.D. director of field services Ryan Tufts told council six companies showed up at the pre-bid meeting on May 6. The tendering process was designed to “weed out” bidders that weren’t willing to put in the effort, and apparently it worked. Tufts called the process “quite rigorous.” He said he is “quite pleased” with the results. He said the bid was thoroughly vetted, and of “excellent quality.”

Council took his word for it and gave it the green light.

Contributing to the overall cost of the project is an Investing in Canada grant of $1.5 million, making the total projected cost to be $2.065 million – $359,000 under budget.

Canyon Creek tweak

Council gave six thumbs up to a minor adjustment to the lease agreement on the Canyon Creek Harbour and campground. CAO Barb Miller said the Department of Fisheries and Oceans – the owner – recently let her know that improvements on the property need to be added to the lease agreement, and weren’t in the first go-round. These include the harbour office and gazebo.

Canyon Creek Harbour and area.
Photo courtesy M.D. of Lesser Slave River

Residential schools

Reeve Murray Kerik briefed council on a letter about residential schools he’d received. The question is what the M.D. should or can do about it. Kerik said some research was in order.

“People think there was one near Widewater,” he said. “If it was, maybe we should put up some kind of memorial. I think we should investigate it.”

Councillor Melzer agreed: “I think this is really important,” she said. “Let’s find out what we can.”

Councillor Acton suggested whatever the M.D. does, it should be done in conjunction with the M.D.’s partners in the regional tri-council.

“There’s no sense in doing this on our own,” she said.

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